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Review: voxPilot voxBuilder ODE

  • November 24, 2002
  • By Hitesh Seth
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For Java developers, voxPilot has recently partnered with a company called "Voice Components." VoiceComponents has built a set of 18 Java Beans which can be used as Servlets and JSP templates for the rapid generation of voxPilot compatible VoiceXML 1.0 presentation logic. For testing the VoiceXML application, one of the projects is required to be set as an active project.

VoiceXML 1.0 validation is provided by voxBuilder through the Validate tool (shown below).

VoiceXML Extensions

voxBuilder supports VoiceXML 1.0 based applications with a list of extensions. A complete tag summary and a report on voxBuilder's compliance with the VoiceXML 1.0 specification is available at http://www.voxpilot.com/help/helpTagref.html. voxPilot's modified VoiceXML DTD http://dtd.voxpilot.com/voice/1.0/voxpilot_voicexml-1.0.dtd includes a few extensions, including <debug>, <log>, <train> and <verify>.

Reusable Components

The benefit of reusable components for VoiceXML application development is clear. Recognizing that, voxBuilder ODE has initiated the development of reusable components as subdialogs. As detailed in theComponent Reference, currently subdialogs are available for a confirmation subdialog and recognition of various forms of date (e.g. a week from Sunday, Friday April 19th, etc.) and time input (noon, midnight etc).

"Calling your application" - Using your phone to test your application

Similar to any other hosted VoiceXML platform, voxBuilder allows developers to call and test their applications from a regular touch-tone phone. Depending on your country, you would pick theaccess number, and then call the voxBuilder application and test your application. The user will be asked to enter an eight digit id (typically the last 8 digits of your caller id) and a PIN. One suggestion here would be for voxBuilder to provide a seven digit user id instead of 8 digits for US based developers. voxBuilder dynamically creates an execution log of the application executed, which is then available through the "Log Viewer" tool (shown below).

Logs for the calls made can be either accessed in real-time through the user interface (shown below) or can be downloaded to a local computer for further analysis.

Conclusion

In nutshell, what voxBuilder brings to the table today is its support for multiple languages, local access numbers and support for multiple European countries. From a features perspective, I like the project based organization structure that voxBuilder imposes on the developers and the remote web-based editor and validation tool. My take on what should be added into the voxBuilder environment from a development tool perspective would be quick-start wizards for rapid dialogs and grammars generation, and a web-based simulation testing capability.

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 Developers 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 hks@hiteshseth.com



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