Building Telephony Systems With Asterisk
An easy introduction to using and configuring Asterisk to build feature-rich telephony systems for small and medium businesses
By Barrie Dempster, David Gomillion
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Final Release Date: September 2005
Pages: 176

In Detail

Asterisk is a powerful and flexible open source framework for building feature-rich telephony systems. As a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) which connects one or more telephones, and usually connects to one or more telephone lines, Asterisk offers very advanced features, including station-to-station calls, line trunking, call distribution, call detail rerecords, and call recording.

Asterisk can be used to provide Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The power and flexibility of a programmable phone system gives us the ability to respond to our customers in meaningful ways.

Asterisk has also a fully-functional voicemail system included. It supports voicemail contexts so that multiple organizations can be hosted from the same server. It supports different time zones so that users can track when their phone calls come in. It even provides the option to notify the recipient of new messages via email. In fact, we can even attach the message in audio!

Finally, Asterisk is a Voice Over IP (VoIP) system. The benefits of VoIP are numerous. For instance, we can have multiple users using the same Asterisk service from a variety of locations; we can have users in the local office using PSTN phones or IP phones; we can have remote VoIP users; we can even have entire Asterisk systems operated and run completely separately but with integrated routing; We can have an extension anywhere we have a reasonably fast Internet connection, which means employees can have an extension on the phone system at home if they have a broadband connection. The benefits are too many to list.

Flexibility often means complexity, and this is true in the case of Asterisk. This book is all you need to understand and use Asterisk to build the telephony system that meets your need. You will learn how to use the many features that Asterisk provides you with.

This book shows how to build a telephony system for your home or business using the free and open source application, Asterisk. 'Building a Telephony System with Asterisk' takes you step-by-step through the process of installing and configuring Asterisk. It shows you how to make a deployment plan, and how to create a dial plan.

The book also presents example configurations for using Asterisk in three different scenarios: for small and home offices, small businesses, and Hosted PBX.

With an engaging style and excellent way of presenting information, this book makes a complicated subject very easy to understand.

Read Chapter 2: Making a Plan for Deployment [164KB]

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at anyone who is interested in building a powerful telephony system using the free and open source application, Asterisk, without spending many thousands of dollars buying a commercial and often less flexible system.

This book is suitable for the novice and those new to Asterisk and telephony. Telephony or Linux experience will be helpful, but not required.

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