Dial-By-Name Directory application - viscious loop in Digium Asterisk Business Edition

We are not using the FreePBX so I want to find out if the modified name Directory application in FreePBX have fixed what I considered a major bug in the Digium Asterisk branch.

We have a very large company directory list and we may have up to say 50 “Smith” last names. In Asterisk Business Edition rev C, the caller does not have the option to break out of the listening to all 50 names before going back to the main directory menu or even to exit the application completely during this cycle.

We find this to be a bug. Is there a key sequence we are not aware of that allows the caller to break out of either the listing of all 50 names or out of the directory application completely?

Does newer version of Asterisk provide a fix or work-around for this? Reading around the forums indicate FreePBX allows user to press “#” anytime to exit out completely. Please confirm. We will implement FreePBX if it resolves this bug we have.

on my system replays the last directory entry retrieved.

But… the first thing you should do as part of your implementation process is to put up a test system with a few softphones and play with asterisk/FreePBX. After you’ve played with it and you have a grasp of the features and limitations should you proceed with a production system.

I may be stating the obvious, but we had a test system up for about 6 months before making the investment on a production system.

Once you have your test system up, you can come back here and bounce the the problems off the members. I’m sure the “#” problem won’t be the only question you’ll have.

The big thing is to have a test system so you don’t go into your implementation blind, and that you have a means to test and verify workarounds that may be suggested. Sometimes throw out an idea about something like this, but it may only be an idea concerning the particular problem. We haven’t tested it on a real system.

I know this really didn’t answer your question, but it may save you many hours when it comes to implementing the production system.

Finally, if you look at the bottom of the home page on this site, you’ll see an link to bug report/feature request. That will get the attention of the developers.



The current FreePBX directory does not use the Asterisk application but instead its own AGI script.

You can set it to search on first, last or both names. However, imho it ‘sucks’ as much as the Asterisk one probably does and your situation where you have many last names starting with Smith is a good example.

We are currently working on a new Company Directory module for FreePBX on the 2.8 version that is in beta development right now. Your scenario is one that we have explicitly discussed with design goal such as the ability to continuing typing a name beyond ‘the first 3’ characters until it can recognize a unique or much smaller set of names that it can present you with.

There are other design goals that will help make this a much better company directory. Schmoozecom.com are the guys who are spearheading this effort and then we will integrate it much better into the IVR as well. Particularly lazytt. If you have other ideas to help make this a great company directory your input would be welcome.

We are already incorporating other goals such as making arbitrary entries in the directory (e.g. Sale Team sent to a queue or ringgroup), aliases (e.g. an executive who wants their calls sent to an admin), multiple directories for different departments, etc. Unlike the current directory in Asterisk or FreePBX, this will not be dependent on a user having a voicemail box either.

The “master ticket” that is tracking most check-ins for this is #4147. I believe Shmoozecom.com also plans on providing a “pro” version of this module for sale that will include speech recognition options in addition to just dtmf that ties into the directory.

Thank you Philippe for being frank. Does FreePBX implementation allow a key input at anytime to break out of the Directory script back into Asterisk dialplan? If it does, that’s all we would need for now.

Just a comment about the Asterisk Business Edition. There is no default dialplan in that version, it is built by the person who installs it.