Over the past few weeks, I have been working with the popular telephony software asterisk and all the stack that stands on top of it. I have (in coordination with a friend) setup asterisk, FreePBX, a2billing, fax for asterisk and vicidial on several production servers. Combined, these provide a complete telephony solution for a wide range of commercial organizations. As a side note, I might be writing tutorials about some of these things in the future.
One of most problematic of these technologies was getting fax to work with asterisk. We tried many variations and finally found out that Digium’s Fax for Asterisk, or Free Fax for Asterisk (FFA) is currently the most stable and easy to set up. However, it does not provide an easy way to let your end users send faxes if they don’t have SIP enabled fax machines. What’s more, there is no software available that would allow you to do that! So, in one of our projects, we had to come up with a custom interface and we decided to open it up so that many others who need it can benefit from our efforts and hopefully build on it.
We call this PHP-based script Web Fax for Asterisk and are releasing it under GPLv3. For those of you who just want to get the code, you can get it from sourceforge.net. You can also get it from the SF SVN repo if you want to contribute. (In that case, gimme a shout and I’ll allow you to commit.)
For those of you who want to learn how it’s made, please read on.