During the developer\’s conference call yesterday evening,it was decided that we finally should release the much-awaitedAsterisk 2.0 Stable release, also called \”codename AAFJ\”.This relaese is based on the \”hidden\” cvs that has been inoperation for six months by a group of core development membersin the Asterisk.org open source project, under the leadership ofBrian K. East, who will maintain the stable code base forthe 2.0 CVS tree and releases.-\”It\’s awsome\”, says Brian, \”but the new features I\’m adding to2.0.1 stable will be even more spectacular. Follow me to the future!\”Among the new features in Asterisk 2.0 is

  • APBX – A fully pluggable PBX architectureThe APBX framework makes everything in Asterisk 2.0hot-pluggable and dynamic, including the PBX itself.With this framework, Asterisk 2.0 will be able to be the hostsystem for almost anything, including the famous Apache.orgweb server, the SipFoundry SIPx PBX and a Java Runtime Engine.Rumours has it that one developer actually ported theErlang runtime and executed an Ericsson AXE switch withinAsterisk.\”With an embedded web server, we can finally start workingon a decent user interface model\” says Kram Spencer, theoriginal developer of Asterisk.
  • DBRAGI – The Database Remote procedure call AGI subsystemThe DBRAGI subsystem makes it possible to move the dial planprocessing to stored procedures in databases. With Asterisk1.2, the ARA (Asterisk Realtime Architecture) took a firststep towards a better database integration. With 2.0, theproject actually runs most of the PBX within an Oracle (TM)database, making Asterisk carrier grade.
  • XIAX – The New Inter-Asterisk ProtocolWith Asterisk 2.0, the project also launches the nextgeneration of the IAX protocol. This is a huge updateof the rather oldfashioned IAX protocol engine.– XML based messagesAll messages in XIAX is based on XML. This makes the protocolmore robust, since all messages are checked for correct syntaxwith an external DTD and XML parser. All voice frames areencoded in BASE64 and checked with an S/MIME signature, whichmakes the XIAX protocol the most secure VoIP protocolin the known universe.– Full DNS NAPTR/SRV supportTo add to the robustness of the protocol, all communicationis done with full DNS service names. For each packet in thedata stream, there\’s full redundancy based on DNS lookups.\”The recommendation for XIAX is to define at least fiveXIAX servers per phone number, and let DNS route the XIAXpackets. No packet will get lost, due to the stabilityand simpleness of the DNS system.\” says Kram. \”Using IPnumbers did not gives us this functionality.\”– Strong TCP/SSL supportThe new XIAX protocol also supports TCP with SSL encapsulation.\”TCP is much easier for the firewall to handle and withstrong SSL encryption. With IAX2 we could bypass everyNAT device. With XIAX over SSL on the HTTP port, we cantraverse any firewall too.\” says Steve Xintaro, the mainarchitect of XIAX.
  • New source code structure – C# and .netAsterisk 2.0 was moved to a Microsoft platform due to thedemand for higher stability and a more secure foundation.Therefore, the code was quickly moved to C# on the.net platform. This gives Asterisk a lot of new features,including being fully integrated with Microsoft Exchangeand Microsoft Active Directory.\”With all the user data stored in Active Directory, wefinally have the user under full control. Users candial in to the PBX to change their Windows password. Wecan also implement single-sign-on based on DTMF from acell phone or WiFi phone.\” says Kelvin Reming. \”The C#language gives us much more modern code. And I\’m sohappy to get rid of the stupid-looking arctic bird,an ugly animal that that couldn\’t even fly.\”
  • New user-support system: SmartyList (TM)In order to solve the problem with the asterisk-usersmailing list that was the main support channel forold Asterisk versions, the Asterisk 2 team alsoconstructed the SmartyList auto-support system, thatwill automatically analyze all input and sort it outon one of twenty different lists. Eighteen of theseare automatically handled by auto-responders, thatpoint to the proper Wiki page, developer or lineof code. \”Users doesn\’t seem to read the availabledocumentation before sending e-mails, so now westreamlined the process, giving them the oppurtunityto send even more e-mails.\” says Brian.The SmartyList server is hosted on a 500 KB cable linkin Brians basement, making it easier for the sourcecode maintainer to stay in touch with the user base.
  • Removed featuresTo clean up the product, a lot of functionalitywas removed. Among them are the SIP protocol driverthat never could be implemented correctly anyway.\”We kept improving stuff according to the specsall the time, but at the same time they changedthe specs so it was impossible to sort outhow to do it.\” says Ulle Jansson, the drivingforce behind the old SIP channel. Ulle is nowworking solely with XIAX channel usability.

Asterisk 2.0 is immediately available on SourceForgeand for purchase from Dogium, inc in a Carrier-gradeversion that also includes SS7, MegaCO and X.25support.Have a nice friday, enjoy 2.0!The Asterisk 2.0 Developer Team/O 😉