Digium, AA50, 1.1 Software Announcement

Howdy,

Many of you may fondly remember my last posting about AA50 software updates.

It’s been nearly 3 months, so how about another update?

We’re pleased to announce the release of the 1.1 software for our AA50.  Customers may download the software update from the Asterisk Business Edition downloads portal using their Digium.com account.

What’s new?

A slew of International-related analog trunk and station options have been exposed via the GUI in a new “Operation Mode” section of the Networking tab, in the Advanced tab of the Analog Service Provider configuration, and in the Users tab as a part of user creation. 

You can now set:

  • Busy Detection on or off
  • A numerical value for Busy Count
  • Busy Pattern
  • Ring Timeout
  • Answer on Polarity switch and Hangup on Polarity switch
  • Call Progress (still not super-reliable) and Progress Zone
  • To enabled Caller ID, or not to enable Caller ID, when to start it (ring or polarity), whether you want your Caller ID as received or custom, and your CID signalling type
  • Trunk and Station Flash timing
  • Pulse or DTMF dial
  • Country specific Opermode – for setting impedances on your trunks
  • a-law or u-law codec for your trunks
  • Whether to apply Opermode to FXO only or FXS and FXO
  • Normal or boosted station ringer voltage
  • Low power mode
  • Fast Ringer mode
  • Ring Detection – Standard or Full Wave  (to improve UK CID detection)
  • Tone Zone – Confuse your friends and impress your grandparents by using “us-old”
  • Signalling – Loopstart or Kewl Start (Loopstart with Disconect Detection)

Wow..that’s a lot.

But what about things other than analog trunk configuration?

G.722 transcoding support has been added.  Polycom 650 and 550 users rejoice.

A new mode of DHCP operation has been added to allow for the provisioning of Polycom phones on the WAN side of the AA50.  How does this work?  If you’ve got an existing DHCP server in your network, and it’s not already serving Option 66, then enabling this option will cause the AA50 to listen for DHCP requests, but not serve DHCP addresses, and then offer Option 66 to devices that are looking for it.

By default, there’s no twist in the transmitted DTMF values out the PSTN ports.  Now, we’ve got twist for Brazil.  Other countries, coming soon.

Date and Time may now be set manually via the GUI – so an NTP server isn’t required.

And, the Backups tab now allows you to download a local copy of a Backup, or for you to upload a Backup onto the AA50 – those of you looking to roll the same configuration to more than one unit, take note.

A synchronization between the Embedded Business Edition software on the AA50 and the Business Edition software that comprises the C1.5 release.

And, some improved (performance-wise) math for mixing channels in MeetMe conferences.

What’s fixed? 

The setting of static WAN IPs now works properly.  Yay.

Calling Rules no longer get stuck in an un-deletable (yes, that’s totally a word) state.

Some help text for Queues has been cleaned up.

Clicking on the Timezone sub tab no longer makes the WAN and LAN tabs disappear.

In User creation, the codec list now shows up by default.

An issue with sticky inbound call routes has been addressed – old deleted routes are now really deleted.

We’ve added some Polarity detection fixes to improve Caller ID and disconect detection.

A crash issue that surfaced while writing voicemails has been resolved.

In some cases, on first boot, the AA50 would hang while trying to generate an SSH key.  This no longer happens.

The Polycom timezone GMT offset has been re-fixed.  This time…it’s for real.

Special Thanks To:

Our customers, for pointing out things we needed to fix.

Our international partners, for helping us provide the necessary configuration tools for their locales.

The Academy, The Hollywood Foreign Press, The Golden Raspberry, my wife, our tireless engineering department, the Aromas Coffee Shop for opening a branch office inside of the Digium building and for keeping us fueled, and Mr. T as B.A. Baracus.

BA

About the author

Digium lifer, celebrator of 13 Digium birthdays, and Digium employee #4. "I like te-lephony and I cannot lie. You other vendors can't deny; When a call comes in with MOS so you can't hear and some echo in your ear you get angry!" - Sir Mix-a-Malcolm

10 Responses to “Digium, AA50, 1.1 Software Announcement”

  1. Josh Richards

    Excellent!

    I also noted the phone provisioning in the 1.6 beta which I’m guessing is based on what I first saw on the AA50 and is also in the 1.0.1 of AsteriskNOW. I dig up some more docs for it (in LaTeX format, but readable as plain-text too):

    http://svn.digium.com/view/asterisk/trunk/doc/tex/phoneprov.tex?revision=98988&view=markup

    Is that the same as what’s in the current AA50 release?

    Thanks folks,

    -jr

  2. Malcolm Davenport

    malcolmd

    Howdy,

    Yup, what you’re seeing in the 1.6 beta is actually an improvement over what’s in the AA50. res_phoneprov was a quick ‘n dirty utility written and used internally at Digium for years that was cleaned up for the AA50. What you see in SVN is an improvement over what’s currently in the AA50. But, without tons of live test time, we, I, didn’t feel comfortable rolling it into the AA50 just yet. But, look for it in the future as we put additional capability into the AA50 with respect to its phone configurations.

    Cheers.

  3. Tristan Rhodes

    Malcolm,

    Great work on the many improvements to the AA50! Do you know when these subscription services for the Asterisk Appliance are going to be available?

