Shared (Bridged) line appearance

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Shared (Bridged) line appearance

Postby mustardman » Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:03 am

I love Asterisk and it is just about exactly what I want. The only problem is it can't seem to do the one thing I and most small businesses want. That is shared call appearance. Most small businesses are familiar with KSU's and Hybrid PBX's which have multiline phones where every PSTN line is associated with a specific button on each phone.

This simplifies things because there is no need to do transfers or memorize any key sequence or who is on what extension etc.. Just place the call on hold on one phone and pick it up at another. It also gives an instant visual representation of which lines and extensions are busy.

I see that some IP phones such as Polycom and Aastra support this feature but it also needs to be supported on the server end. I have not been able to find any info on Asterisk being able to support this feature. Is there any current or planned way of doing this. A modification or hack. Anything?

I see there is an internet draft describing this support in SIP. They are calling it "bridged line appearance:
http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/dra ... bla-02.txt
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Postby mustardman » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:56 pm

bump :oops:
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Postby rusty » Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:20 am

Been studying the same thing myself. Only thing ive found was this
http://lists.digium.com/pipermail/aster ... 69164.html

Seems the snom is the only sip phone capable so far. I am now thinking maybe a windows program to show the status of the phones.
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Postby mustardman » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:55 am

rusty wrote:Been studying the same thing myself. Only thing ive found was this
http://lists.digium.com/pipermail/aster ... 69164.html

Seems the snom is the only sip phone capable so far. I am now thinking maybe a windows program to show the status of the phones.


Interesting,

Thanks for the "hint" :wink: rusty.

The Asterisk Wiki is saying that Polycom and Sayson/Aastra phones also support this. Since I have an Aastra 9133i phone I'm going to give it a try. Will post and update wiki if I can acomplish anything.
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Postby rusty » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:45 pm

I may be wrong but seems I read it was an option that would be in future firmware
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Postby mustardman » Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:42 pm

I think your right. Sayson responded that the feature is not in their firmware. They also said that the Broadsoft firmware is identical. At least for the 9133i. Not sure about the 480i.

Can anyone help me with the requirements specification to submit a request for this feature in future firmware from Sayson. I emailed them the info at the Asterisk Wiki about the "hint" using the Subscribe/Modify mechanism of RFC3265 but the engineer responded that it was not enough information for them.

Sayson Firmware Engineer response to "hint" Asterisk Feature
>>RFC 3265 is just an application frame and doesn't define any SIP flow.
To implement an application based on RFC 3265, we need more details. For example, message-summary is an application based on RFC 3265, and defined in RFC 3842. I don't think we support
Asterisk+standard+extensions unless it's something same as Broadsoft
Shared Call Appearance.<<
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Postby cyberwar » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:16 am

Add me to the list of people interested in this - we are using Polycom IP501 phones, and I think I know how to program them to display SCA (Shared Call) and BLA (Bridged Line) Appearances.

Problem is, I can't find any information on how to get * to do the same - and believe me, I have looked.

Does anyone have any insight?
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Postby Pasha » Wed Aug 24, 2005 8:38 am

Looking for same feature... this would be very usefull @ home and small business...
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Postby KSComs » Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:07 am

Hey all,

Well as far as I know the Grandstream 2000 series telephones will shortly have a feature called "hint" inbuilt to the firmware...

What this means is the capability of showing an extensions status ergo Busy Lamp Field (BLF).

I represent a small Telco that installs maintains the major supplier hardwired telephone systems in Australia... ie Aria, Nex, Panasonic Samsung etc.....

I have been requesting that this feature be active within a SIP telephone. The representatives for Digium Australia are talking direct with the Grandstream 2000 series manufacturer as far as i am aware and are hoping to include this very sought after feature within their code.

Stay tuned to the Grandstream 2000 series because it will be within it shortly ( so im told )

Kevin
K.S. Coms Pty Ltd

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Telephone Technology People
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

www.kscoms.com.au
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Postby delox » Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:05 pm

Gooood, we are looking to use this feature as soon as it is available. We just bought 4 gxp2000 without knowing about SCA. Now that we want to test the phones in a business environement we rapidly got knocked by the lack of SLA support in Asterisk and on phones. Anyone knows when this feature will be available exactly? The gxp2000 current firmware is 1.0.1.9 and i found the next one that will be 1.0.1.12 with the release note. It contains no information about supporting SCA/SLA yet. I'm waiting on some info from a dealer about that. I'll post the results.

