3cx update

Ver­si­on 20 is more than just a new ver­si­on. V20 is the future of 3CX. With V20, we have rede­si­gned 3CX from the ground up – rea­dy for cur­rent and future mar­ket requirements.

Ori­gi­nal­ly, 3CX was desi­gned for on-site instal­la­ti­on (tele­pho­ne systems only) and aimed at small and medi­um-sized com­pa­nies. At a time when hard­ly anyo­ne used SIP trunks and ever­yo­ne still had a fax.

Over time, we have of cour­se added a Linux ver­si­on and cloud sup­port. Our system found many lar­ger cus­to­mers who used it at seve­ral loca­ti­ons and with a lar­ge num­ber of users. The­re was also the requi­re­ment to add SMS, live chat and Whats­App to pro­vi­de true omnich­an­nel sup­port for modern cont­act cen­ters. Our smal­ler cus­to­mers – 4SC free and com­mer­cial – con­tin­ued to have dedi­ca­ted instal­la­ti­ons, but as the need for more fre­quent secu­ri­ty updates increa­sed, mana­ging indi­vi­du­al instances beca­me an over­head for 3CX, part­ners and admi­ni­stra­tors. A mul­ti-instance ver­si­on of 3CX was requi­red and introduced.

Ver­si­on 20 has a com­ple­te­ly new admi­ni­stra­ti­on con­so­le. It is cal­led “Admin Con­so­le” and is now part of the 3CX cli­ent. Users can switch direct­ly from the 3CX cli­ent to the admin con­so­le wit­hout the need for a sepa­ra­te log­in or URL.

We have taken the oppor­tu­ni­ty to moder­ni­ze the enti­re 3CX admi­ni­stra­ti­on inter­face and focus on func­tions that are rele­vant today. We have sim­pli­fi­ed the con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on of many advan­ced functions.

With the rem­oval of the admi­ni­stra­ti­on con­so­le, two admi­ni­stra­tor types dis­ap­pear: Root admi­ni­stra­tor and hosting admi­ni­stra­tor. The­se “invi­si­ble” users had no audit logs and the­r­e­fo­re had to opt for a system admi­ni­stra­tor or remo­te admi­ni­stra­tor. The remo­te admi­ni­stra­tor role is reser­ved for off-site admi­ni­stra­ti­on, for exam­p­le by a partner.

Groups beco­me depart­ments and more efficient

A lar­ge part of V20 is the new depart­ments. Divi­si­ons replace groups, as the­se more accu­ra­te­ly repre­sent what they are. In Win­dows Acti­ve Direc­to­ry, the­se depart­ments are refer­red to as orga­nizatio­nal units. The­se depart­ments are now much more powerful – they can set their own office hours, holi­days, time zones and lan­guage set­tings. Soon they will also have their own tele­pho­ne book and CRM con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on, among other things.

Users who are mem­bers of a group inhe­rit the­se set­tings auto­ma­ti­cal­ly. Gone are the glo­bal office hours. This makes con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on and admi­ni­stra­ti­on much easier for lar­ger instal­la­ti­ons. Indi­vi­du­al exten­si­ons may con­ti­n­ue to have prio­ri­ty over the department’s ope­ning hours.

Depart­ments are also the basis of our new secu­ri­ty: you can use depart­ments and roles to defi­ne aut­ho­rizati­ons in more detail. For exam­p­le, you could have a “Sales” depart­ment that has its own admi­ni­stra­tor who is respon­si­ble for user manage­ment and IVRs. In addi­ti­on to users, you can make any system exten­si­on or exch­an­ge line a mem­ber of a group. Exch­an­ge lines are valid system-wide by default.

Remem­ber that the secu­ri­ty roles are assi­gned to each group to which a user belongs. So if your default group con­ta­ins all users and you make someone the group admi­ni­stra­tor, he/she can mana­ge all users.

If you are not inte­re­sted in using depart­ments, you can sim­ply stick to the one stan­dard group that every instal­la­ti­on of 3CX has. IVRs and other system exten­si­ons are part of this stan­dard group – by default!

