SMTP Setup - Still making users pay for an essential and basic thing

I am amazed that in 2024 Sangoma is still squeezing $25 out of people so they can have basic and proper SMTP services for their FreePBX systems. This isn’t 2014 where a system with questionable or incomplete SMTP setups can freely send mail to destinations and it be accepted. Modern SMTP services expect SMTP to be handled properly these days and an improper SMTP setup can get a FreePBX system blocked on mail services the user is dependant on.

Why is it that FreePBX still requires the admin to either know about the ins/outs of SMTP and understand how to modify Postfix to send directly or through SMTP Relay. Or they can shell out $25 to get it exposed in the GUI so their PBX can send notifications properly?

Is there a logical reason for this or does it break down to the age ole “it’s a revenue stream” logic?

Do you have a scenario other than GMail where the Sys Admin postfix configuration GUI actually works?

I have found myself down in the postfix config file almost every time even when the GUI module is available.

As far as commercial modules go, $25 is pretty cheap, and while I don’t think I’d pay it just for the SMTP config, I’d pay it for the rest of the convenience features.

So basically what you’re saying is that even after paying $25 you have to make fixes yourself because what you paid for doesn’t work right? I think that makes it even worse.

cries in foreign currency

EVERYTHING that FreePBX commercial and open source modules do, you can do for free. Somethings would be a nightmare to maintain and there would be a lot of work involved but it all can be done for “Free” assuming your time and effort is worth nothing. People pay for features because they don’t know how to or don’t want to do it manually. I encourage people to learn Linux and do most of these task manually where they make sense. Not because “free” is better but because as the world progresses the more you know the better off you will be. Going for a career move and telling people you managed Linux servers but only with a very specific GUI holds very little value. As I said not everyone wants to be a system admin or network person. Some people just want to log in to a gui and let all the magic happen invisibly in the background. That cost money.

For me, this module is a no-brainer sell and is probably the most consistent way we financially back the project. For the project to succeed, there has to be a revenue stream.

From my perspective, there are instructions on how to do it manually, or like everything else in this world, you can pay for convenience.

If you would like it to be free, have you considered developing or commissioning a module? Keeping the scope limited and using the existing tools, this seems like it would not be too large an effort.

Developer Corner Home - FreePBX Open Source - Sangoma Documentation (atlassian.net)
FreePBX Contributed Modules · GitHub

I think my point is being missed. The free version of Sysadmin allows you to manage various server level settings. DNS, Network (including wifi), Hostname, Time Zone, Power On/Off, HTTPS setup, Port management for services, Storage and even PnP (of course, it’s for Sangoma’s benefit). You can even setup email notifications for various things. What you can’t do is actually set your system up to send email properly.

The only server level configuration not allowed in the free Sysadmin module is SMTP. Why are all the other things free to access? Why aren’t those part of the Pro version?

It made sense when the module was first introduced because SMTP services where very forgiving 10 years ago. Don’t have proper SPF? Don’t care. rDNS not correct? Don’t care. No DKIM? Don’t care. Funky from/reply to emails that have .localhost or invalid public domains? Don’t care.

Today all of those things, they care about. All of those things raise flags. All of those things can get your IP on blocklists, either from a vendor or an RBL.