Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

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by Michael W. Picher | July 2009 | Networking & Telephony

In this article by Michael W. Picher, we will discuss about dial plans in sipXecs 4.0 in detail.

The communication system's Dial Plan is a collection of Dial Rules. The purpose of the Dial Plan is to control the routing of calls based on dialed numbers. Different Dial Rules within the Dial Plan are selected by matching dialed number patterns (the user part of a SIP URL).

The following types of dial rules can be created in sipXecs:

  • Voicemail : This is used to configure the system Voicemail server.
  • Custom : This is used to build custom call routing to gateways.
  • Long Distance  : This is used to route long-distance dialed calls.
  • Local : This is used to route local phone calls to gateways.
  • Emergency : This is used for emergency call routing to gateways.
  • International : This is used for routing calls to international destinations to gateways.
  • Attendant : This is used for routing calls to auto attendants defined in the system.
  •           

Dial Plan configuration is located under the System menu. Clicking on the Dial Plan menu item will display the following page:

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

As seen in the above screenshot, there are some default dial rules already created, that allow the administration to simply add gateways and enable them. Existing Dial Rules can be edited by clicking on the rule's name.

Additionally new rules can be created with the Add New Rule  drop-down menu. Dial rules are processed in the order that they are listed so more specific dial plan entries should be listed near the top. Additionally, if a dial rule is matched and the user does not have permission to use the dial plan entry the call will fail.

Voicemail dial rule

There is typically only one voicemail per phone system. Its purpose is to control how voicemail is routed for mailboxes and how the voicemail system is accessed. The following screenshot shows the default Voicemail system settings:

 

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

 

The following options are available in Voicemail Dial Rules:

  • Enabled: Dial rules can be enabled or disabled in the system as the administrator wishes. A rule might be disabled if it is being tested or if a temporary rule gets created to address a particular problem.
  • Name: This is a descriptive name for the dial rule.
  • Description: This is a description of what the dial rule is for, to help in documentation.
  • Internal station extension length: The number of digits used for internal extensions in your installation. Add another voicemail rule if you have phones with different length extensions.
  • Voicemail extension: The number dialed to reach the voicemail server. This can be left empty to disable Voicemail.
  • Voicemail inbox prefix: The number dialed when directly dialing or forwarding a call to a user's voicemail box.
  • Voicemail type: The Voicemail type can be set to Internal Voicemail Server or Exchange Voicemail Server. Microsoft Exchange 2007 can be used as an alternative to the internal Voicemail Server. Select Exchange Voicemail Server and enter its name or IP address into the field provided. For every user or group of users, the desired voicemail server needs to be selected. Select the Permissions tab in the Users menu to do this. Choose only either the internal voicemail server or Exchange 2007 as these do not work when both confi gured on the system. Note: Due to a Microsoft problem Message Waiting Indication (MWI) does not work with Exchange 2007. Other external voicemail servers can be used instead of Exchange 2007 using this configuration.
  • Voicemail host: IP address or name of the voicemail server. Leave empty if the voicemail server runs on the same computer as the call server.
  • Schedule: All dial plan entries can be allowed to operate based on a schedule. Voicemail is typically not scheduled.

Custom dial rules

Custom dial rules are very useful for controlling special call scenarios. For example, if you are connecting a gateway to another PBX that has extensions 400: 599, a custom dial rule could be configured to send calls to that gateway when a three digit number is passed that begins with a 4 or a 5. The following screenshot show the custom Dial Rule page:

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

The following options are available for custom Dial Rules:

  • Enabled: Dial rules can be enabled or disabled in the system as the administrator wishes. A rule might be disabled if it is being tested or if a temporary rule gets created to address a particular problem.
  • Name: A descriptive name for the dial rule.
  • Description : More information about this dial rule and what it is used for.
  • Dialed Number: Defines the digits that this rule will match. Any number of prefixes and trailing digits can be added with the Add hyperlink.
    • Prefixes: Prefixes are the initial part of a dialed number (or SIP URL). A prefix can be integers (for example,2), ranges (for example, 1-5), or lists (for example, 2, 3, 4).
    • Any number of digits (Suffix): Defines how many digits will follow the prefix. Values from 0 to 18 or Any Number of Digits can be selected.
  • Required Permissions : Defines the user permissions required to access the dial rule. 900 Dialing, Attendant Directory, International Dialing, Local Dialing, Long Distance Dialing, Mobile Dialing, Record System Prompts, Toll Free, or Voice Mail.
  • Resulting Call : Defines what digits besides the dialed digits will be sent to the gateway.
    • Dial(new prefix): Allows the administrator to change the prefix that will be passed to the gateway. This entry may be left blank to drop the prefix that was detected (when Matched suffix is selected in the following drop-down menu).
    • And append (Suffix): The and append drop-down menu item can have one of three values; Nothing, Matched suffix, or Entire dialed number.
  • Schedule: A schedule can be defined that determines when the custom dial rule can be used.
  • Gateways: A list of gateways available to this dial rule. See the Adding gateway section earlier in this article for information about gateway selection and user locations.