Anyone knows how this will work exactly? They say through HINT sip feature whatever that means. Anyone's got a detailed explanation?

Thanks
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Postby rusty » Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:14 pm

I know this is not what your looking for but it is what i am using at the present.

http://www.voip-info.org/tiki-index.php ... ator+Panel

I have mine setup where they can only see if someone is on the phone they cant do anything
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Postby delox » Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:43 pm

Yeah that s a cool software. We want to be able to install phones where there will be no computer.
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Postby rusty » Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:46 pm

delox

I understand completly
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Postby delox » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:37 pm

Here is what Snom answers about shared line appearence:

Thank you for your request.

snom phones do support shared line appearance. SIP lines are registered as normal on the registrar but if its known to be a shared line, a programmable key with 'Shared Line' can be assigned to it to get the exact status of other same registrations on the led. Its something short of Bridged Line Appearance, which we'll be providing in the future when its standardized. For info about *, please try http://lists.digium.com/mailman/listinfo/asterisk-users.

And here is Grandstream:

This is called presence and we will support it via future firmware upgrade.
Thanks.

I'm waiting for Sipura now.
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Postby fiber0pti » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:59 am

Anyone have any luck with this and a Polycom phone?
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:03 pm

Was anyone able to get this to work with any Aastra/Sayson phones or even at all?
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Postby IronHelix » Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:35 pm

keep in mind, BLF (busy lamp field) and SCA/BCA (shared call appearance/bridged call appearance) are very different.

As of right now, Asterisk supports BLF only, no SCA. This means it will (if you set stuff up correctly) NOTIFY any SUBSCRIBEd phones about extension states (free/busy/ringing) if you setup the hint priority in extensions.conf. On a Grandstream GXP2000, this makes the light next to the speed dial key light up when the user is on the phone and flash when that extension is ringing. On an Aastra 480, this makes little icons next to the speed dials change. On an Aastra 9133, i'm told it makes the lights next to speed dials light up (like GXP2000) and the lights will flash quickly when the line is ringing

What this will NOT do is let you push that button to a. answer a ringing phone; or b. barge into the active conversation that person is on turning it into a 3way call. That functionality is SCA. Asterisk does not currently support it at all, either natively or with an addon. It might (in theory) be possible to write an AGI that might do this, but it would have to be worked into most of the dialplan.

It IS possible to answer another ringing phone- using *8 and pickupgroup and features.conf.

mustard's link is a draft for a standard that would allow this. I have also referred to what i think is the same document/standard as SIP-B.

I agree that this is a missing feature, however while it would be very useful in the SOHO space there is not much developer interest in it. Asterisk is by nature a PBX- NOT a key system. Adding KSU functionality would make a bunch of people happy though... any dev's interested?
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:02 am

I'm not sure if what I want and what you guys are talking about is the same thing - but I had assumed it was from what I read earlier.

My setup is as follows:

1 secretary, 1 voIP phone which allows viewing multiple line appearances
1 worker, 1 VoIP phone which allows viewing multiple line appearances
1 asterisk PBX which is connected via an IAX2 trunk to a VoIP provider

What I need is the ability for my secretary to answer a call, put it on hold, and notify me of this. I want to be able to look at my phone and see that there is now a call on hold on 'line x', pick it up and be talking to that person. There is no need for any 3-way conferencing type functionality. Is this sort of thing possible with the 'hinting'?
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Postby IronHelix » Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:30 am

no, its not. If you are using zap channels (which allows you to actually have the concept of a 'line-x') you can see the zap channel is active but you can't actually grab it.

what you can do is parking- she answers the call, parks it in extension xxx, tells you theres a call waiting on xxx. You then pick up the phone and dial xxx to get the call. If you are even in a large department store and hear something like 'bob, you have a call on 8502' on the speaker, that's what they're talking about
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:24 am

ok, thank you
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Postby skennedy » Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:37 am

Another vote for SCA/BCA here. This functionality would be the deal breaker for a lot of my installations.

