January 25, 2021
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Review: Tellme Studio (Part II)

  • By Hitesh Seth
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My Extensions

At this point in the development process you should have already created a VoiceXML-based application that is hosted on Tellme (at least the VoiceXML gateway aspect of it, connecting with your own web server using the ubiquitous web protocol HTTP). A typical requirement would be to show it to someone. If the demonstration is local or can be done over a conference call, it is simple--you simply dial-in the main Studio number enter your Developer ID and PIN and you are set. However, if you had to give your number out it isn't really possible for you to give away information such as your developer ID and PIN, as the user will then have complete access to your studio account. For this reason, amongst others, Tellme has a feature called My Extensions through which your extension can be published to your small group of alpha/beta test users. There are some limitations of My Extensions, such as the limitation that a particular call can only last maximum of 5 minutes, the <transfer> element is not supported, etc. Essentially, the purpose of MyExtensions is to allow developers to demonstrate their applications to their users. Shown below is the configuration screen for My Extensions. Specifically shown is the task of configuring the extension "92105" to go to a simple Hello World VoiceXML document. As part of the extension, it is also possible to list it in the Tellme web/phone Directory and additionally a .wav file can be referred to which is used as the recorded description of the application in the phone directory.

VoiceXML Terminal

Probably one of the most advanced tools in the Tellme Studio, the VoiceXML Terminal emulates a Voice session by using corresponding text interfaces as the user interface. The terminal is especially useful in debugging and initial prototyping where you would like to quickly test your application through your computer without imposing the additional complexity of making repeated calls. VoiceXML Terminal allows allows text based input to be used instead of speech interfaces and real grammar phrases can be constructed and used. The session also keeps a complete session log which is color-coded, depending on whether the prompts are application-generated or user-entered information. I have found the tool useful also to just create a basic script of the demonstration and send it to a colleague so that he/she can get used to my application as well. Since the VoiceXML Terminal is completely web-based (it is actually implemented as a Java applet), you still have the hosted VoiceXML application development platform and don't need any additional development tools to be installed on your desktop. The following screenshot shows the transcript of a VoiceXML session.

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This article was originally published on October 13, 2002

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