Review: Voxeo Community
Similar to other service providers such as Tellme, BeVocal, the Voxeo Community focus is on providing VoiceXML developers with a hosted telephony environment which integrates a VoiceXML Interpreter, Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech engine, speech verification, etc. Unlike most other service providers, however, Voxeo hasn't developed its own interpreter. It usesNuance Voice Web Server, which has a built-in VoiceXML 1.0 interpreter. Voxeo Community supports VoiceXML 1.0 and a number of VoiceXML 2.0 features. Currently the only grammar format is Nuance GSL (Grammar Specification Language). Apart from VoiceXML, Voxeo also supports CallXML, Voxeo's own XML-based markup language for creating user interfaces for the phone. Also a key highlight of Voxeo Community is its recently added support for CCXML (Call Control eXtensible Markup Language).
The currently released community site is located here:http://community.voxeo.com, however, a new version of the community is available here:http://techpreview.voxeo.com. The newer version supports a lot of new features such as call reporting, etc., and includes a tool called "Application Insight." The later version (techpreview) has been used as the basis of this review.
First looks - Voxeo Account Manager
An essential aspect of a hosted VoiceXML development platform is the ability to provide a basic tool for managing the VoiceXML applications themselves. Voxeo supports VoiceXML applications based on a remote URL. One of the features missing here is an area where VoiceXML documents can be temporarily stored. Since Voxeo supports multiple markup languages, the tool allows the user to select a particular markup language for the application (currently supported markup languages include Voice Web Server (VWS), CallXML and CCXML). This feature is also used by Voxeo to roll-out support for newer versions of the specifications. One of the features which I found particularly useful is that the tool features failover capability and allows the developer to specify up-to three "start URLs." As a last resort the tool also allows developers to provide a redirect phone number which will be used in case all of the start URLs fail.
"Calling your Application"
After you have linked your remote VoiceXML applications through the account manager, you then map a phone number which can be used to call that number. A US phone number is assigned which can be used to test and execute your VoiceXML Application.