The asterisk outlook dialer was born out of a need for a secure way to dial from MSOutlook via an asterisk server. Solutions we examined in the market were either not secure due to the fact that the Asterisk Manager password needed to be keyed into the Outlook component or were too bulky for what we were trying to do. On large installations, exposing the Asterisk Manager password was a *big* security risk (in our opionion at least) as well as an extra step needed for the administrator.
We decided to implement our own MSOutlook dialer which would overcome the issue of both security and size of the component. The Asterisk Outlook Dialer is implemented as a php script that runs on the asterisk server (apache). This php script acts as a "proxy" between the Asterisk server and the Oulook component. It uses the Asterisk Manager to log on and execute commands on the Asterisk box. The Outlook Dialer calls this script with the parameters such as the extension to be dialed, the number to be dialed, the callerID etc. It comes with a small installer (400K) which installs the outlook component. The php script needs to be dumped into your www folder. The main advantage of this approach is the php acts as a proxy to the Asterisk server and therefore very little configuration is necessary on the client (Outlook) end.