trixbox CE Functions and Features

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trixbox CE 2.6

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Implementing, managing, and maintaining an Asterisk-based telephony system

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by Kerry Garrison | February 2009 | Linux Servers Networking & Telephony Open Source

Every commercial PBX system has its own set of advanced features that are activated by key commands, also known as vertical service activation codes. In this article by Kerry Garrison, we will look at the standard and advanced features of trixbox CE. We will even look at how to add our own custom features to the system.

Standard features

The following sections will break down the list of available features by category. While the codes listed are the default settings, they can be modified in the PBX Configuration tool using the Feature Codes module. These features are invoked by dialing the code from a registered SIP or IAX endpoint, or via an analog extension plugged into an FXS port. Some of the following features require the appropriate PBX Configuration tool module to be installed.

Call forwarding

The call forwarding mechanism is both powerful and flexible. With the different options, you can perform a number of different functions or even create a basic find-me/follow-me setup when using a feature like call forward on no answer, or send callers to your assistant if you are on a call using call forward on busy.

Function

Code

Call Forward All Activate

*72

Call Forward All Deactivate

*73

Call Forward All Prompting

*74

Call Forward Busy Activate

*90

Call Forward Busy Deactivate

*91

Call Forward Busy Prompting Deactivate

*92

Call Forward No Answer/Unavailable Activate

*52

Call Forward No Answer/Unavailable Deactivate

*53

Call waiting

The call waiting setting determines whether a call will be put through to your phone if you are already on a call. This can be useful in some call center environments where you don't want agents to be disturbed by other calls when they are working with clients.

Function

Code

Call Waiting Activate

*70

Call Waiting Deactivate

*71

Core features

The core features control basic functions such as transfers and testing inbound calls. Simulating an inbound call is useful for testing a system without having to call into it. If you don't have any trunks hooked up, it is the easiest way to check your call flow. Once you have telephone circuits connected, you can still use the function to test your call flow without having to take up any of your circuits.

Function

Code

Call Pickup

**

Dial System FAX

666

Simulate Incoming Call

7777

Active call codes

These codes are active during a call for features like transferring and recording calls. While some phones have some of these features built into the device itself, others are only available via feature codes. For example, you can easily do call transfers using most modern SIP phones, like Aastra's or Polycom's, by hitting the transfer button during a call.

Function

Code

In-Call Asterisk Attended Transfer

*2

In-Call Asterisk Blind Transfer

##

Transfer call directly to extension's mailbox

*+Extension

Begin recording current call

*1

End Recording current call

*2

Park current call

#70

Agent features

The agent features are used most often in a Call Center environment to monitor different calls and for agents to log in and log out of queues.

Function

Code

Agent Logoff

*12

Agent Logon

*11

ChanSpy (Monitor different channels)

555

ZapBarge (Monitor Zap channels)

888

Blacklisting

If you have the PBX Configuration tool Blacklist module installed, then you have the ability to blacklist callers from being able to call into the system. This is great for blocking telemarketers, bill collectors, ex-girl/boyfriends, and your mother-in-law.

Function

Code

Blacklist a number

*30

Blacklist the last caller

*32

Remove a number from the blacklist

*31

Day / Night mode

If you have the PBX Configuration tool Day/Night mode module installed, then you can use a simple key command to switch between day and night IVR recordings. This is great for companies that don't work off a set schedule everyday but want to manually turn on and off an off-hours greeting.

Function

Code

Toggle Day / Night Mode

*28

Do not disturb

Usually, do-not-disturb functions are handled at the phone level. If you do not have phones with a DND button on them, then you can install this module to enable key commands to toggle Do Not Disturb on and off.

Function

Code

DND Activate

*78

DNS Deactivate

*79

Info services

The info services are some basic functions that provide information back to you without changing any settings. These are most often used for testing and debugging purposes.

Function

Code

Call Trace

*69

Directory

#

Echo Test

*43

Speak your extension number

*65

Speaking Clock

*60

Intercom

If you have a supported model of phone then you can install the PBX Configuration tool module to enable paging and intercom via the telephone's speakerphones.

Function

Code

Intercom Prefix

*80

User Allow Intercom

*54

User Disallow Intercom

*55

Voicemail

If you want to access your voicemail from any extension then you need to choose 'Dial Voicemail System', otherwise using 'Dial My Voicemail' will use the extension number you are calling from and only prompt for the password.

Function

Code

Dial Voicemail System

*98

Dial My Voicemail

*97

Adding new features

The ability to add new features is built into the system. One common thing to do is to redirect 411 calls to a free service like Google's free service. The following steps will walk you through how to add a custom feature like this to your system.

Begin by going to the Misc Destination module and enter a Description of the destination you want to create.

Next, go to Misc Application to create the application. Here we will enter anotherDescription and the number we want to use to dial the application, make sure the feature is enabled, and then point to the destination that we created in the previous step.

As you can see, any code can be assigned to any destination and a custom destination can consist of anything you can dial. This allows you to create many different types of custom features within your system.

Voicemail features

trixbox CE comes with the Asterisk Mail voicemail system. Asterisk mail is a fairly robust and useful voicemail system. The Asterisk Mail voicemail system can be accessed by any internal extension or by dialing into the main IVR system.

As we saw earlier in this article, there are two ways of accessing the voicemail system, 'Dial Voicemail' and 'Dial My Voicemail'. To access the main voicemail system, we can dial *98 from any extension; we will then be prompted for our extension and our voicemail password.

