Asterisk 1.4 unveiled

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Asterisk 1.4 unveiled

Digium Inc., the Asterisk company, today announced Asterisk 1.4. According to Digium, the new version isn't available for download until October however. Although I know Mark Spencer, I have no inside information, however, my guess is that Asterisk will launch the software at TMC's Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in San Diego. Seems like the perfect venue to launch this major software release.

Asterisk 1.4 is the first major release of Asterisk since the release of Asterisk 1.2 in November 2005. It includes over 20 new functionality additions including IPFAX compatibility, unified messaging capabilities and Jabber/Jingle/GoogleTalk protocol compatibilities. Asterisk 1.4 features overall quality and performance improvements, as well as increased scalability and interoperability.

"This is by far the best version of Asterisk to date,” said Mark Spencer, president of Digium and creator of Asterisk.  "With the support of the Asterisk community, we have been able to develop an advanced platform that will make it even easier for users to migrate to VoIP, especially those in the enterprise community.”

Specific enhancements featured in Asterisk 1.4 include:
•    Generic Jitter Buffer- improves the quality of a call during network congestion.
•    Asterisk Extension Language Version 2- simplifies programming and dial plan configuration.
•    T.38- allows IP FAXes to pass through the server.
•    Jabber/Jingle/GoogleTalk- supports compatibility with all of these networks.
•    Increased language capabilities- offers new language capabilities in English, Spanish and French as well as new sounds and improved sentence structure support.
•    Unified Messaging- integrates voicemail, email, and fax into a central mailbox where users can send, retrieve and manage all of their messages using any communication device.
•    Whisper Paging- allows for selective, pre-programmed call interruption with controlled volume levels and muting capabilities.

Additionally, Asterisk 1.4 now includes variable length DTMF support (touch-tone signaling for IVR applications), the option for programming shared line appearance, centralized RADIUS storage for call detail records, a built-in web manager interface and a simplified, single user configuration for SOHO/SMB users. Asterisk 1.4 also offers increased memory usage and performance improvements such as improved interoperability of SIP call transfers, IAX2 scalability improvements, enhanced IAX2 media stream capabilities (enabling direct audio communication between IAX devices while eliminating server involvement and maintaining billing and control functionalities), Cisco® SCCP support, SNMP monitoring, and RTP native bridging capabilities.

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