OpenVBX 1.1 Released

openvbx phone logoAutumn has been a busy time at Twilio, and we’ve launched lots of great new features like Twilio Connect for Tenants, Client Presence and International Phone Numbers.

OpenVBX 1.1 adds support for these features plus a host of other changes and fixes around TwiML features, user management, API communications and overall usability. We’ll touch on some of the major points here.

OpenVBX 1.1 can be downloaded now via the Downloads Page. For the complete list of changes you can reference the changelog.

International Number Support

With the launch of International Number support at Twilio you can now purchase Local & Toll Free/Freephone numbers from all of Twilio’s supported countries, currently the US, UK and Canada. Poland, France, Portugal, Austria and Denmark are also launching in Beta and 11 more countries are planned for launch before the end of the year.

SMS is not yet supported with international numbers, but once it becomes available OpenVBX will automatically allow you to text out using your UK telephone numbers.

You can set your default country for purchasing numbers from Settings > System Config. This controls the initial country selected when clicking the “Add Number” button in the Numbers section.

Twilio Connect

When the 1.1 Preview first started we included support for Twilio Connect & Client Presence. This support has been tested and refined and is ready for use.

With Twilio Connect you can now provide hosted multitenant OpenVBX for your clients but have their Twilio account usage be billed directly by Twilio. This frees you up to build your app, not a billing solution. Twilio Connect is modeled on OAuth: New tenants are directed to sign into or create a Twilio account and authorize your OpenVBX instance to use it. Once they’ve done so, OpenVBX will make all API calls on behalf of that tenant using the tenant’s Twilio account rather than your account. At any time the client can revoke access to OpenVBX, which puts their OpenVBX account on hold until they come back and reauthorize it through Connect.

To enable Twilio Connect for your OpenVBX install, you’ll need to set up a Connect Application in your Twilio Account. Log in to your Twilio Account, click on Apps in the menu bar, then click on the Connect Apps tab.

When creating your application use these settings:

  • Friendly Name
    App name shown to the tenant when they are asked to authorize the App.
  • Company Name & Description
    Optional. Description shown to the tenant when they are asked to authorize the App.
  • Homepage URL & Authorize URL
    The full url to your web-root. ie: http://example.org
    These will be updated during the install process.
  • Deauthorize URL
    leave blank
    This will be updated during the install process.
  • Access Required
    Select “Read all account data” & “Charge account for usage”

Once the Connect App is created, copy the App Sid (the number starting with “CN”) and enter it in to the Connect Settings in the OpenVBX Settings > Twilio Account section of your OpenVBX install. New tenants can now be set up to use Twilio Connect.

Redesigned Dialer

The changes to the Dialer that started in the Preview have now been updated to be more compact and make it easier to place calls quickly.

The preferences for choosing the caller-id and the device used for the call have moved to drawer that can be minimized when not needed. OpenVBX now remembers those settings, even if you log out or log in from a different browser.

If you have more than one user in OpenVBX, the dialer shows you the other users to provide a fast method to dial other people in your organization. When dialing other users, the information gathered from Twilio Presence determines whether to try to contact that user in their browser or via a traditional phone.

Per Tenant Preferences

Some of the most requested feature requests we’ve gotten have been around adding the ability to control TwiML features in OpenVBX. Open VBX 1.1 now allows each tenant control over the following features via the Settings > System Config section:

  • Default Country for Purchasing Numbers: The default country that will be selected when opening the purchase number dialog.
  • Voice: The voice which text is converted to speech. Choices are either Man or Woman.
  • Voice Language: The voice language that is used in text to speech conversion. Choices are British English, English, French, German and Spanish.
  • Voicemail Transcriptions: Transcription of voicemails can now be turned on and off on a per tenant basis.

These settings are per tenant and effect all TwiML generated by OpenVBX.

User Management

Though relatively minor in scope, the changes made to the Users screen help make OpenVBX much easier to configure. For starters users are now listed alphabetically by last name to make finding the user you’re looking for much easier. Administrators are also labeled as such in the list for easy identification.

Groups are now sortable. Since the order of the group determines who gets called first the ability to order the group makes it very easy to rotate the primary group contact without having to add or remove users from the group. Simply drag the users to reorder them and the new order will be automatically saved.

Using Minify for Asset Delivery

OpenVBX now uses Minify.php for asset delivery instead of pre-compiling assets. This enables OpenVBX to run more efficiently on a wider array of hosting services, such as those who don’t optimize compression and expiration headers for CSS and Javascript.

With Minify we lose a bit of the optimization we got by using Google’s Closure tool to compile the assets, but in return we get an easier way to manage the header delivery that allows us to control how browsers receive and cache OpenVBX’s assets.

OpenVBX now also versions its asset URLs. What this means is that each CSS and Javascript include contains the site version in the url. This ensures that after an upgrade, users’ browsers will request fresh versions of the Javascript and CSS. No longer do we have the possibility of the site and the browser’s cached assets being out of sync.

For custom development, the assets config file located at assets/min/groupsConfig.php will look for a config file at OpenVBX/config/asset-sources.php so that you can add extra Javascript or CSS to OpenVBX without having to modify OpenVBX itself.

Caches are cleared automatically whenever the upgrade routine is run and also when the system settings are saved.

Other Updates & Fixes

  • UPGRADE INSTRUCTIONS! Upgrade instructions are also included with the OpenVBX install. You can find the file UPGRADE.markdown in the root level of the OpenVBX download.
  • OpenVBX now uses the updated Services Twilio API Library. More information on this change can be found in our blog post about the new library.
  • OpenVBX now uses the native sequential="true" for dialing multiple numbers or users in sequence.
  • OpenVBX now requires PHP 5.2 and will not install/upgrade unless this requirement is met.
  • OpenVBX now detects the availability and uses the PHP MySQLi driver. Database debug is now turned off by default.
  • Added Gravatar support in theme options. Why enable Gravatars? Why not?
  • Various CSS compatibility tweaks for better CSS standards compatibility.
  • Various performance and security fixes and updates.

4 Comments

  1. Mark Ames
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Great to see Twilio going international. Can you let me know when Twilio and Open VBX will be available for using Australian numbers sending SMS through Twilio to and from Australian numbers.
    Regards
    Mark

  2. Posted October 31, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Sweet! Going to check this out.

    P.S.: It would be very helpful if the blog posts for new version releases could be placed into the ‘Releases’ post category. This would make following latest releases via RSS a breeze!

    Thanks,
    – James

  3. Steve
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Shawn, you said,

    “For custom development, the assets config file located at assets/min/groupsConfig.php will look for a config file at OpenVBX/config/asset-sources.php so that you can add extra Javascript or CSS to OpenVBX without having to modify OpenVBX itself.”

    OpenVBX/config/asset-sources.php doesn’t currently exist, correct?
    Can we create this file to over-ride just the header wrapper and header contents if we wanted to?

  4. Shawn Parker
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys, sorry for the delay in response, I guess I’m not set up to receive comment notifications. That’ll get fixed right away!

    Mark: Some countries take longer than others when it comes to setting up business and using telephony. However we keep adding to the list as additional countries become available so please do stay tuned.

    James: Done. Thanks!

    Steve: Yes, that file needs to be manually created. Using that file you can include additional CSS or Javascript. There is currently no way to override a template file. You’d still need to modify a view file for that.

    Shawn

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*