Long distance dial rules

Long distance dial rules are used by the system to control whether the users are permitted to dial long-distance numbers or to select different gateways for least-cost routing of calls. The default long distance Dial Rule is disabled by default in the system. The rule is triggered by a number consisting of a PSTN prefix followed by the Long Distance prefix and a variable part starting with one of the patterns specified in the Area Codes field.

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

The following settings are available for long distance dial rules (click on Show Advanced Settings to see all of the dial rule's options):

  • Enabled: Dial rules can be enabled or disabled in the system as the administrator wishes. A rule might be disabled if it is being tested or if a temporary rule gets created to address a particular problem.
  • Name: A descriptive name for the dial rule.
  • Description: More information about this dial rule and what it is used for.
  • Permission : Defines the user permissions a user must have to use this dial rule.
  • Treat PSTN prefix as optional : If this is checked the caller does not have to dial the PSTN prefix (following). Dialing the PSTN prefix is optional by default. This item is only shown if Show Advanced Options is selected.
  • PSTN prefix : The prefix dialed by the caller and dropped before the call is sent to the gateway. The Long Distance prefix is always sent to the gateway.
  • Treat long distance prefix as optional: If this is checked the caller does not have to dial the long distance prefix. This item is only shown if Show Advanced Options is selected.
  • Long distance prefix: The prefix dialed by the caller and sent to the gateway.
  • Area codes  : Optional comma-separated list of prefixes that specify the dialed numbers to which this rule applies. If the Area Codes field is empty the rule will match any number starting with the PSTN prefix followed by the Long distance prefix.
  • External number length: The number of digits in the resulting number sent to the gateway. The PSTN prefix and the long distance prefix are not counted. Valid values are—Any number of digits and 5-15 digits.
  • Schedule: A schedule can be defined that determines when the custom dial rule can be used.
  • Gateways: A list of gateways available to this dial rule. See the Adding gateway section earlier in this article for information about gateway selection and user locations. The resulting call is sent to the gateways specified in the gateway list in the order gateways are listed.
Building Enterprise Ready Telephony Systems with sipXecs 4.0 Leveraging open source VOIP for a rock-solid communications system
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Local dial rules

The local dial rule is utilized to control how phone numbers are routed for calls that are deemed as local (without toll) to the system. The local dial rule is triggered by a number consisting of a PSTN prefix followed by the Long Distance prefix and a variable part starting with one of the patterns specified in the Area Codes field.

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

The following settings are available for local dial rules (click on Show Advanced Settings to see all of the Dial Rule's options):

  • Enabled: Dial rules can be enabled or disabled in the system as the administrator wishes. A rule might be disabled if it is being tested or if a temporary rule gets created to address a particular problem.
  • Name: This is a descriptive name for the dial rule.
  • Description: More information about this dial rule and what it is used for.
  • Permission: Defines the user permissions a user must have to use this dial rule.
  • Treat PSTN prefix as optional: If this is checked the caller does not have to dial the PSTN prefix (following). Dialing the PSTN prefix is optional by default. This item is only shown if Show Advanced Options is selected.
  • PSTN prefix: The prefix dialed by the caller and dropped before the call is sent to the gateway.
  • Area codes: An optional comma-separated list of prefixes that specify dialed numbers to which this rule applies.
  • External number length  : The number of digits in the resulting number sent to the gateway. The PSTN prefix and the long distance prefix are not counted.
  • Schedule: A schedule can be defined that determines when the custom dial rule can be used.
  • Gateways: A list of gateways available to this dial rule. See the Adding gateways section earlier in this article for information about gateway selection and user locations. The resulting call is sent to the gateways specified in the gateway list in the order gateways are listed.

Emergency dial rules

The Emergency dial rule is for emergency calls. Many phones can be programmed to dial 911 directly to a gateway (in case the PBX is not available). For those that can't, this dial rule will handle the call routing. This dial rule is typically first in the list of the overall Dial Plan. Administrators should take the time to evaluate requirements for 911 dialing for their locale and make sure that the system is in compliance with local laws. The Emergency Dial Rule can be seen in the following image:

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

The following settings are available for Emergency Dial Rules:

