Dan York Clarifies Skype’s Role within Asterisk

Following up on Thursday’s announcement of Skype for Asterisk for which details were posted on Skype Journal late Thursday, Dan York has published a more technical post, “Clarifying how Asterisk could possibly be used as a Skype-to-SIP gateway“, discussing how the Asterisk PBX treats incoming and outgoing calls, effectively independently of how the Asterisk PBX is accessed either internally or externally or is directed to make outbound calls.

However, the point I was making in my post yesterday was this announcement has the potential to turn Asterisk into a two-way “Skype-to-SIP” gateway. Asterisk – with the “Skype For Asterisk” module installed – could be deployed into a network where it could provide interconnection between Skype users and SIP users.

Dan goes on in three sections (with diagrams):

  • Asterisk Interconnection Explained
  • Diving a Bit Deeper
  • So How *Might* This Work with ‘Skype for Asterisk”

And, in a concluding section “So What About ‘Skype-to-SIP’ states:

The point of my post yesterday was now that two-way Skype connectivity becomes just another channel driver for Asterisk, you have all sorts of interconnection possibilities. As a standalone system, you could connect SIP phones on an Asterisk server out to the Skype cloud.

If you’re into learning more technical detail of how Asterisk handles and directs inbound and outbound calling, Dan’s post is an excellent primer.

Also check out Dan’s previous post “More on how ‘Skype for Asterisk” actually works…” where he quotes an update post from Tom Keating and concludes:

If I understand this correctly, this has the potential to be huge! As far as I know, all the existing “Skype-to-PBX” solutions use the rather kludgey solution of basically running multiple instances of the Skype client on the system. Each “Skype trunk” is essentially just a separate instance of the Skype client. As Stefan Öberg indicates, there are serious scaling issues with this approach.

However, this has been the only options developers have had! Skype has not – prior to this (if it works how it sounds like it works) – provided any “back-end API” that would let a system interact directly with the Skype P2P cloud. The only API developers have had is the client API that lets them interact with a local Skype client. So that’s how all the “Skype-to-X” products have been built.

Does this mean that Skype has exposed some additional API that is available through this Skype For Asterisk product? If so, this could be VERY interesting…

Interesting times ahead.

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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