Review: Telera DeVXchange (Part I)Telera DeVXchange is a hosted VoiceXML developer community which allows developers to develop and test VoiceXML-based applications using the combination of a browser-based interface and a mobile phone. DeVXchange is primarily comprised of two components: AppBuilder & CodeCenter. AppBuilder is a desktop-based toolset which visually supports the development of dynamic applications based on server-side scripting technologies (Active Server Pages and/or Java Server Pages).
On the other hand, CodeCenter is a web-based VoiceXML platform which allows developers to register/test/debug VoiceXML applications using a combination of a web browser and a regular phone. Similar to other hosted VoiceXML service providers such as Tellme and BeVocal, Voxeo CodeCenter's focus is to provide VoiceXML developers with a hosted telephony environment which integrates a VoiceXML Interpreter, Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech engine, speech verification etc.
VoiceXML Version Support
DeVXchange CodeCenter supports VoiceXML 2.0 including XML-based grammar formats whereas DeVXchange AppBuilder still supports only VoiceXML 1.0 based application code generation. Currently, the core of Telera Voice Web Application Platform, including the tools that make up DeVXchange, is primarily based on top of the Nuance Speech Recognition Platform. As a result, GSL grammars are supported. Actually, CodeCenter also supports pre-complied and cached GSL grammars.
First looks - CodeCenter
An essential aspect of a hosted VoiceXML development platform is the ability to provide developers with a basic tool to register/manage their VoiceXML applications. CodeCenter enabled applications to be developed on external web servers and allows the use of remote URL. Also provided is a Scratchpad-based environment in which developers can quickly cut'n'paste and get started with developing VoiceXML applications without the need of an external web server.
One useful aspect of CodeCenter is the quick validation function, called "Check Syntax," which performs a line-by-line syntax check of the root VoiceXML document (the screenshot below shows the Check Syntax function in progress, pointing out a spelling mistake of the tag 'block').
"Calling your Application"
After you have linked your remote VoiceXML application or have built a simple scratchpad-based application, one of the various URLs (CodeCenter allows up-to 20 URLs) on the scratchpad can be activated as the current executing application. To test the application, you can then dial 1-866-678-7788. For non-US developers, a non-toll free number is also available (408) 626-4699. (Note: If you are still using VoiceXML 1.0 based applications then the numbers are (866) 678-7798 and (408) 626-4688.) A typical dialog such as would happen when calling your application would go something like the following:
- Develeper dials (866) 678-7788.
- CodeCenter: Welcome to DeVXchange CodeCenter. Please say or enter your CodeCenter Login Id.
- Enters the 4 digit Login Id.
- Please say or enter your PIN.
- Enters the 4 digit PIN.
- Your Call Number is 1001... continues to play the VoiceXML Application ... Hello World from Hitesh.
Detailed execution trace of the VoiceXML application is supported in CodeCenter through a web-based tool called "Call Tracer." Resources, grammars, recognition results, events, errors, attributes are highlighted in different colors for easy viewing. The figure below shows Call Tracer in action. Apart from the time when a call is in progress, the tracing information encapsulated by Call Tracer is also available for later viewing.