  • Enabled: Dial rules can be enabled or disabled in the system as the administrator wishes. A rule might be disabled if it is being tested or if a temporary rule gets created to address a particular problem.
  • Name : This is a descriptive name for the dial rule.
  • Description : More information about this dial rule and what it is used for.
  • Permission : Defines the user permissions a user must have to use this dial rule.
  • PSTN prefix: The optional prefix dialed by the caller and dropped before the call is sent to the gateway (in the previous example screen the user can dial 9911 or 911).
  • Schedule : A schedule can be defined that determines when the custom dial rule can be used. In general no schedule should be applied to an Emergency dial rule.
  • Gateways: A list of gateways available to this dial rule. See the Adding gateways section earlier in this article for information about gateway selection and user locations. The resulting call is sent to the gateways specified in the gateway list in the order gateways are listed. List the preferred gateway first and backup gateways below it.
Building Enterprise Ready Telephony Systems with sipXecs 4.0 Leveraging open source VOIP for a rock-solid communications system
Published: July 2009
eBook Price: $26.99
Book Price: $44.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

International dial rules

The International Dial Rule is much like the Long Distance dial rule. The rule is triggered by a number consisting of a PSTN prefix followed by the Long Distance prefix (international code) and a variable part starting with one of the patterns specified in the Area Codes field.

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

The following settings are available for International dial rules (click on Show Advanced Settings to see all of the Dial Rule's options):

  • Enabled: Dial rules can be enabled or disabled in the system as the administrator wishes. A rule might be disabled if it is being tested or if a temporary rule gets created to address a particular problem.
  • Name : This is a descriptive name for the dial rule.
  • Description : This has more information about this dial rule and what it is used for.
  • Permission  : Defines the user permissions a user must have to use this dial rule. This defaults to the International Dialing Permission.
  • Treat PSTN prefix as optional: If this is checked, the caller does not have to dial the PSTN prefix (following). Dialing the PSTN prefix is optional by default. This item is only shown if Show Advanced Options is selected.
  • PSTN prefix:    The prefix dialed by the caller and dropped before the call is sent to the gateway. The Long Distance prefix is always sent to the gateway.
  • Treat long distance prefix as optional : If checked the caller does not have to dial the long distance prefix. This item is only shown if Show Advanced Options is selected.
  • Long distance prefix: The prefix dialed by the caller and sent to the gateway. This is the International Dialing Code.
  • Area codes : Optional comma-separated list of prefixes that specify the dialed numbers to which this rule applies. If the Area Codes field is empty, the rule will match any number starting with the PSTN prefix followed by the Long Distance prefix.
  • External number length: The number of digits in the resulting number sent to the gateway. The PSTN prefix and the long distance prefix are not counted. Valid values are: Any number of digits and 5-15 digits. For the International Dial Rule, this defaults to Any number of digits.
  • Schedule: A schedule can be defined that determines when the custom dial rule can be used.
  • Gateways: A list of gateways available to this dial rule. See the Adding gateways section earlier in this article for information about gateway selection and user locations. The resulting call is sent to the gateways specified in the gateway list in the order gateways are listed. List the preferred gateway first and backup gateways below it.

Attendant dial rules

The purpose of the Attendant Dial Rule is to route calls to different auto attendants based on the time of day.

Dial Plans in sipXecs 4.0

The following settings are available for Attendant Dial Rules (click on Show Advanced Settings to see all of the Dial Rule's options):

  • Enabled: Dial rules can be enabled or disabled in the system as the administrator wishes. A rule might be disabled if it is being tested or if a temporary rule gets created to address a particular problem.
  • Name: This is a descriptive name for the dial rule.
  • Description: This has more information about this dial rule and what it is used for.
  • Extension: The extension number to be dialed to reach the auto attendant.
  • Attendant aliases : The attendant will be reachable through its extension and any of the Attendant aliases. When entering multiple aliases, separate them with spaces. These may also be DIDs if utilized in this system.
  • Default attendant : The default attendant to be routed to if neither the working time nor the holiday date is matched. This would typically be considered the after-hours attendant.
  • Working time attendant  : This is typically the daytime greeting played to all callers. When an attendant is specified fields are displayed for Sunday through Saturday in which the administrator can specify typical work hours.
  • Holiday attendant : If a holiday attendant is specified an Add hyperlink will be displayed allowing the administrator to add specific dates that require a different auto attendant message be played.

Summary

We have discussed a lot on dial plans in sipXecs 4.0.

About the Author :


Michael W. Picher

As an industry veteran with over 20 years in Information Technology consulting, Michael brings a network engineer’s perspective to the Telephony business. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine, Michael worked hard to build up a computer manufacturing business which he left in the mid ‘90s. Following the manufacturing endeavor Michael worked with two close friends to build what became one of Maine’s largest home-grown technology consulting and software development firms. After successfully selling the consulting business to a large out of state firm, Michael turned his attention to the growing IP Telephony space. Michael has helped successfully deploy some of the region’s largest IP based communications systems and the infrastructure required to support those systems.

Away from technology, Michael enjoys life with his wife Debra and son Matthew on their large Maine wild blueberry farm in rural Maine. Snowmobiling and hunting are the family choices for fun and Michael is also a long time Autocross fanatic with multiple class wins in his beloved Mini Cooper S.

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