Today, at AstriCon, Sangoma announced that Asterisk 16 and FreePBX 15 are now available. This announcement is monumental, not just because these are the next major releases of the world’s two most popular open source communications projects but because they reiterate Sangoma’s ongoing commitment to open source. Since the acquisition of Digium, I have received many questions about the future of Asterisk and FreePBX (which I answer here). Sangoma is actively working to foster a creative, collaborative environment for the development of innovative solutions, and today’s concurrent releases further reaffirm our stance on continuing the projects and investing in them for the benefit of users around the world.

As for the newly released software, the improvements made in Asterisk 16 and FreePBX 15 include advanced capabilities that provide developers with the tools to create applications that are more robust and feature-rich. Asterisk and FreePBX also received upgrades that will improve performance, make system management easier for administrators, and allow developers to build solutions that are more adaptable to end-user environments.

Asterisk 16 Overview

Improved Video Conferencing Performance

Asterisk 16 builds upon the extensive video conferencing capabilities introduced in Asterisk 15 to provide a dramatically improved video experience for users. Asterisk now delivers superior video performance for all network conditions, which reduces the risk of frozen video frames and provides a world-class framework for creating cutting-edge video applications.

New Text-Based Data Capabilities

Support for Enhanced Messaging has been added to give developers the ability to build rich client applications with text-based data exchanges. Now, multi-party video conferencing client applications can share URLs, list conference participants, highlight talkers, and enable multi-party chat.

Improved Call Handling

Asterisk 16 has also undergone significant performance enhancements to better handle SIP calling by decreasing the system memory and CPU consumption required during high volume situations, most notably when utilizing the PJSIP channel driver.

FreePBX 15 Overview

New Built-In API

FreePBX 15 introduces a new built-in API powered by GraphQL. The new API makes it easier to integrate FreePBX with third-party applications and enables users to create more efficient business workflows and processes. As of today, there are 10 modules in production that take advantage of the new API with others currently in development.

Redesigned Backup and Restore Process

FreePBX 15 makes system management simpler with a redesigned backup process that handles backups on a per-module basis. Now, administrators can create custom backups, perform cross-version backup and restore, and enjoy more options for keeping their data safe.

Next Steps

For more information about either open source project, visit the Asterisk or FreePBX websites. To get detailed information about the new changes or to access documentation and usage samples, visit the Asterisk wiki or the FreePBX wiki.