How to start new dial plan

Visual Dialplan is intuitive and easy to use Asterisk dial plan development tool but you should configure it properly to make the most of it.

Check the configuration

  • Make sure you configured the connection to your Asterisk server. If not click here for instructions.
  • Make sure Visual Dialplan reads Asterisk server configuration. If not click here for instructions.


Start with dial plan lessons and samples

There are several dial plan lessons bundled with Visual Dialplan.

1. Basic dial plan elements and “Hello world” dial plan
The dial plan is truly the heart of any Asterisk system. It defines how Asterisk handles inbound and outbound calls. Everything from voicemail, to conferencing, to voice menus is done through the dial plan. In a nutshell, it consists of a list of instructions or steps that Asterisk will follow. The Asterisk dial plan is specified in the configuration file named extensions.conf.

Hello world dial plan is bundled with Visual Dialplan.
To open Hello World dial plan start Visual Dialplan, select Open sample dial plan from the Quick start menu and select Hello World dial plan sample (make sure to select appropriate version of Hello World sample – there is one version for Plain Asterisk and another for Elastix, PIAF, trixbox and FreePBX).
To deploy Hello World dial plan select Dialplan –> Deploy from the main menu.
To test deployed dial plan simple call your switch and you should hear hello world voice prompt.

2. Simple IVR, special extensions, dial block and voicemail
In this lesson we will modify the “Hello world” dial plan by adding more extensions, then we’ll add the “dial” building block to call specified number, and last we’ll add a voice mail.

Once you complete this lesson you may want to check dial plan samples provided with Visual Dialplan or to start your own dial plan.

Start your new dial plan from the beginning

Select File –> New Dialplan… from the main menu and New dialplan dialog will be presented.
Now you have option to start creating your dial plan for already defined Asterisk servers (preferred option, all configuration objects will be loaded) or to just select Asterisk server version (1.2.x, 1.4.x, 1.6.x etc.) and define the connection to the target Asterisk server later (not preferred option, configuration object will not be loaded).


Visual Dialplan will automatically create default context and ask you for the context name, short description and open working area so you can proceed and model the context.
At the same time Visual Dialplan will create several Channel variable that are mandatory.

You can always create new Contexts, Subroutines, Channel or Global variables.
Simple open the adequate view (buttons on the left side), right click on the right side and select New from the drop down menu.


If you are using Visual Dialplan with Elastix the default contexts structure will be different and you should check the Visual Dialplan and Elastix tutorial