Review: VoiceGenie Technologies Genie IDE
Genie IDE from VoiceGenie Technologies is an integrated development environment (IDE) that enables the creation of applications and Voice Web content using VoiceXML, as well as the testing of local and remote applications. Based on the same VoiceXML interpreter used by the web-based voice portal - VoiceGenie Developer Workshop and VoiceGenie Gateway, the IDE supports the latest VoiceXML 2.0 Draft and XML based grammar specification. A 90 day evaluation copy of Genie IDE is available through VoiceGenie Developer Workshop. The workshop also provides details for licensing as well.
Installation of Genie IDE was pretty smooth; the installer is based on the Windows Installer (available as a separate download, if your system doesn't have it installed already). Genie IDE is supported on Windows 2000 and XP Operating Systems with the latest service packs. The Microsoft Speech SDK is an optional requirement for Genie IDE for enabling TTS playback during simulated testing of VoiceXML applications. MyVoiceGenie, a companion tool (not reviewed in this article) available from VoiceGenie Technologies provides further integration with Microsoft Speech SDK including support for SAPI based ASR/TTS engines.
First Looks: VoiceXML Editor
Key highlight of the IDE is its rich VoiceXML Editor which supports features such as validation of VoiceXML content, XML based grammars, ECMA Scripts, auto-indentation and syntax highlighting. To aid rapid development, the editor features a context-sensitive tag manipulation tool (shown in the figure below; click the figure to see the complete IDE) which provides a rich palette consisting of all the VoiceXML 2.0 elements, SpeechWorks OpenSpeech Dialog Modules (discussed later), a set of readymade menu/form templates and tags for creation of dynamic VoiceXML content using Java Server Pages (JSP).
The editor is fundamental component of the overall IDE which provides regular project and file management capabilities, integrated FTP based file publishing and the capability to add existing VoiceXML and grammar files to a project. The IDE supports the testing of both local and remote VoiceXML applications with simulation and tracing features. Optionally, the IDE can use Microsoft TTS Engine (part of Microsoft Speech SDK) to dynamically create Voice-based prompts/dialogs.
Dialog & Grammar Wizards
Genie IDE uses a wizard based approach to aid the user in creating grammars and dialogs/menus. Currently two wizards are available - Dialog Wizard and Grammar Wizard (shown below).