Digium Debuts Asterisk 13 Open Source Communications Software

Refined over the last year, Asterisk 13 is a developer-friendly platform for adding media capabilities to any business application.

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Digium, the Asterisk Company, announced the release of Asterisk 13, a production-ready Long Term Support (LTS) release that builds upon the changes made in the previous development release, Asterisk 12.

Refined over the last year, Asterisk 13 is a developer-friendly platform for adding media capabilities to any business application.

Asterisk 13 provides hundreds of new features and improvements made since the previous LTS release including the new and improved Asterisk REST Interface (ARI), a re-architected bridging and media core, remote administration enhancements and numerous improvements to its PJSIP-based SIP channel driver.

"Any application that is exposed to the public Internet is exposed to hacking attempts or other malicious attacks," Matt Jordan, project lead for Asterisk, told eWEEK. "This is true of open-source software and closed-source software. Asterisk is the most popular and established open-source communications engine in the world. Millions of communications systems are based on Asterisk, and have prospered from its robustness and security."

Jordan noted, however, that like any system, the implementation of the system is the most important factors in its security, something that is true of both open-source and closed-source software.

"Any software, deployed incorrectly, is vulnerable to attacks," he said. "Asterisk benefits from having a large and vibrant community, with a large amount of information available on how to secure it. Due to its power and flexibility--and the open nature of the project--there are actually many more things that can be done to secure an Asterisk-based system than perhaps for any other communications solution. But as is always the case, the implementation of these features is the key to securing any system."

Asterisk 13 includes an improved bridging and media core that greatly simplifies call tracking for developers using Channel Event Logging (CEL) and Asterisk Manager Interface (AMI) capabilities, each of which have been improved.

For users, the bridging core of Asterisk 13 features improved transfer handling, including the ability to perform attended-transfers into multiple parties. Other new features include the conveyance of security events over AMI, allowing systems to monitor the security state of Asterisk in real time.

Resource List Subscription (RLS) support has been added to the PJSIP stack and the PJSIP stack has been improved to allow clustering of shared device state and message waiting indicators between multiple Asterisk systems.

"Open-source communications software is evolving from platforms that are deployed and controlled via configuration to engines that provide media application services through rich APIs," Jordan explained. "This provides business application developers the tools necessary to integrate communications with any business process, regardless of their complexity. Asterisk is at the forefront of this change, with powerful APIs--such as the Asterisk REST Interface--that make it easier to build custom communications applications than ever before."