New easy-to-remem­ber URL

Now that the cli­ent and admin con­so­le are mer­ged into one site, we can have an easy to remem­ber FQDN for users and admi­ni­stra­tors. The web cli­ent slug is no lon­ger requi­red, for example:

Befo­re V20: https://firma.3cx.de/webclient/

V20: https://firma.3CX.de

With the new, easy-to-remem­ber FQDN and the abili­ty for users to set their own pass­word or use SSO, the­re is less reli­ance on the wel­co­me email. Admi­ni­stra­tors do not have to resend wel­co­me e‑mails to users.

New nati­ve Win­dows softphone

Phone App 3CX

One of the big­gest inno­va­tions is a new nati­ve 3CX Win­dows soft­phone. This is an app simi­lar to the iOS or Android app, which is exe­cu­ted in con­junc­tion with the web cli­ent. The nati­ve soft­phone over­co­mes a num­ber of limi­ta­ti­ons of PWA in terms of con­trol­ling win­dow noti­fi­ca­ti­ons. Instead of a simp­le call noti­fi­ca­ti­on, a real ans­wer dia­log is dis­play­ed. In addi­ti­on, a nati­ve soft­phone enables brow­ser-inde­pen­dent audio control.

Secu­re deployment via the Micro­soft Store

The big dif­fe­rence to the cur­rent nati­ve app is that it is deli­ver­ed via the Win­dows Store – this means much more secu­ri­ty from the start: every nati­ve Win­dows app is checked for secu­ri­ty by Micro­soft, so we can avo­id situa­tions like befo­re. This also means that we can update the soft­phone sepa­ra­te­ly from the main 3CX build for bet­ter mana­gea­bi­li­ty. The soft­ware app is limi­t­ed to call and essen­ti­al PBX func­tions, just like you have in the iOS or Android app. With the 3CX soft­phone, the elec­tro­nics-based desk­top app is no lon­ger required.

New Call Mana­ger (SIP server)

V20 has a com­ple­te­ly new call mana­ger: Based on 15 years of expe­ri­ence in over 350,000 instal­la­ti­ons, we have adapt­ed the call mana­ger for the future:

We have also impro­ved secu­ri­ty, per­for­mance and test­a­bi­li­ty so that we can deve­lop faster and for lar­ger installations.

Reports

With the new call mana­ger, we were able to sim­pli­fy the call logs from which the reports are gene­ra­ted and make them more accu­ra­te. As soon as we release ver­si­on 20, we can focus on crea­ting more and more visu­al reports. We know that reports requi­re atten­ti­on. This will be one of the first things we do after the first update.

Debi­an 12

If we switch direct­ly to Debi­an 12, we get the latest Resipro­ca­te engi­ne as well as the latest ver­si­ons of Nginx and the latest secu­ri­ty patches that make the instal­la­ti­on future-pro­of. When you upgrade, you will be redi­rec­ted to Debi­an 12 in two steps: first to Debi­an 11 and then after a reboot to Debi­an 12. You are using the latest and grea­test ope­ra­ting system available today!

New powerful API

We will release two new APIs: one for the con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on side and one for the client/call con­trol side.

Rela­tively expe­ri­en­ced deve­lo­pers are requi­red for both APIs.

Trou­ble­shoo­ting

In this ver­si­on, we have con­cen­tra­ted on impro­ving trou­ble­shoo­ting and the sup­port­a­bi­li­ty of 3CX. We have signi­fi­cant­ly impro­ved the events, which now give much more infor­ma­ti­on about what is hap­pe­ning and what you can do to fix pro­blems yours­elf. The old acti­vi­ty and Wireshark logs are less important as they are both only nee­ded for advan­ced level 3 trou­ble­shoo­ting. The focus is on the event log and a page on the health check. Ano­ther gre­at fea­ture we’­re adding is a VoIP qua­li­ty moni­tor that tells you which part of the call is the problem.

Requi­re­ments

Cer­tain requi­re­ments app­ly to ver­si­on 20:

On the roadmap

The­re are a few things we are working on that won’t make it into the first version:

When?

We can’t give an exact release date, but we are plan­ning a pre­view in Octo­ber, fol­lo­wed by an alpha or beta release in the same month. A num­ber of fea­tures will be imple­men­ted in later ver­si­ons, inclu­ding Teams inte­gra­ti­on, bridges, host des­king and CFD apps.

We will be hap­py to ans­wer any que­sti­ons you may have.