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Faxing: It’s Not Dying, It’s Evolving

Rob Thomas

Have you heard the news? Apparently, ‘Faxing is Dead!’

Hi! I’m Rob Thomas (AKA xrobau). You may have heard of me — I’m the guy that originally wrote FreePBX (along with many other things), and I’m sure that Faxing still has a strong pulse!

Here at ClearlyIP, our customers kept telling us that they wanted a simple, standardized, and – most importantly – Open API so they can send and receive faxes without needing to mess around with all the associated paraphernalia that some fax service providers want.

This is where I come in. It seemed to be a pretty simple requirement but FINDING a fax service was surprisingly hard, especially one with a simple API that didn’t require months of custom programming to implement. So I suggested we make one of our own and make it public!

At ClearlyIP, we sat down and discussed what people need most from a Fax. We realized that a lot of these Fax APIs were super over-complicated. 90% of what MOST people worry about are just a few things – The source phone number, The destination phone number, and the actual fax to send! And since we like simplicity a lot, we also thought an uncomplicated flat rate for standard access to the API would work for most people.

Now, don’t think that just because we wanted to make it simple, we’ve gone out of our way to make this limited. Just about every setting and configuration we could think of is available, and you don’t need to spend hours trying to figure them out. For example, If you want to set the Fax Station ID on a facsimile you’re sending, it’s as simple as adding: stationid=”Honest Robs Fax Service” to your request!

You may be asking, ‘What does this have to do with Open Source and Open Standards?’, and I have an excellent answer for you. Everything we have built is open and easily accessible to anyone using OpenAPI. You, and more importantly, ANYONE, can look at the API through the OpenAPI Viewer at And anyone can access the raw OpenAPI definition here

So how simple is it? So simple that even a non-programmer with the ability to copy and paste an authentication token can use it.

But that’s not all! Because people are being forced to move away from physical fax machines and telephone lines, we’ve also just released our new Fax Device ( Blog & Website ). blog website

This is a stepping stone that allows you to keep using your existing fax devices without changing anything else. You can keep your same number, your same machine, everything! And when you’re ready, you can turn on fax-to-email, email-to-fax, and activate our Fax API, all at the click of a button.

So yes, faxing is very much alive and well in many fields such as legal and medical, and clearly, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. ( Sorry, not sorry for the PUNishment).