mogorman: Our support has experience with ABE has been far from good.
Firstly I found out after we purchased the product that the host it is on requires Internet connectivity so that it can register with Digium. I don’t recollect that being documented anywhere prior to purchase.
Then I’m told that if I want to install ABE to a different location than the default paths, I have to edit the scripts supplied by Digium manually. First of it’s Digium’s ‘installbe’ script, so I don’t see why I have to edit it, and then I’m not told what I need to edit by the support guy.
We found what we believe is a bug today. I called the tech support number to report it. I was told that I should download the latest release first (which I couldn’t do because your developers had only tested against Firefox, not IE and the download doesn’t work with IE). I think you need to incorporate IE into your QA process in your support portal. So I go ahead and download it. I was expecting to see a list of bug fixes in the release, or maybe some release notes. Nope, not there. I did notice that the effort was made to include several product brochures in PDF format however. I call tech support back and get told that they can’t help me until I install the latest version. So, I installed the latest version.
The bug behaviour pesists. So, I call tech support back again. They didn’t know what to do, so I asked if maybe I should file a bug at bugs.digium.com, and guess what they said? ‘Sure’. If I hadn’t suggested it, I doubt they would have even thought of it. So I file a bug (forget the number, cant get into the web site right now). Someone with an alias of kpfleming CLOSES the bug with a resolution comment of ‘Not a bug’.
That’s when I called tech support back. The guy I spoke to said he’d look into it.
I get the distinct impression, with due cause I believe, that no one really knows what they are doing their at Digium. I also really don’t see the value we get for our $800. You don’t supply the music on hold files (yes, one of the tech support guys said you can’t because your selling Asterisk) and it doesn’t look like you include the addon scripts either, such as the one that creates voicemail boxes. So, after I go and install ABE, I have to jerk around and install all this extra stuff manually AND I can’t install it to where I want and run it as another user.
With the open source version, you edit the makefile, change the PREFIX variable, run a make install install it where-ever the heck you want, run a chown -R on the install prefix, and VOILA!
Dont’ give me that ‘this may not be the product’ for you stuff. The support experience so far has been very unprofessional, and given all the extra steps required to install ABE, I’m really tying to understand the benefit. We expected to be able to report bugs and have some sort of format process requiring that they be assigned a priority and bugs with higher priority have certain time frames for being investigate and fixed. Once again the support guy did not know anything about this stuff. No idea…