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Introduction to SALT (Part 4): Microsoft .NET Speech SDK

  • By Hitesh Seth
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ASP.NET-based Speech Controls

The ASP.NET-based Speech Controls allow developers using ASP.NET and Microsoft Visual Studio.NET to create multimodal/telephony applications and/or add speech interactivity to existing web applications. The screenshot below (click to enlarge) shows these tools being used to develop a speech-based interactive pizza ordering application.

These controls add to the existing .NET class libraries and provide developers with the ability to add speech-based interaction to their existing applications or to build new applications. The table below shows a quick reference to the functionality provided by these controls.

Control Function
Speech Controls
QA Collects & process speech/DTMF input from the user
Command Collects inputs such as help, repeat, cancel which is not processed by QA Control
Custom Validator Validates input data through a script
Compare Validator Validates input data by comparing with another control/value
Semantic Map Contains a set of values which provide input controls semantic state and its bindings
Style Sheet Contains a set of common speech controls properties
Call Control Controls
Smex Message Sends a CSTA (Computer-Supported Telecommunications Applications) Message
Transfer Call Transfers the current call
Disconnect Call Disconnects a call
Make Call Initiates a telephone call
Answer Call Answers a Call
Call Info Contains basic information about the current call
Application Controls
Alpha Digits Collects a string of numbers and lettrs
Currency Collects an amount in US dollars
Date Collects a date
Natural Number Collects and validates a natural number
Navigator Allows navigation of a list of table based elements
Phone Collets a US telephone number
Single Item Chooser Allows a user to select a single item from a list by dynamically creating a grammar
SSN Collets a US Social Security Number
Yes No Collects a Yes/No answer
Zipcode Collects a US Zip Code

Speech Tools

The Speech Tools include grammar builder, prompt builder (shown below) and speech debugger, which aids in constructing and testing different parts of a speech application.

The table below provides a quick reference for the tools provided by .NET Speech SDK.

Grammar Editor
  • Graphical Tool for visual development and testing of speech grammars
  • Supports XML-based grammar files based on W3C Speech Recognition Grammar Specification 1.0.
Prompt Editor
  • Set of editing tools that enable speech applications to develop a database of prompts used by the application.
  • Provides a graphical wave editor to customize .wav files
Speech Debugging Console
  • Provides speech information (including speech data, event and errors)
  • Activated when ASP.NET based speech applications is run in debug mode
Speech Control Editor
  • Set of extensions to the Visual Studio WebForms designer for assembling a speech application.

To be Continued

We will continue our exploration of SALT in the next article by actually walking step-by-step through what is involved in developing a telephony/multimodal application using SALT and Microsoft .NET Speech SDK.


About Hitesh Seth

A freelance author and known speaker, Hitesh is a columnist on VoiceXMLtechnology in XML Journal and regularly writes for other technology publications on emerging technology topics such as J2EE, Microsoft .NET, XML,Wireless Computing, Speech Applications, Web Services & Enterprise/B2BIntegration. Hitesh received his Bachelors Degree from the Indian Instituteof Technology Kanpur (IITK), India. Feel free to email any comments or suggestionsabout the articles featured in this column at hks@hiteshseth.com.

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This article was originally published on December 21, 2002

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