10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2017 4:58 PM by CarlSchwarz

    Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database

    blinkybill

      Dear FMP users,

      The Asterisk FileMaker Plug-in apparently lets you dial with the Asterisk PBX. Is it possible to do the reverse, i.e. create a new record in a web-based FMP database when a call from an Asterisk-based call centre is answered by a phone operator? If so, what is necessary to achieve this?

        • 1. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
          CarlSchwarz

          Most phone systems have the options to create a call log, FileMaker could simply import that log on a regular basis.  Consult the phone systems API documentation and see what you can do, it's possible that you may need to buy an extra "card" to put in your phone system but not likely.

          • 2. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
            blinkybill

            Hi Carl - thanks for your prompt response.

             

            Wildlife Rescue Inc (a registered charity staffed solely by volunteers) has developed a communication system in which members of the public can ring a 1300 number and be redirected (via an Asterisk-based call centre) to home-based phone coordinators on their VoIP numbers.

             

            Coordinators then access an online FileMaker Pro database which generates a Google-type map for the call in question. This allows coordinators to locate the nearest rescuers, vets etc and contact them via a VoIP softphone on their computer.

             

            It is hoped that the two entities - the Asterisk-based call centre and the FMP database - can be amalgamated so that call records are created automatically when a coordinator answers a call.

             

            Does this sound feasible?

             

            Regards,

             

            Bernard Ashcroft

            Secretary, Wildlife Rescue Inc

            • 3. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
              CarlSchwarz

              That does sound fine.  It all depends on the capabilities of your phone system, which I'm quite sure a system of your scale can do that.

              Most phone systems are programmable so that they can run a custom program when a phone call comes in.  You can utilise the FileMaker PHP, XML or ODBC API to add a new record to your FM database when a call comes in.

               

              E.g. call comes in, Phone system runs a custom application, custom application adds a new record in FileMaker Pro, that should all happen instantly.

               

              You will want a person that is trained on your phone system and a FileMaker developer.  My experience with phone systems (which I admit is some time ago) is that they are not very user friendly so having a comms. guy that has done the training on your system that would be helpful to the developer.

              • 4. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
                eworbit

                Billy,

                The cdr table can be a little overwhelming to interpret.  The best thing we did was to have a shell script export and import into a *much more* simplified "cdr_filemaker" table which only contained these fields:

                id calldate src dst ext duration billsec

                 

                The trick was that the cdr table didn't have sequence numbers and call records did not write out until the call completed.  Furthermore, the call record that did finally write out (after a long phone call) wrote with a call date of when the call started - not finished.   This made skipping call records a risk.  So redundant export/diff merging logic became necessary.

                 

                But, once that was done, the simplified cdr_filemaker table made FM imports/stats a cinch to deal with.

                -eric

                • 5. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
                  blinkybill

                  Hi - and thanks for your reply.

                   

                  I am involved in Wildlife Rescue Inc, a registered charity staffed solely by volunteers. With the assistance of a Certified FileMaker Developer and IT company in Sydney, we have developed a communication system in which members of the public can ring a 1300 number and be redirected (via an Asterisk-based call centre) to home-based phone coordinators on their VoIP numbers.

                   

                  Coordinators then access an online FileMaker Pro database which generates a Google-type map for the call in question. This allows coordinators to locate the nearest rescuers, vets etc and contact them via a VoIP softphone on their computer.

                   

                  It is hoped that the two entities - the Asterisk-based call centre and the FMP database (converted to FMP 16) - can be amalgamated so that call records are created automatically when a coordinator answers a call.

                   

                  Does this sound feasible? If so, can you provide help in achieving this goal? Please bear in mind that although I have been using FileMaker since version 7, I am not very familiar with Asterisk.

                   

                  Regards,

                   

                  Bernard Ashcroft

                  Secretary, Wildlife Rescue Inc

                  • 6. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
                    Jean-Francois

                    Anyone have a windows version of a plugin/solution that will work to click to dial in FM ? I don't mind the incoming calls, only the outgoing one!

                     

                    Thanks

                    • 7. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
                      eworbit

                      Our asterisk box came with a click-to-dial api script already.  I believe most do.   Therefor, all we had to do was create a custom Function like this:

                       

                      Phone URL ( phone ; user_ext ; contact ) =

                      "http://10.0.0.6/cgi-bin/AsteriskC2D.pl?username=145&password=000pass000&deskphone=" & user_ext &  "&toCall=" &  phone & "&CallerID=" & contact

                       

                      Then have the phone button icon on the layout call a Insert from URL script step which calls this url and the person's desk phone simply dials our and put their name on the phone as well.

                       

                      For us using PBX-in-a-Flash, there was no need for complicated client-side telephony programs.  Calling a URL was much easier.

                       

                      -Eric

                      • 8. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
                        blinkybill

                        Hi Eric,

                        Can you please provide full details of the "asterisk box" you mention

                        Bernie

                        • 9. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
                          Jean-Francois

                          Thanks

                           

                          I will investigate more, but is the username and password is a generic (per a admin setup) to give access to the system or it's a per user/phone id ?

                           

                          Will it dial the phone connected to that same PC or we need to supply all the information ?

                          How can we script this so each user can dial without entering that info ? hard coded in the script based on user login?

                          • 10. Re: Asterisk VoIP Calls to a FMP Database
                            CarlSchwarz

                            Jean-Francois wrote:

                             

                            Thanks

                             

                            I will investigate more, but is the username and password is a generic (per a admin setup) to give access to the system or it's a per user/phone id ?

                             

                            Will it dial the phone connected to that same PC or we need to supply all the information ?

                            How can we script this so each user can dial without entering that info ? hard coded in the script based on user login?

                            These details will be in the phone system documentation.

                            In the example above it knows which phone to call based on the 'user_ext' specified in the URL.