Upgrade from v14 to 15.5

Project Description

Upgrade from v14 to 15.5

If it is newer, it must be better right?  3CX puts a gentle pressure equivalent to having your neck stepped on when it comes to upgrading.  "Upgrade now to take advantage of bug fixes", "Get the newest features."  Oh and by the way v14 is no longer supported.

What was supposed to be easy was not as simple. 3CX listed what was new but failed to mention what they took out.

  • Customer was using Voip Innovations as SIP Trunk Carrier that was working fine
  • Customer was using the forwarding feature on their phone that was working fine

Now 3CX does not have a true upgrade but rather a uninstall and reinstall new version.  The backup data import takes basic information and re-maps in essence.  

No where in the documentation did it say that Voip Innovations (VI) that was once a supported carrier is no longer supported.  This means, instead of a pre-configured profile we must add as a Generic Profile which took a little longer to configure and figure out the change. Since VI has inbound,outbound and failover trunks we needed to create an Inbound and Outbound SIP Trunk inside the menu.  In the firewall rules for inbound you specify which DID goes to each extension.  Now here is when the problem kicks in.

  • 8 channel SIM license
  • 3-4 active calls and calls route correctly
  • 5th call OR sometimes randomly the call would roll to the outbound trunk with default rules setup.

In this situation we had to try multiple settings with no luck. Hence the call into 3CX support.  They wanted the capture and tech support file that we generated and sent to them.  But wait, "We cannot support you because you have custom phone templates and we do not support systems with custom templates."    OK, lets sidestep for a moment on another issue that came before this one.

The Yealink phones on v12.5 and v14 allowed you to Forward a call direct from the phone. Select forward and the number or extension and your good to go.  Well 3CX failed to mention this feature was removed going into v15.  Now who doesn't use forwarding? As a colleague mentioned in a blog post, 'You have the Bill of Rights that are 10 things that cannot be changed in the constitution. You have the 10 Commandements, the basic rules to live by.  Then you have business phone systems.  You DO NOT remove the basic feature."  It is similar to having a car then deciding to remove the passenger seat on newer models.  Someday I may hear a popping sound in the far distance and know that someone at 3CX removed their head out of their keister.  

Ok Google, find me the answer.  I come to the 3CX forum and find someone had found a fix by editing the template code  bw.feature_key_sync = 1 to  bw.feature_key_sync = 0.  This action creates a custom template, therefore negates any official support from 3CX.  They also force a firmware upgrade on Yealink that no longer has a manual fix directly in the phone leaving the custom template as the only option.  So to keep my sarcasm skills sharp, I asked, "You mean to tell me that you force us to upgrade, remove a feature, offer no fix, fail to notify that feature was removed and the only feasible work around negates any support help for future issues?"   I'm not sure what aggravates me the most.  The act itself or the smugness and condescending attitude 3CX support has shown on this matter.  Others obviously find it a problem so no it is not just me acting like a snowflake.

Furthermore they had to rub it in that the SIP Trunk provider (VI) is not a supported provider.  Well, they WERE a supported provider in previous versions but the changes you made in v15 and forcing us to upgrade now caused WHAT WAS working to STOP working.  But this is my problem now how?  The purpose of this system was to reduce administration time but now need to spend time researching updates that have limited documentation that do not have a list of features removed.  Seriously guys, call forwarding from the phone, had to be removed?  Maybe one day you'l come out of work to find your vehicle manufacturer decided to remove 1 of your tires.

Now back from my side step.  Turns out that if a SIP Trunk sees heavy traffic on an IP it would route to a secondary backup.  So inside 3CX SIP Trunk setting I need to either;

  1. Specify no inbound allowed on backup trunk
  2. Use an outbound only trunk
  3. Duplicate inbound rules for both trunks
  4. Switch to a supported provider

Well No 4 is not happening.  I would abandon 3CX before giving up VoiP Innovations. 3 is tedious but works. Number 2 is an option but their goes your inbound and outbound fail-over.  Have to add another trunk.  Number one turned out to be the least painful and so far so good.  I am sure with more time I could think of a few other ways.

Lessons Learned

Hold off on any upgrades for min 6 months and read the blogs and forums for complaints submitted from the ones that couldn't wait.


support from colleagues
increased my need for a drink


equipment incompatibility
steep learning curve
large no. of people impacted
hard to meet schedule

Technologies Used

Technical Skills Used

  • Chicken or Egg Logic Problem Solving
  • Chicago (IL-US)41.85-87.65
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