Asterisk SCF - Universal Communications API?

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Asterisk SCF - Universal Communications API?

Digium today announced a new open source product called Asterisk SCF which is designed to simplify the creation of complex communications systems.  According to Digium, Asterisk SCF is a framework that allows developers to create real-time communications applications that include voice, video and text and that meet the demands of a full range of uses, from embedded applications to enterprise and carrier solutions. Asterisk SCF is architected to provide the highest levels of availability, scalability, extensibility, fault-tolerance and performance.

Asterisk SCF will be delivered as a system of distributed components that can be deployed in clusters on a single system or on many systems, transparently. The Asterisk SCF platform will support, as a part of its basic architecture, the full range of real-time IP communications, including video, multi-channel wideband and ultra-wideband audio, chat, desktop sharing and other media types that may arise in the future.

“The Asterisk community asked for easier ways to use Asterisk in larger and more complex applications,” said Mark Spencer, creator of Asterisk and Digium’s founder and chief technology officer. “They want to make massive scalability and fault tolerance simple, they want rich APIs for developing applications, and they want performance that effectively utilizes modern systems and architectures. Rather than trying to ‘grow’ Asterisk to address these areas, Digium and a committee of Asterisk developers decided that a companion product would be the most effective approach, since it allowed us to consider the widest range of tools, platforms and architectures.”

“The world of communications is changing rapidly,” stated Ed Guy, co-founder, CTO of CleverSpoke and Asterisk SCF steering committee member. “The Asterisk community was compelled to develop a solution to meet the greater scalability, reliability and functionality requirements that have emerged during the past 10 years of Asterisk’s evolution. Asterisk SCF is the product of this vision—a communications platform that will address today’s requirements and will allow for future enhancements and growth.” 

Asterisk SCF is not a replacement for Asterisk, the world’s most widely used open source voice communications platform. Digium and the Asterisk community are committed to the continued development and support of Asterisk, the telecommunications software.  This commitment is emphasized by the recent announcement of the release of the next long-term support version of Asterisk, Asterisk 1.8.

A version of Asterisk SCF for early adopters is now available at the Asterisk website (http://www.asterisk.org). The project will evolve aggressively during the next 12 months. Digium invites developers interested in contributing or wanting to learn more about Asterisk SCF to visit http://www.asterisk.org.

I'm going to reach out to Digium and see if I can find out more how Asterisk SCF fits alongside Asterisk and how this will impact the carrier & MSO space, as well as any useful enterprise applications. It seems like they're trying to modularize Asterisk a bit better to prepare for future applications like video, desktop sharing, and chat and offer a "universal communications API" that is easy for developers to hook into to develop seamless applications. For instance, suppose you're on a VoIP call and want to upgrade it to a video call or even add in desktop sharing. You would need a good API to do that easily. But this is mere hypothesis on my part. Contacting Digium to today to get more details.



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