Now that we’ve finished with Call Detail Records, it is time to start a new topic. That means that over the next couple of tutorials we will be taking a look at Asterisk Call Files – what are they, what do they do and how do we use them?
Asterisk Call Files are structured files which can be used to make automated outbound calls. Once configured, the files contain a set of commands which are then be executed once the file is placed in the correct directory.
Commonly used for administrator alarming notification purposes, Asterisk Call Files provide a simple, easy to use alternative to outbound call automation. Rather than using the Asterisk Manager Interface (AMI) or Asterisk Gateway Interface (AGI), using Call Files provides a less complex method to automate outbound calls. Call Files can also be used to automate batch calling, although it is not recommended as other methods are more effective. This is due to the fact that a single Asterisk Call File can only place one call.
When configuring Call Files, it is a good idea to check that the
pbx_spool.so module is loaded. Per default it should have been loaded when you compiled your Asterisk. However, if you are using an older version or you modified the modules loaded during the compilation, then it may not be. Thankfully, it is simple enough to check. Simply enter the Asterisk CLI and use the following command:
This will generate a list of loaded modules, and if you can’t find the
pbx_spool.so then you will need to load it otherwise your Call Files will not work.
Next you will need to create your Asterisk Call File. The file can be named anything you like – we named ours
test.call – but you should give yours a name that is comparable to the desired function.
Below you can find a simple call file configuration example which we have “borrowed” from voip-info.org. The below configuration will call the channel described, start an application (in this case playback) once the channel is answered and then whatever is configured under data, in this case the file name of the file to playback.
Channel: SIP/trunkname/18882223333 Application: Playback Data: hello-world
In order to match our setup, we modified the configurations a little. Doing so also illustrated how the channel setting can be used to call any peer and not only the SIP trunk as in example from voip.info.
Channel: SIP/james Application: Playback Data: tt-monkeys
It is a very good idea to edit and save the file in the Asterisk spool directory (
/var/spool/asterisk/outgoing/)once the file is saved Asterisk will read it, perform the commands and then delete the file.
Obviously, this would be a real pain as having done the work to configure the file, you will lose the configurations as soon as they are finished. Therefore, it is advised to save the file elsewhere and then copy it to the spool directory when you need it as shown below:
cp test.call /var/spool/asterisk/outgoing/.
This will copy the file “test.call” to the Asterisk spool directory – don’t forget the fullstop (.) as this tells the command to execute. As soon as it file is copied, Asterisk will then perform the actions detailed within and in our case the monkeys will be played back once the channel is answered.
Another top tip is that by copying the file as opposed to moving it, the file can be reused in the future should you need to.
pascom are the developers of the enterprise grade mobydick VoIP phone system software. As an open standards IP PBX, mobydick offers a cost effective alternative to proprietary solutions which provides businesses with a fully featured Unified Communications solution to boost productivity, increase mobility and reduce costs.
For more on our mobydick phone system and to arrange a free personalised demo, give us a call on +49 991 29691 200 / +44 203 1379 964 or contact us via our website. Alternatively, take mobydick for a test spin with our free community download and find out how your business can benefit.
Until next time – Happy VoIPing!
Publish Date: June 22, 2016 5:00 AM
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