Asterisk: The Future of Telephony
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2005
Pages: 408

It may be a while before Internet telephony with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) reaches critical mass, but there's already tremendous movement in that direction. A lot of organizations are not only attracted to VoIP's promise of cost savings, but its ability to move data, images, and voice traffic over the same connection. Think of it: a single Internet phone call can take information sharing to a whole new level.

That's why many IT administrators and developers are actively looking to set up VoIP-based private telephone switching systems within the enterprise. The efficiency that network users can reach with it is almost mind-boggling. And cheap, if the system is built with open source software like Asterisk. There are commercial VoIP options out there, but many are expensive systems running old, complicated code on obsolete hardware. Asterisk runs on Linux and can interoperate with almost all standards-based telephony equipment. And you can program it to your liking.

Asterisk's flexibility comes at a price, however: it's not a simple system to learn, and the documentation is lacking. Asterisk: The Future of Telephony solves that problem by offering a complete roadmap for installing, configuring, and integrating Asterisk with existing phone systems. Our guide walks you through a basic dial plan step by step, and gives you enough working knowledge to set up a simple but complete system.

What you end up with is largely up to you. Asterisk embraces the concept of standards-compliance, but also gives you freedom to choose how to implement your system. Asterisk: The Future of Telephony outlines all the options, and shows you how to set up voicemail services, call conferencing, interactive voice response, call waiting, caller ID, and more. You'll also learn how Asterisk merges voice and data traffic seamlessly across disparate networks. And you won't need additional hardware. For interconnection with digital and analog telephone equipment, Asterisk supports a number of hardware devices.

Ready for the future of telephony? We'll help you hook it up.

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oreillyAsterisk: The Future of Telephony

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Exelent Asterisk primer

By Arne

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Asterisk: The Future of Telephony:

Before I started to use this book I had some experience with Asterisk at home (Now trixbox).

It might be true as one of the other revies mentiones that you should have some Asterisk experience before using the book as trobleshooting, etc is not to well covered.

One other topic buyers should know is that this book does not cover complex or automated distros like Asterisk at home or Trixbox.

On the oyher hand this book gives an outstanding and quite exelent basic description of how a manually configured Asterfisk server work and how to configure.

I could use Asterisk before I red this book, but I did not understand it. After this book I think I understand Asterisk, in such a way that I can do my own ip telephony server design, and make things work as I want them to.

The Asterisk wariant I used to test out most things covered in the book were Astlinux. It is a very good Asterisk/Linux distro and I will recoment to use it together with the book.

To start with, I think this book were a bit hard to get started with, but now to day, I which there would be a follow up, with more advanced topics, starting where this book ended.

For such a book there will allways be things that could have been done even bether, but all in all, if I should pick out a few of the best Linux related books I have red the latest ten years, this book would be one of them.

For me this book has been a cornerstone and a fundament for understanding the Asterisk server.


Great introduction to Asterisk

By Danny Desbiens

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Asterisk: The Future of Telephony:

I picked up this book due to my interst in the telecom field. I was quite curious to see how this software base PBX can compare to today's Nortel and Avaya production PBXs.

I am currently in the process of building my Asterisk PBX and see what its potential is. This book has guided me through the entire process. I must hand it to the authors, they took a step back and paid close attention to detail and the basics. However, the further you read on, you begin to really understand the capabilities of this powerful software.

If you are a beginner or an advanced user, this book is surely to teach you something. Thank you to the authors who have opened my eyes to the breakthrough technology of VOIP.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


A Reference Book for New(ish) Asterisk Users

By Tony Batty, Northumberland, UK

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Asterisk: The Future of Telephony:

I've recently become interested in the VOIP revolution that is currently building and having a spare old computer was interested in giving Asterisk a try. However, initial attempts have less successful than I'd hoped, to be honest I've not yet managed to get a system running! I think that classes me very much as a newbie, so I jumped at the opportunity to buy this first book on Asterisk from such a respected publisher.

When I read the preface that 'This is a book for anyone who is new to Asterisk' and that I was clearly one of the intended audience, I sat down expectantly and read. Unfortunately, I came away a little disappointed, whilst the book contains a wealth of detail about the applications, AGI, VOIP channels etc, as a newbie I still have too many unanswered questions. A particular area where the book is weak is in the debugging and trouble-shooting area, which is virtually non-existent, and given the complexity of Asterisk, newbies will inevitably have some initial difficulty. I would also have liked to have seen a simple flow chart included that explained the flow of a call through the key modules, as you might see in a Postfix reference book for instance.

I would suggest that buyers need to have some experience of Asterisk to get the best out of this book and I am sure I will get a great deal of useful information and help from this book once I have achieved some basic Asterisk skills.

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