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“There’s more than one way to do it.” I’ve been working with Asterisk for nine years, and this motto becomes more true with each release, each added feature, and each clever person who attacks a telecommunications problem with this incredibly flexible toolkit. Then, I typically point the person toward the first edition of this book, , and set him loose.
I had the fantastic opportunity to work as the community manager for the Asterisk project at Digium for two years, which gave me one of the best vantage points for seeing the scope and imagination of the worldwide development effort pushing Asterisk forward. In just a few hours of development (or longer, of course), companies can change the way they deliver products to customers, nonprofits can overhaul how their users interact with the services they offer, and individuals can learn to build a perfectly customized call-handling system for their mobile and home phones.
Applications such as voicemail, hosted conferencing, call queuing and agents, music on hold, and call parking are all standard features built right into the software.In fact, there really aren’t any areas that I can think of where Asterisk isn’t now entrenched as the default choice when there is a need for a generalized voice tool to do “stuff.”Asterisk has been emblematic of the way that open source software has changed business—and changed the world. Emailing recorded conference calls to the participants? Integration of voice services into existing Java apps? The creation and growth of were the inescapable results of the convergence of the four horsemen of the proprietary hardware apocalypse: open source development ideas, the Internet, Moore’s Law, and the plummeting costs of telecommunications.My favorite part of any Asterisk project overview or conference talk is answering questions from someone new to Asterisk. Even hardware vendors who may be frightened of Asterisk from a competitive standpoint are using it in their labs and core networks: almost all devices in the Voice-over-IP world are tested with , making it the most compatible system across vendors. Asterisk is a mature, robust software platform that permeates nearly every area of the telecommunications industry and has firmly cemented itself as one of the basic elements in any open source service delivery system.Explores the technologies in use in traditional telecom networks.This used to be a chapter in old versions of this book.