Friday, April 18, 2008

Cogoblue, Another Visual Configurator For Asterisk

Today I read about ISPBX' announcement (below) of Cogoblue, a visual configuration tool for Asterisk. Looks like the other commercial Visual configuration tool that I know, Visual Dialplan for Asterisk going have a competitor.
I have mentioned about Visual Dialplan for Asterisk from version 1.2 to the latest version Visual Dialplan beta for linux. I have also tested the Visual Dialplan. And keep in mind that I have not compared every feature to feature of both these products but by browsing through both the applications capabilities as presented. Both promise to make life easier for people who deploy and manage Asterisk IPPBX.
One big difference is that COGOBLUE is currently available only on ISPBX hardware. The Visual Dialplan is an application for Windows and Linux both of which could be tested before purchasing. I hope ISPBX will release a hardware independence version that will be useful to millions of Asterisk users everywhere. Because, there is always a person willing to spend money on a good tool.
Everyone who design an application would love to say that they are the first to bring the product to market. But in thiscase, people have been designing visual configuration tools for a while, like AstPlanDesigner was doing this as far as 2005 (I wrote about it in 2005. The site and the Sourceforge directory for AstPlanDesigner seem to have gone under. But you can do a google search for AstPlanDesigner.)
But as complete appliances, and open, AsteriskNow, Trixbox, FreePBX, PBX In A Flash and Commercial applications like Switchvox are making Asterisk Configuration, more than glorified text editing. And all those are accompanied with good support, either paid or free.
It is always good to see products of every nature coming out because of Asterisk, even if they say that they are better than Asterisk! ;). It means that Asterisk is going places. It is also good to have open source and commercial applications to support Asterisk. So I will be paying a little more attention to Asterisk than recent past. So to start with I will be writing about another Open Source tool for Asterisk configuration tool, visual as well.

I learned about Cogoblue from VoIPGuides. Here is the text from the press release of Cogoblue extracted from the published PDF.
ISPBX announces the next generation in Asterisk configuration, with CogoBlue the first 'drag and drop' GUI interface on the ISPBX series of PBX appliances, bringing a new level of simplicity. ISPBX LLC, a New Jersey based systems developer, introduces a line of IP-PBX systems featuring COGOBLUE.
COGOBLUE allows you to configure your system just by dragging and dropping visual icons on a display pane. This really is the next generation of Asterisk GUI tools. The CogoBlue "Drag and Drop" interface makes installations faster and easier. The visual objects immediately convey the configuration. This reduces the possibility of unintended results stemming from a "simple" change. No longer will profitability be eaten up by technical support due to configuration mistakes. ISPBX offers a series of PBX models targeted for small to medium sized businesses. Dealers installing these appliances can quickly implement call routing and call processing without the need to manually edit configuration files. Modifications are implemented consistently. This eliminates the need to re-learn and re-work previous configurations as often experienced with rotating technical support staff. The results are shorter support time for users and increased profitability for you.
ISPBX Managing Partner John Signorello said, “In developing CogoBlue, we took a radically different approach from Trixbox and Digium. Instead of another glorified word processor, we developed a rich, intuitive, visual model for configuring PBX systems. It's simple, elegant and very powerful. For dealers, this translates to systems that are easy to configure, easy to modify and return higher profit margins.”

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