Maybe we should get a bounty together for this. Anybody interested?
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Postby agit8or » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:22 am

Add me to the list... I'd chip in for a bounty on SCA/BCA.
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Postby fiber0pti » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:28 am

Is this something that can be accomplished with an operator panel? What I've done with a few of my customers is installed an operator panel on their computers so that people that need to see the lines can. I've also had to explain to my customers that this is no longer a keyed system and they need to change their internal policies. A good example I give them is what if you had 100 phones in the office, would you need 100 buttons?
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Postby IronHelix » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:12 am

yeah FOP can do it but its far from a fix. I would also contribute to a bounty for Sip-B.
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Postby fiber0pti » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:45 am

IronHelix wrote:yeah FOP can do it but its far from a fix. I would also contribute to a bounty for Sip-B.


I was thinking more along the lines of IPSwitchBoard from http://ipsoftware.thorben.dk/. I don't really like FOP. A bit slow.
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Postby Dimitripietro » Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:39 pm

Another Vote for SCA. I want to be able to place a call on hold at one set and pick it up easily at another set.

Would be very useful.
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Shared Lines is possible...

Postby dwildes » Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:52 pm

Hello All!

I had the need for shared lines at a small office with 15 SNOM 360s, with 6 analog lines. They were migrating from an older Comdial system and absolutely needed an easy method of putting a call on hold, walk across the building and easily press the button to take that person off hold.

We've been using it for about 9 months now, and just recently it broke with the latest 1.2 release, and I'm working on stablizing it.

It's basically a hacked version of Brian's ValetParking application, and an updated 'devstate' application to give the 'hint' or status of the parked call, in order to light up the line.

If anyone is interested in helping me stabilizing the code for 1.2.
I've got to get this working ASAP, and will probably be spending 24/7 on this issue until I have it worked out, so any and all help/bounty/programming would be beneficial.

Thanks!

Dustin Wildes
VecSector, LLC
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Postby agit8or » Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:25 am

Dustin... Let me know if you put up a bounty for this, I would definately be interested in throwing some money towards it. We have many customers that need a solution to SCA/BLA
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Postby cpdist » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:22 am

I would also pay part of the bounty.
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:25 am

Same here
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Postby mustardman » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:33 pm

Just to update everyone in case you did not hear. The latest Aastra 9133i/480i firmware (v1.3.1) now fully support BLF and BLA or SCA or whatever you call it. I just tested BLF in asterisk and it works as it should. Asterisk still does not support BLA but the functionality IS in the Aastra phones now.
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Sat Feb 18, 2006 1:47 am

I'm glad that my phones now support this, but I wish there was something I could do to encourage development of this feature on Asterisk's side. :(
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Postby agit8or » Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:07 am

The new Aastra FW supports BLF (Busy Lamp Field) which isn't really what this topic is about.
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Postby mustardman » Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:02 pm

agit8or wrote:The new Aastra FW supports BLF (Busy Lamp Field) which isn't really what this topic is about.


With the new firmware the Aastra phones supposedly now fully support BLA so how is that not part of what the topic is about. I think it IS related but what do I know, I only started the thread in the first place.
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Postby IronHelix » Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:14 pm

i heard on IRC that apparently next major * release might have SIP-B/SLA support... havent been able to find any info on this tho. Can anybody confirm? Apparently Kevin Fleming posted it to the mailing list or something but I haven't been able to find it...
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Postby mustardman » Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:29 pm

IronHelix wrote:i heard on IRC that apparently next major * release might have SIP-B/SLA support... havent been able to find any info on this tho. Can anybody confirm? Apparently Kevin Fleming posted it to the mailing list or something but I haven't been able to find it...


Kevin has commented a few times that they are looking at it. They don't seem too keen on doing it as it sounds like a big project and they may want to focus more on other things. If these comments from him are very recent then it's a good thing. If you are talking about what he said a couple months ago then I haven't seen any movement on it since then.
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Postby IronHelix » Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:36 pm

I haven't seen what this guy was talking about, according to him it was being very seriously considered for the 1.4 release. No details were provided though :(
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Postby Pasha » Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:40 am

count me in as well, will pay part of the bounty
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Postby barnz » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:58 am

I would also be very interested in participating in the bounty/testing or anything that would help the BLA implementation in asterisk.

