Review: VoiceGenie Technologies Genie IDE
The Dialog Wizard allows the user to create either an interactive VoiceXML menu element or a form element. Through a series of 4 steps (1,2, 3,4) the wizard is capable of generating a complete menu/form based VoiceXML content. For instance, the VoiceXML file shown below was generated just by following the step-by-step process of the Wizard.
The Grammar Wizard is very similar. Genie IDE supports development of both XML and ABNF based Grammars. Grammars created through the wizard can be inserted inline into a VoiceXML file or created as a new file. Even though the grammar development supported is pretty basic, as only a one to one mapping between spoken phrases and return values is supported, this is typically sufficient for prototyping and for most applications. Grammar Wizard is broken up into two steps (1,2) - in the first step you name the grammar and in the second step add the phrase/value pairs. For instance, the grammar content shown below was generated through the wizard.
Probably an unnoticed feature of the Genie IDE is a visual tool used to create a simple visual dialog flow representation of a VoiceXML page. This tool is available through a menu choice and (as shown below) creates a simple yet useful flow of the interactive dialog used by an application. Currently the tool only provides a basic read-only view. However support for an editable visual flow representation would be a useful feature, that I would expect in an upcoming release of the tool.
SpeechWorks OpenSpeech Dialog Module Integration
In our previous review of IBM WebSphere Voice Toolkit, we have seen how a rich set of reusable dialog components clearly differentiates it from others and enriches the usability and rapid development aspect of the tool. Genie IDE provides a similar sub-dialog support through the support of SpeechWorks OpenSpeech Dialog Modules technologies. Currently supported (as shown below) are the Dialog Modules for recognizing alphanumeric characters, custom contexts, date, digits, customized item list, phone, time and a yes/no based confirmation dialog.
In nutshell, Genie IDE provides a basic integrated IDE for the development of VoiceXML based applications. The highlight of the tool is the rich VoiceXML editor with a rich palette (Tag Assistance Tool), integration with Dialog Modules and the support for the latest versions of the specifications including VoiceXML 2.0 Draft, XML based Grammar Specification. A step-by-step debugger, integration with a desktop ASR for complete testing, support for dynamic application generation and integrated grammar testing would be my picks for enhancement requests for the Genie IDE.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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