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Review: GetVocal SDK

  • November 18, 2002
  • By Hitesh Seth
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Single Port Gateway

The most distinct feature of the GetVocal SDK is that the SDK doubles as a single port VoiceXML Gateway. What that means is that if you have installed the SDK on a computer which has a Voice Modem with TAPI support, then apart from the regular simulation of the VoiceXML content using the desktop environment, you can actually "call" the SDK. The quality of the voice may not be the best (it depends on how good your modem is) but this feature makes the tool an excellent candidate for creating on the spot demonstrations and live testing.

Support for ActiveX/Java Components

For an application developed using Microsoft ActiveX/COM technology, GetVocal SDK can go a little further in development. Based on the VoiceXML <object> tag, the SDK provides support for instantiating and calling methods/properties on COM compliant objects. Java classes are also supported by the same mechanism, however for calling Java classes an additional step is required. Using the JavaReg tool in the Microsoft SDK for Java 4.0, the user is required to expose the Java class as a COM component.

Scripts based Automated Testing

Another useful tool provided by the SDK is the support for automated test scripts-based regression testing. For instance, an example would be if we had developed a simple Voice Portal which provides integrated weather reports and latest news. We could develop a simple test script which includes the spoken phrases and DTMF keystrokes (as shown below) and once the SDK is executed, it would automatically take input from the test script and run accordingly.

Conclusion

In nutshell, the VoiceXML SDK provides a basic development environment for VoiceXML based applications. Similar to the other VoiceXML tools available, the SDK does provide integrated editor/code generator; the highlight of the SDK is really its ability to utilize TAPI based interfaces and regular Voice capable modems and function as a Single Port VoiceXML gateway. Integrated project management, a better palette, support for dynamic (server side) application generation, standalone grammar testing would be among my picks for enhancement requests to future versions of the SDK.

Resources

About Hitesh Seth

Hitesh Seth is Chief Technology Evangelist for Silverline Technologies, a global eBusiness and mobile solutions consulting and integration services firm. He is a columnist on VoiceXML technology in XML Journal and regularly writes for other technology publications including Java Developer's Journal and Web Services Journal on technology topics such as J2EE, Microsoft .NET, XML, Wireless Computing, Speech Applications, Web Services & Integration. Hitesh received his Bachelors Degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), India. Feel free to email any comments or suggestions about the articles featured in this column at hitesh.seth@silverline.com.



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