You may contact me at barns@uk.umis.net.
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Tue Feb 21, 2006 12:16 pm

Now that we have several people willing to put some money in, how do we get Digium aware that there is money available for this cause?
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Postby agit8or » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:53 pm

mustardman wrote:
agit8or wrote:The new Aastra FW supports BLF (Busy Lamp Field) which isn't really what this topic is about.


With the new firmware the Aastra phones supposedly now fully support BLA so how is that not part of what the topic is about. I think it IS related but what do I know, I only started the thread in the first place.


I wasn't aware BLA was implemented or fully supported yet. According to Aastra's tech support, it isn't yet.
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Postby agit8or » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:54 pm

You would figure from all the posts and interest, Digium would already be aware of the need/interest in this.
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:43 pm

agit8or wrote:
mustardman wrote:
agit8or wrote:The new Aastra FW supports BLF (Busy Lamp Field) which isn't really what this topic is about.


With the new firmware the Aastra phones supposedly now fully support BLA so how is that not part of what the topic is about. I think it IS related but what do I know, I only started the thread in the first place.


I wasn't aware BLA was implemented or fully supported yet. According to Aastra's tech support, it isn't yet.


From this pdf:
"Enhanced integration to Sylantro® SIP platform through the addition of Bridged Line Appearance (BLA) feature support.
BLA allows multiple devices to share a single directory number."

Also, from here:
"Shared Call Appearances — Shared calls allow you to place a call on hold at one set and pick it up easily at another set"
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Postby baconbuttie » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:10 am

naughtyusmaximus wrote:Also, from here:
"Shared Call Appearances — Shared calls allow you to place a call on hold at one set and pick it up easily at another set"

doesn't that same page say it's dependant on the PBX platform ?? we know if it's asterisk then it doesn't work (although i've never actually tried !!)

i just read the page and thought it was fairly clear that it is only going to work for now with Broadsoft switching.
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:37 am

I believe that is because they are the only VoIP PBX that supports it at the moment.
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Postby baconbuttie » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:44 am

i know it's been said before, but it's the biggest imagined hurdle to asterisk adoption i've yet to come across. even bigger than worries about server crashes, 'cos they can be discounted with a hot-spare of everything.

yet, i've managed to provide either assurance or other methods of seeing line status and so the problem goes away. last install was worried about it, showed them the advantages of call parking and the removal of the possibility that someone could pickup a line by mistake, and they're happy. to be honest, the only person that really needed to see flashing lights for the lines was the receptionist, and now she has a FOP. everyone else wanted line lights purely to see if there was a free line available. add in 20 SIP trunks and who cares ? just dial !
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Postby agit8or » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:36 am

Exactly... When using the new Aastra FW, BLA is not implemented OR supported yet when using Asterisk. This seems to be one of the top things on most people's wish list though.
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Postby dirtymatt » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:07 pm

http://www.mail-archive.com/asterisk-users@lists.digium.com/msg130884.html looks very promising. Assuming Asterisk gets 1.4 out by July like the release schedule on digium.com says, we might not have to wait too long. *crosses fingers*
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Postby naughtyusmaximus » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:05 pm

Hmm
I like this part:
"Shared Line Appearance is much more complex to implement, but we are very seriously considering doing it in the near future, since there is so much demand."

That does sound promising, but I'm curious as to what he means by the following:

"you will _never_ be able to fully simulate a key system using Asterisk unless you seriously dumb down the Asterisk features that don't make sense for a key system... but we can at least get this part functional."
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Postby dirtymatt » Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:18 pm

naughtyusmaximus wrote:That does sound promising, but I'm curious as to what he means by the following:

"you will _never_ be able to fully simulate a key system using Asterisk unless you seriously dumb down the Asterisk features that don't make sense for a key system... but we can at least get this part functional."


I really just want the blinky lights and the ability to pickup a call that's on hold on another extension. If I had that I'd be happy.
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