The book is organized into these chapters:

Chapter 1, A Telephony Revolution

This is where we chop up the kindling and light the fire. Welcome to Asterisk!

Chapter 2, Asterisk Architecture

Discusses the file structure of an Asterisk system.

Chapter 3, Installing Asterisk

Covers obtaining, compiling, and installing Asterisk.

Chapter 4, Initial Configuration Tasks

Describes some initial configuration tasks for your new Asterisk system. This chapter goes over some of the configuration files required for all Asterisk installations.

Chapter 5, User Device Configuration

Provides guidance on configuring Asterisk to allow devices such as telephones to connect and make calls.

Chapter 6, Dialplan Basics

Introduces the heart of Asterisk, the dialplan.

Chapter 7, Outside Connectivity

Discusses how to configure Asterisk to connect to other systems, such as other Asterisk servers, Internet telephony service providers, or the plain old telephone network.

Chapter 8, Voicemail

Covers the usage of one of the most popular applications included with Asterisk, the voicemail system.

Chapter 9, Internationalization

Focuses on issues that an Asterisk administrator should be aware of when deploying a system outside of North America.

Chapter 10, Deeper into the Dialplan

Goes over some more advanced dialplan concepts.

Chapter 11, Parking and Paging

Describes the usage of two popular telephony features included with Asterisk, call parking and paging.

Chapter 12, Internet Call Routing

Covers techniques for routing calls between different administrative domains on the Internet.

Chapter 13, Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) Queues

Discusses how to build call queues in Asterisk.

Chapter 14, Device States

Introduces the concept of device states and how they can be used as presence indicators.

Chapter 15, The Automated Attendant

Covers how to build a menuing system using the Asterisk dialplan.

Chapter 16, Relational Database Integration

Discusses various ways that Asterisk can be integrated with a database.

Chapter 17, Interactive Voice Response

Goes over how Asterisk can be used to build applications that act on input provided by a caller.

Chapter 18, External Services

Provides instructions on how to connect to external services including LDAP, calendars, IMAP for voicemail, XMPP, Skype, and text-to-speech.

Chapter 19, Fax

Discusses the various options for integrating sending and receiving faxes with an Asterisk system.

Chapter 20, Asterisk Manager Interface (AMI)

Introduces a network API for monitoring and controlling an Asterisk system.

Chapter 21, Asterisk Gateway Interface (AGI)

Introduces the Asterisk API that allows call control to be implemented in any programming language.

Chapter 22, Clustering

Discusses a number of approaches for clustering multiple Asterisk servers together once the demands of a deployment exceed the capabilities of a single server.

Chapter 23, Distributed Universal Number Discovery (DUNDi)

Covers a peer-to-peer protocol native to Asterisk that can be used for call routing.

Chapter 24, System Monitoring and Logging

Introduces some of the interfaces available for logging and monitoring an Asterisk system.

Chapter 25, Web Interfaces

A survey of some of the web interfaces that complement an Asterisk installation.

Chapter 26, Security

Discusses some common security issues that Asterisk administrators should be aware of.

Chapter 27, Asterisk: A Future for Telephony

In conclusion, we discuss some of the things we expect to see from open source telephony in the near future.

Appendix A, Understanding Telephony

Explores the technologies in use in traditional telecom networks. This used to be a chapter in old versions of this book. Although not directly relevant to Asterisk we felt that it might still be useful to some readers, so we’ve left it in the book as an appendix.

Appendix B, Protocols for VoIP

Delves into all the particularities of Voice over IP. This was also a chapter in old versions of this book.

Appendix C, Preparing a System for Asterisk

Contains information you should be aware of and take into consideration when planning an Asterisk deployment.