January 18, 2021
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VoiceXML Quick Start Guide

  • By Jonathan Eisenzopf
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If you want to develop VoiceXML applications but don't know where to start, this guide is for you. This 8-step guide contains all the information you need to start developing and deploying VoiceXML applications--prior experience is not required.


You will need the ability to transfer files via FTP to a Web server that is accessible on the Internet. You will also need a computer running Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, or XP with at least 128MB of RAM and at least 200 megabytes of free disk space. A Pentium II 350MHz processor is the bare minimum amount of CPU power that you will need. You will also need a Sound Blaster compatible sound card.

Step 1 - Download and install Nuance V-Builder

Open a Web browser and go to http://extranet.nuance.com. If you haven't registered as a member of the Nuance Developer Network, click on the link that is labeled "Sign Up", otherwise login to the extranet site. Once you've logged in, click on the Download link, then click on the Nuance V-Builder link. Download the file named V-Builder-1-2-GA.exe. The program is about 25 megabytes, so it'll take a while to download if you're not blessed with a fast Internet connection.

Once you've completed the initial installation, launch V-Builder and select Update Center in the Tools menu. You will be prompted to enter your Nuance developer login and password. V-Builder will connect to the V-Builder update server and return a list of modules, updates, and plug-ins that are available. Before you can run any VoiceXML applications, you will need to download a language pack. Language packs enable the speech recognition functionality in V-Builder. For example, I downloaded the English.America Master Package to be able to recognize American English speech. You will also need to download the Nuance Java SpeechChannel Pack and the Nuance Core Recognizer Essential Pack

To enable text-to-speech functionality from within V-Builder, you must manually download VOCALIZER-1-0-SP3-NT.zip from the Nuance Developer Network Web site. Vocalizer includes an American English synthesizer, but you will need to download a language pack from the Vocalizer download site for other languages. Unzip the file, run Setup.exe, and follow the instructions. The package will also install a copy of the Java 2 run time environment.

You now have all the tools you need to develop a VoiceXML application. Now move on to Step 2.

Step 2 - Create a V-Builder project

 The first time you start V-Builder, you will see a welcome screen.


Select the first link to create a new project. You will be prompted to create a new project directory that will hold the project dialogs, grammars and audio files.

Click on the Create button to accept the default directory. You can, of course, choose a different project directory and name if you like.

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This article was originally published on September 28, 2002

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