If we dial *97 for the 'My Voicemail' feature, the system will use the extension number you dialed in from and only prompt you for your voicemail password.

The following tables will show you the basic structure of the voicemail menu system:

Voicemail main menu options

Press:

  • 1 to Listen to (New) Messages
  • 2 to Change Folders
  • 0 for Mailbox Options
  • * for Help
  • # to Exit

Listen to messages

Press:

  • 5 to Repeat Message
  • 6 to Play Next Message
  • 7 to Delete Message
  • 8 to Forward to another user
    Enter Extension and press #
    • 1 to Prepend a Message to forwarded message
    • 2 to Forward without prepending
  • 9 to Save Message
  • 0 for New Messages
  • 1 for Old Messages
  • 2 for Work Messages
  • 3 for Family Messages
  • 4 for Friends Messages
  • * for Help
  • # to Cancel/Exit to Main Menu

Change folders

Press:

  • 0 for New Messages
  • 1 for Old Messages
  • 2 for Work Messages
  • 3 for Family Messages
  • 4 for Friends' Messages
  • # to Cancel/Exit to Main Menu

Mailbox options

Press:

  • 1 to Record your Un-Available Message
  • 2 to Record your Busy message
  • 3 to Record your Name
  • 4 to Change your Password
  • # to Cancel/Exit to Main Menu
trixbox CE 2.6 Implementing, managing, and maintaining an Asterisk-based telephony system
Published: February 2009
eBook Price: $26.99
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User area

trixbox CE features a user area, which has several tools that are designed for non-administrators. These tools include:

  • User Portal:
    • This is for the individual users to manage their own voicemail and settings.
  • MeetMe:
    • Users with access can create scheduled conference bridges.
  • Flash Operator Panel:
    • This is a web-based tool that will show the status of the extensions, trunks, queues, and parked calls. Users that know the password can transfer calls between extensions.

User portal

Any user can log into his/her user portal with his/her extension number and voicemail password. When you first access the user portal, it will ask you for your Login and Password.

Once you have logged in, you will see a menu on the left and a list of available voicemails in the middle. You can select multiple messages and then use the pull-down menu to delete, move, or forward the messages. If you have recorded calls, the interface is very much the same and you access those recorded calls though the Call Monitor link in the left-hand menu.

Under the Phone Features menu, you will find options to enable and disable Call Waiting and Do Not Disturb. You can also configure different types of Call Forwarding from the same screen.

If an administrator has already enabled and set up Follow-Me options for an extension, then the user can modify his or her own options. A user can enable or disable his or her Follow-Me settings, change the list of where a call will go during the Follow-Me process, set the ring times and whether or not to Use Confirmation (which will require the user to press 1) to accept a call when the call is answered from an outside line. This will help keep calls from going into a user's cell phone's voicemail and ensure that all voicemails remain on the phone system.

The Locator system is more like a personal digital receptionist as it allows each user to create his or her own call menu that can route users to different places. The 0, 1, and 2 keys can be programmed to either call another extension or phone number, as well as go to the company operator (configured in General Settings) or to send the call to the Follow-Me system.

If the user is going to use the Locator function, then their voicemail greeting has to tell the caller about the options and what keys are available to press.

The Settings menu contains the settings for the user to change his or her Voicemail Password, and set up Email Notification, Audio Format, and Call Monitor Settings.

MeetMe

The Web- MeetMe control is for creating scheduled conference rooms and being able to prepare reports on previous conferences. The MeetMe tool is part of the user mode section since regular users can be given accounts in it. To log in, initially you need the default login and passwords:

Admin Mode:
Username: wmm@localhost
Password: wmmpw

Standard user:
Username: tim@localhost
Password: 1234

Once logged into the MeetMe system, you have access to create new conference rooms as well as Delete Conferences, view Past Conferences, manage Current Conferences, and see upcoming conferences. You can also manage users who have access to the MeetMe system.

FOP (Flash Operator Panel)

The Flash Operator Panel is a simple tool to view the status of your system as well as to manipulate calls somewhat. The first time you try to perform an action (such as dragging one extension to another), it will prompt you for a password. The default password is: passw0rd (that's a zero, not a capital O).

A limitation in FOP is that it is difficult to manage large numbers of extensions as you quickly run out of available slots that can be used. Even so, it is still a fairly useful tool for a receptionist to see who is available for calls and for quickly transferring calls to people.

Summary

In this article we covered the basic features of a trixbox CE system. We covered the basic feature codes and extra functions, as well as how to create custom features like redirecting calls for 411 to a free provider.

trixbox CE 2.6 Implementing, managing, and maintaining an Asterisk-based telephony system
Published: February 2009
eBook Price: $26.99
Book Price: $44.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

About the Author :


Kerry Garrison

Kerry Garrison has been in the IT industry for over 20 years with positions ranging from IT Director of a large multi-site distribution company to developing a large hosted web server platform for a major ISP, to finally running his own IT consulting business in Southern California. Kerry was introduced to the world of Asterisk by a friend and began running his own business on it. After about a year of working with it and writing some articles that became extremely popular on the net, he felt it was time to start putting clients onto Asterisk-based systems. Today, Asterisk PBX systems represent a significant portion of his business revenue. Kerry has spoken at Astricon and does a regular seminar series in California. He is also the publisher of both http://www.voipspeak.net and http://www.asterisktutorials.com. He is very active with the Asterisk and FreePBX community and has even contributed modules to the FreePBX project.

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