PHP Fog Blog

Showcase: OpenVBX with Tropo support

OpenVBX with Tropo support is a fork of OpenVBX (an open source cloud based phone system) built to support the Tropo in addition to Twilio.



The Disruptive.io team took the Twilio-only OpenVBX version and updated to work with other phone cloud providers, including Tropo. Read the VoiceVault and Tropo in OpenVBX 2.0 article for details. They also have a brief article on How to build a Tropo App in the cloud for free in 5 minutes with AppFog.

What technologies did you use for the site?

OpenVBX was developed using CodeIgniter and in the backend uses the PHPFog MySQL database for its storage needs. OpenVBX is a cloud based Open Source Business Phone System and in this release was enhanced to now also support the Tropo API for SIP calls, Skype calls and Phono for browser to browser phone calls, as well as ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) and TTS (text to speech) in 24 languages. We also added access to the VoiceVault API for password resets using Voice Biometric Authentication.

Why did you pick PHP Fog?

We reviewed several other PHP Cloud offerings but the ease of use, scalability options and the great support we received from PHP Fog made it rise from the Cloud.

How has PHP Fog worked out for you?

So far PHP Fog has been great to work with, development was painless and we have not seen any performance issues so far at all.

What’s the best part of using PHP Fog?

We are software developers and not sys admins, using PHP Fog provides us the tools we need to do what we are good at and that is writing software not running from one server to the next trying to figure out what is going wrong.

What would you like to see improved in PHP Fog?

Most of the applications we write are build using the Yii framework and not CodeIgniter. Though it is really easy to deploy the Yii framework to PHP Fog, having Yii as a standard framework option would be helpful.

About Michael Mackus, the developer

The latest enhancements to OpenVBX were developed by Michael Mackus of Disruptive Technologies (Twitter, Facebook). Michael is a young software developer, co-founder of Disruptive Technologies and lives and works in the sunny Temecula Valley in southern California.

  • http://www.spicermatthews.com/ Spicer Matthews

    Thanks for being honest about what happened. Better, thanks for offering up a credit. Any rational person knows companies make mistakes and are willing to accept the mistakes. However, most companies are not rational with their aftermath. Being honest and paying up for the mistake is key. Kick a**! Thanks.

  • Autobot

    Still not sure what exactly went wrong, but that’s irrelevant. Thanks for being honest n dealing with it comprehensively. You’ve got a member for the life of my project. Bigi cheers!

  • http://picdish.com Haitham Al-Beik

    Could have not said it better than Spicer Mathews.  Thanks for being open on what happened and at the same time giving us a preview of great things to come from PHPFog in terms of reliability and features.

    Keep up the great work. :)

  • Sharan

    Hat off, your honest about downtime explanation. Its really great 

    Cheers !

  • http://thorerik.net Thor Erik

    *bows* thanks for being honest, I wish more companies where open about whats going on, not only about security issues but in general like this :)

  • http://tomaszsobczak.com Tomasz Sobczak

    If someone is REALLY BIG and it’s also honest and quickly responsive about failures it must be BEST ONE in near future :)

  • Bodom78

    With tech there will always be issues, anyways this is a great blog post. It could have just been some PR styled paragraph but a more human approach and explanation makes all the difference.

  • Aspcorpo

    Please, dont let this thing happen again! i will die! :’( 

  • http://www.callum-macdonald.com/ Callum Macdonald

    Awesomely handled guys, really impressive. This incident has enhanced my view of PHPFog.

  • http://nspeaks.com Navjot Singh

    Giving a $10 credit as a compensation was a nice gesture. But one thing I didn’t understand that why were free accounts offered credit? I have an account with you which is lying unsed. Still I got $10 credit. One more suggestion – you should send separate newsletters to free and paid customers in my opinion. This line at the bottom of newsletter: “You are receiving this email because you are either a paid or free customer of PHP Fog.” looks a bit unprofessional. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://tomaszsobczak.com Tomasz Sobczak

    Give someone additional credits to recompensate service downtime and they will call you unproffessional. Strange

  • http://nspeaks.com Navjot Singh

    I am not calling them unprofessional. I am just saying that offering free accounts credit who have never paid or may not pay in future, offering them $10 though very generous but I found it surprising. That’s all. And I was just suggesting that newsletters should differentiate between a paid and a free customer. At times you would like to send upgrade offers to a free customer but from what I see the newsletters being sent are the same.

  • http://tomaszsobczak.com Tomasz Sobczak

    From my experience in such a big companies its just cheaper to credit all users than sending 2 different newsletters (especially after such failure when informing users ASAP is priority). I also am sure that some users are having both types of plans (paid + free)  linked to the same account so it’s another condition for sending newsletter.

    Anyway iam really happy that i was credited even for one of my free account so i can test new paid features and probably iam a bit closer to take decision about use of paid version.

  • Anonymous

    What’s not to understand about giving free accounts credits? Just because the account is free doesn’t mean the account owners don’t utilize the account for a legitimate reason. You could easily run a small, low traffic application on the free account. Just because I don’t pay for a service that they offer for free means that I shouldn’t get something for the time that my application was down? What if I make money off of my application? Be it from ad impressions, or through a payment gateway. What if I lost money due to the outage??

    That being said, I don’t understand the logic in questioning great customer service. Most of the companies out there WOULDN’T credit their free customers. To me PHP Fog is demonstrating amazing customer service, it’s just rude to question that.

    And… I’m sorry but saying that the email looks unprofessional is a bit ridiculous in my opinion. These guys provide a great service whether you pay for the account or you have a free account. Everyone that signs up for this service knows that there is a free account, it’s not secret. They are including that line because it’s newsletter service 101. Always let the customer know why they’re receiving the email. I’m willing to bet the reason they explicitly say “… a paid or free customer …” is because when offering free accounts you going to have people that sign up for a free account and do nothing with it. I, for example, do not have a site on PHP Fog. I signed up for the free account to see what it was like and to see what the CakePHP support was like. I don’t even remember how long ago I signed up for the account, but if the emailed had just said “… because you are a customer of PHP Fog …” I seriously would have questioned whether I’m paying these guys and forgot about it (or maybe even think they’re one of sleazy companies that profits on people that forget to cancel a service and eventually get billed.)

    Suggesting they spend the time and the resources to create two separate mailing lists, no matter how simple/small of a task that is, is just nitpicking.

  • James

    Nice to see a company own up to their mistakes–everyone makes mistakes, instead of trying to claim “oh it wasn’t us, must be something on your side.” 

  • Anonymous

    Hi Navjot,

    This is Lucas, founder and CEO of PHP Fog.

    Giving our free customers credit was intentional, just because you do not pay us does not mean you do not rely on our service. Although we do not yet have a site-wide SLA, I felt it was the right thing to do as an apology since the outage did not just affect paying users. I am sorry this did not come across better in our communications. 

    Thanks for your time and understanding!

  • http://geekanddad.wordpress.com/ Dad

    bravo! well handled. perfect response – Apology, what we learned, how we are going to make our system better so this won’t happen again, or anything like it.  I especially appreciate the details about what you’re going to do because that educates us all and is more valuable than the $10 credit in the long run.

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