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ZOHO Phonebridge integration with Asterisk/FreePBX setup


(A.M) #1

Hello! This is my first post here so I apologize in advance if this is not the appropriate category to post this question in.

I work in the IT department of my company and had the pleasure of setting up an asterisk server w/ FreePBX when we moved offices and installed a new T1 line / phone system.

Moving forward, we are looking into new CRM options for our sales force - with one of the requirements being integration with our phone system. I came across a nice looking CRM called ZOHO that seems to have support for Asterisk pbx servers as well as support for Elastix.

Installing and configuring the phone bridge seems pretty straightforward, and Zoho has informed me that using Freepbx instead of Elastix shouldn’t be an issue.

My question is this: Has anyone had any success configuring asterisk to work with the zoho phone bridge while also using FreePBX? Or perhaps a better question would be, if Zoho Phonebridge works with Asterisk and Asterisk with Elastix, will freepbx write over any configuration files added by Zoho Phonebridge to the PBX server? Or does FreePBX only touch files that it controls.

Thanks


(Dave Burgess) #2

When I get this question from my customers, I usually explain it like this:

  • Asterisk is a PBX system. If handles the phones, and lines, and other physical stuff.
  • FreePBX is a PBX management system. It handles Asterisk.

Think of FreePBX as a management app. Of course, it’s really a lot more than that, but since it rides on the base Asterisk implementation, it’s just going to work.

The only thing that makes a difference is the “how” of getting it all working.

For example, let’s says the instructions tell you to open “extensions.conf and edit something”, you’d have to modify that. FreePBX manages the extenions.conf file, so your custom edits would have to go somewhere else. The good news is that FreePBX provides a place for that to happen by implementing “extensions_custom.conf”.

Similarly. if the instructions tell you to edit a file to add an admin user, you’d do it through the GUI. If you needed to add a trunk or special extensions, you’d do that through the GUI instead of hand-jamming entries into a file.

I’ve set up vTiger and SugarCRM to integrate with FreePBX. It’s always relatively simple.


(A.M) #3

Ah, Thank you for your response!

Currently we are still trialing Zoho before we commit to it so I am unable to test anything just yet, but their instructions for setting up the phone bridge are:

Download and Integrate Asterisk with Zoho CRM

To download and configure Zoho PhoneBridge for Asterisk

Click Setup > Apps & Add-ons > Other Apps > PhoneBridge.

In the Zoho PhoneBridge page, choose Asterisk as the telephony provider from the drop-down list.
click to download the Asterisk 1.4 Adapter from the Download PBX Adapter section.

Extract the .zip file and save it in the machine that you want to run the PBX adapter.
Edit the “Zoho/ztiadapter/conf/zti.properties” file and configure the PhoneBridge Token.
Edit the “Zoho/ztiadapter/teleadapters/asterisk14/conf/asterisk14.properties” file and configure the PBX details.
Run the nohup sh run.sh & command inside the zoho/ztiadapter/bin directory.
Your Zoho PhoneBridge service for Asterisk will be started.

It doesn’t look like I am required to edit any configuration files that are controlled by FreePBX, however I have no idea what all run.sh does when executed.

Thanks again for the response!


#4

choiceit: Did you ever get this installed and if so on which version of Freepbx.

Thanks,

Gary.


(A.M) #5

Yes, I have it installed. However, incoming calls do not notify the zoho user that the contact record (and phone number) is associated with.

Outgoing calls work just fine.

I have since given up because everywhere I turn for help I am told to contact someone else. AsteriskJava says that the error messages returned shouldn’t prevent it from working so I should contact Zoho. Zoho says it should work but I should contact AsteriskJava for help regarding the error messages…

It is ridiculously simple to setup which makes it hard to figure out what exactly is broken.


(Alexis Reynoso) #6

hello choiceit
could you help me out , im very lost here I would like to know how to installed the zip file on the xorcom and set it up I have the same one. My e mail is reynosoalexis@gmail.com I understand you probably are bussy but reallly apriciated if you can help me out here.


(Dave Burgess) #7

I’m working on this for a commercial client, and once I have a working solution, I’ll let everyone (including the guy who’s paying for the work) know.


(A.M) #8

Wow, that would be amazing!


(Joel Buhr) #9

Here is what I posted in a related link. But on this topic as solving this same problem is a top priority for me.


So I am having the same exact issue. And after extensive time on the phone with ZOHO here is what they responded with.

