IVR accessing databases

I want to setup an inexpensive IVR system so our customers can call in, enter their account number and Pin and be able to choose a telephone number available to them depending on their level of account and then dial out to that number.
Would Asterisk be the way to do this and what equipment would I need?

Yes. Equipment starts with a standard PC, and: an ethernet interface and connectivity to the internet; or a PCI telephony card and a telephone line, although ISDN cause less hassle.

You probably need to read asteriskdocs.org/

Thank you for the reply, Im sure its a very basic query for you guys but just one more. Would the database of accounts, Pins and telelphone numbers be kept in asterisk or could they be accesible from a different program?

You’d keep them in a separate database. Asterisk has the option of being built with ODBC support and from there you can access any database type that you have an ODBC driver for.

I’ve written IVR systems that talk to MySQL, Postgres, Oracle, and even a HP NonStop/SQL system, all through ODBC.

A blast from the past.
Thank you for the info. Pretty new to this but one quick question. Would customers be able to add their new details, account numbers and what not through a website and it be added automatically to my database?

Sure. As long as information can be entered using DTMF digits, it is simple to do. You can get more advanced by using speech recognition, but that gets a lot more complicated.

So just numbers? Or can details such as name address be added to the record through the website?

Also can there be a recording to each telephone number in the persons account so it plays a selection of names that the caller pre recorded when entering his/her details?

Entering data via a website is outside of the realm of Asterisk. It doesn’t care what you do with the database.

And as far as the voice prompt goes, Asterisk can record and playback any sound you feed it and tell it to play. Again, it doesn’t care where it gets the data.

You are being very helpful. But because you said “…it doesnt care…”, Im now thinking Asterisk as a living thing. Thanks :smiley:

So, process would be, customer register through website, entering personnel details, bank details and choosing an account number and PIN, that goes to a database and when customer calls, Asterisk (bless him) accesses the database and allows the customer to reach an outside line/mobile.
Is that right because Im not familiar with Asterisk so will be requring somebody to do this.

That’s how it should work. Populate the database via a web form and then Asterisk can read the database and manage the call flow.

And now for the shameless plug: I am available to do consulting/design. Email me directly at james@fivecats.org if you’d like to discuss this.

Im still trying to work some thing out with this.
I have a landline number I want to use for the incoming calls, so do I use a voip phone with a internet adapter device? Does the phone connect directly to the pc? If someone could just lay out the devices for me in order that would be super, as I am also trying to work out exactly what I need. I am thinking it would go like this:

Phoneline in—voip phone—pc—ivr/log in using asterisk—access database and choose number to dial out—asterisk dial out----phoneline out

Is this right?

Also the incoming and outing calls will be normal landline or mobile with no voip. Is that ok?

Trying to find out for myself so went on good old youtube. If I own a number from BT on a normal landline (RJ11 I think, is that right?) I can use gateways to achieve incoming and outgoing calls to and from my voip server, which has asterisk and my database of telephones numbers installed on it.
If the above ‘diagram’ is right where would the gateways be, before or after the voip phone? Im guessing before when incoming and after when outgoing from my server.

Please read the book at asteriskdocs.org/, particularly chapter 7.

I will be reading the book but before I do I just want to make sure that Asterisk can do the job, otherwise it’ll be a waste of time reading it. I have been watching videos to try and understand more.
I think I know what I need out of the project so if someone could just confirm about the incoming and outgoing calls from landlines and mobiles into my voip system using gateways is how it works that would be super.