    Configuration Backup Services (planned)
    Monitoring and Outage Notification (planned)

    Thanks,

    Tristan Rhodes

  4. Malcolm Davenport

    malcolmd

    Hi Tristan,

    No announcements for either of those at the present time.

    Cheers.

  5. Tristan Rhodes

    One more question about the AA50….

    Most business customers have a fax machine. In order to reliably use that fax machine over VOIP, they need to use the T.38 protocol. Currently, this can be accomplished by using an ATA and ITSP that supports T.38.

    I would like to see T.38 fully supported on the AA50, for at least one of the FXS ports. This would eliminate the need for a separate ATA device. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks,

    Tristan Rhodes

  6. Malcolm Davenport

    malcolmd

    Howdy,

    It would indeed eliminate the need for a separate ATA device. I appreciate your asking me about things that aren’t supported on the AA50. :)

    Please appreciate my inability to provide any comment about things that aren’t supported on the AA50. :D

    Cheers.

  7. Josh Richards

    “A synchronization between the Embedded Business Edition software on the AA50 and the Business Edition software that comprises the C1.5 release.”

    Indeed the AA50 1.1.0.1 ChangeLog says:

    * AA50 has been synchronized to ABE C.1 branch source code

    What are the chances of us AA50 users getting access to the ChangeLog for ABE C1.5 so that we have some idea of the specifics of those changes which were incorporated?

    -jr

  8. Malcolm Davenport

    malcolmd

    Howdy,

    Probably slim to none.

    Owners of BE can see the BE Changelogs, but not anything to do with the AA50. Owners of the AA50 can see AA50 Changelogs, but nothing to do with BE. Owners of both see, naturally, both.

    Our downloads portal doesn’t provide cross entitlement whereby items in one category (ABE owners) may be multi-tagged to allow users in another category (AA50 owners) access. Building such a capability isn’t in the cards.

    Cheers.

  9. Josh Richards

    Hi Malcom,

    I appreciate the response and — no offense intended — but that sounds like bureaucracy-speak and excuse making to me. :) It may be the reason why it happens to not be available presently but is it justification for not making it available some other way and, going forward, consider a cleaner way of including it down the road too?

    I just would appreciate the information to be able to make informed upgrade plans. It’s silly that there’s a AA50 ChangeLog where a big item on it is effectively “includes all this other crud and, by the way, we’re not going to tell you exactly what that crud is but if you happen to have a license for this other product you’ll be able to indirectly decipher what those changes are”. Shall I e-mail the support group and see if someone is simply willing to e-mail the ABE ChangeLog to me? :-)

    Heck, put it on an HTTP site somewhere or posted it on this blog. AFAIK there’s nothing that prevents me from posting a healthy excerpt of the AA50 ChangeLog somewhere (indeed I did on my blog recently). Could not someone with an ABE license do the same? :-)

    In any case, I’m not directly this at you personally. You just happened to be the one I posed the original query to and that replied to me and this is a forum for communicating with the Digium customer base so seems as good as any. :)

    Any further thoughts appreciated,

    -jr

  10. Malcolm Davenport

    malcolmd

    Hi Josh,

    What things from the ABE C tree are relevant, Lumenvox upgrade to 7.5 software obviously isn’t, to the underlying AA50 (not GUI specific) software:

    – Added ‘C’ option to the MeetMe application to allow a caller to continue in the dialplan when kicked out of the MeetMe.
    – Added Taiwan language support to voicemail
    – Added ‘trunkmaxsize’ and ‘srvlookup’ configuration options for chan_iax2.
    – Added two new dialplan functions, DUNDIQUERY and DUNDIRESULT. These functions will allow you to initiate a DUNDi query from the dialplan, find out how many results there are, and access each one.
    – Added ENUMQUERY() and ENUMRESULT() dialplan functions to initiate an ENUM lookup from the dialplan and access cached results without doing multiple DNS queries.
    – Added the ability to pass arguments to the Dial application when using the DUNDi switch in the dialplan.
    – Added DUNDi functionality to set weights for dynamic responses using a global variable or a dialplan function. The SHELL() function would enable external scripts to set weights.
    – Added DEVICE_STATE() dialplan functionality for dialplan device state creation and retrieval.
    – Added EXTENSION_STATE() dialplan functionality for retrieving the state of any extension

    With that in mind, please note that the AA50 software test plan doesn’t test features and functionality outside of the GUI. So, the syncing of the Asterisk componenet of the AA50 to the C.x line of ABE software is more convenient for Digium (we’re not maintaining two wholely separate and unsynched branches) than probably for any AA50 customers.

    It’s not practical right now, or in my view of the forseeable future, for me to internally kick off any development to change the way for our downloads portal to operate – see my previous comment. And, considering the way we support the product, I’m afraid to go too deeply, in the AA50 Changelog, into things that changed underneath the GUI; because, for example, our support department isn’t going to help you build a DUNDi cluster of AA50′s using the nifty new DUNDIQUERY functionality – it isn’t in the GUI.

    So, my solution is this:
    The next time we do a software release for the AA50, I’ll blog about it. If I mention anything about syncing the AA50 Asterisk component to any particular ABE Asterisk component and I don’t mention any specifics, please feel free to comment and ask me for more information.

    Cheers.

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