I have finished reading the great book "FreePBX 2.5 Powerful Telephony Solutions", by Alex Robar and it is 277 pages.
The intended target audience for this book are system administrators who want to get started with Asterisk and FreePBX. It is perfect for administrators who want to reduce costs by replacing a proprietary PBX with a PBX that runs on open source packages. The pre required knowledge is basic knowledge of Linux and telephony, though neither is strictly required.
I find the targeted audience and the pre required knowledge correct, however I think the Linux knowledge is an absolute demand or at least have someone to ask. A basic knowledge of Telephony is also more or less required.
The book cover installation on CentOS and Ubuntu Server, configuration, adding handset, trunk setup, call routing, voicemail, digital receptionist, music-on-hold, call recording, maintenance, backups and much more.
I find the book very valuable and I really like the concept of FreePBX. When starting with Asterisk the myriads of parameters are overwhelming. FreePBX makes the approach to Asterisk easier and makes the startup much faster then go to the Asterisk config via textfiles. FreePBX comes with many modules that should be enough for most demands and if needed it is still possible to use configuration using config files.
The book describes the most important modules in FreePBX in a structured and pedagogic way with many screenshoots and figures. I really likes the examples in the end of the book with trunk configuration to some big SIP providers. Even if none of them is valid in Sweden it gives you an idea what parameters to start with when configure trunks.
When it comes to trouble shooting I think the book should have contained a chapter about that. In many cases the way of trouble shoot is to use the Asterisk CLI, read logs and in some cases use a network analyser like WireShark. I think the book should have contained an introduction to trouble shooting and the different tools available.
Some of the script examples contain some typos but with basic scripting knowledge it is easy to fix.
I reccomend this book for anyone interested in FreePBX, FreePBX admins and Asterisk newbies. This book makes the start with FreePBX much faster compared to trying to collect the information from the web and other sources. The FreePBX website is a great as a reference, however this book makes it easy and fast to get started with FreePBX and Asterisk.
- More info about the book "FreePBX 2.5 Powerful Telephony Solutions"
- Example chapter 8 Recording calls
- FreePBX homepage
- Asterisk homepage