Preface

This is a book for anyone who is new to Asterisk.

Asterisk is an open source, converged telephony platform, which is designed primarily to run on Linux. Asterisk combines over 100 years of telephony knowledge into a robust suite of tightly integrated telecommunications applications. The power of Asterisk lies in its customizable nature, complemented by unmatched standards compliance. No other PBX can be deployed in so many creative ways.

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. Moreover, Asterisk can integrate with other business technologies in ways that closed, proprietary PBXs can scarcely dream of.

Asterisk can appear quite daunting and complex to a new user, which is why documentation is so important to its growth. Documentation lowers the barrier to entry and helps people contemplate the possibilities.

Produced with the generous support of O'Reilly Media, Asterisk: The Future of Telephony was inspired by the work started by the Asterisk Documentation Project. We have come a long way, and this book is the realization of a desire to deliver documentation which introduces the most fundamental elements of Asterisk - the things someone new to Asterisk needs to know. It is the first volume in what we are certain will become a huge library of knowledge relating to Asterisk.

This book was written for, and by, the Asterisk community.

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