As discussed, We are using Asterisk Server Listener java package for our integration, which is not changed even in the latest versions of Asterisk. This listener has a function called PropertyChangeEvent which will be triggered whenever there is a change in the state of the Asterisk extension which it has been associated with. This will give the channel info and will contain the call related informations.
The Asterisks PBX Expert will know why the PropetyChangeEvent is giving us the channel details as null and they know from where to configure the changes, so that it gives proper channel data. These configuration changes can be done only by the Asterisk PBX expert as it can differ between different Asterisk servers. Please refer the below link for the PropertyChangeEvent by searching it on the page.
https://asterisk-java.org/tutorial/
Based on the Java class on the link below, the Java class has been developed from our end for integration.
https://maven.reucon.com/projects/public/asterisk-java/1.0.0/apidocs/org/asteriskjava/live/AsteriskServerListener.html
Looking forward to assist you.

Then they also sent this as a follow up. It appears to the be the source code for the adapter.

As discussed the link below will contain the source code and methods that we use to develop the Asterisks adaptor. Please pass this on to a Asterisks PBX expert for additional information about the adaptor.
https://github.com/asterisk-java/asterisk-java/tree/master/src/main/java/org/asteriskjava
Looking forward to assist you.

So with this, how and what can we do to solve this crazy ZOHO Phonebridge Adapter issue. Supposedly this would allow for the fix to also work with PJSIP which @cynjut knows I have been wanting it to use.

So now I turn this to the FreePBX guru base… How can we solve this?


(Tony Lewis) #10

You would need to work with the developers of asterisk-java. Its not something FreePBX uses or includes or has any expertise or knowledge in.

Zoho connector is the one that is using that application so to tell you sorry we wont help you from them is pathetic.


(Tony Lewis) #11

FYI the CRM module in FreePBX that support click to dial and inbound call pops is being worked on this quarter to include support for Sales Force, Zoho and Connectwise.


(Joel Buhr) #12

I will gladly test that !!! Save me from the pain of calling support again!


(Joel Buhr) #13

I would be curious thought to get that zoho phonebridge to work if that is possible.


(Tony Lewis) #14

No clue never looked at this bridge. You would need to work with them as its their product and they are the ones who decided to use java ami product so its on them to resolve.


(Joel Buhr) #15

New response from Zoho… Any suggestions on what to send back?

Thank you for your patience,
I am sorry for the delay in response. We double checked this from our end about this issue and the Phone bridge adaptor seems to be working fine. As discussed the settings should be changed on your server end which PBX guys are aware about it.
I would request you to contact the Asterisks support team directly rather than contacting a Asterisks Implementation partner, so that they can guide you with the channel value setup with the information that we have provided to you.
Looking forward to assist you.

Sincerely,
Sean Patrick | Zoho Cares


(Tony Lewis) #16

No clue. That is the most vague response I have ever heard and Asterisk has no support team. You have to buy a 20K support contract to even get ahold of them and they will onyl support their products not 3rd party stuff at that.


(Joel Buhr) #17

Ok here is the new response from ZOHO

Thank you for your response,
I understand that the Asterisks Support will only handle the issues with their product and not the 3rd party integration. As of now the Issue is that the Asterisks server is not providing us the required data that the Zoho Phone bridge adaptor will help to transfer the data from Asterisks to Zoho CRM.
Only when the Asterisks server provides the valid channel information, the Zoho Phone bridge adaptor will collect the information from the Asterisks server and transfer this to Zoho CRM which is not happening now and this is the reason why we are requesting you to contact the Asterisks support team to check for the reason why the channel information is not provided from Asterisks server.
Looking forward to assist you.

Doesn’t the Asterisk Manager user section grant the user that is being used in the ZOHO Phonebridge all the rights to get channel data?


(Tony Lewis) #18

No clue. Never looked at their phone bridge but they built it so if something doesnt work they need to fix it for you as a paying customer of theirs. Its their product.


ZOHO Integration on "non-SIP" connections
(Joel Buhr) #19

Ok again here is the latest response I got back from ZOHO regarding this issue. What specifically can I ask them so as to get clarification on what they need? I know the FreePBX developers time is valuable and I am willing to pay for that time. But I have been going around in circles since October 2016 trying to get this to work…

Thank you for your patience,
I have discussed about this issue with all my senior developers and their managers, the issue seems to be only with the channel settings on your Asterisks server which we do not have control over this.
We have lots of clients working with the same Phone bridge adaptor without any issues, since the channel information on their servers are configured properly. We have provided you all the required information to contact a PBX developer to change the server settings and we do not have anything more than this to perform any changes from our end.
I would request you to contact the Asterisks support team to setup the proper channel settings on your Asterisks server. I am sorry again, that we will not be able to provide any support regarding this issue from our end, since all the required information has been given.
Feel free to write to me, if you have any further questions about the applications in Zoho CRM Plus subscription, so that I can assist you accordingly.
Looking forward to assist you.


(Tony Lewis) #20

No clue. Its not something we would get involved in.