Recently, I have been able to test VBVoice 5.6.2 using Dialogic D300 springware board as well as HMP 3.0. Mr. Sean from Pronexus has been kind enough to configure and give us a presentation to quick start developing voice application.
VBVoice is one of the most powerful IVR toolkit which is available in Microsoft .NET Integrated Development Environment as simple controls/components to develop powerful CTI application/IVR Software with any kind of computational need in the back ground. Any .NET developers using either VB .NET, C# can use its “CTI Building Blocks” to start building any kind of IVR system with complex call flow. This is one tool which has no limitation on computational capabilities except the limitation of .NET environment itself or programming skill! One need not worry about implementing smart features of any IVR Software DTMF, ASR, TTS, VBVoice has all features built into it.
We prepared two different machines with Windows XP OS, one each for Dialogic D300 springware board and HMP 3.0. And we installed required Dialogic System Release 6.0 for D300 board and HMP 3.0 as well as VBVoice 5.6.2. Mr. Sean from Pronexus had remotely activated license for VBVoice.
First we configured Dialogic HMP Software an activated four channel licenses for VoIP calls. Once it was done, we opened Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 C# project and loaded some VBVoice sample application. And it worked in single click! We used X-Lite installed in different computer on the same LAN to make voice calls.
After that we wanted to check with TDM board (Dialogic D300) in other machine. Since we had already activated VBVoice license on other machine with HMP, we needed to access the same license from this machine with TDM board through LAN. It was a simple configuration.
Once the license was done, we created a simple Inbound IVR to select Language on DTMF keypress using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. It was done in less than five minutes and we could make calls to our PRI number and select languages.
VBVoice has both GUI tool for editing and configuring its various options like License settings, Telephony Interface type etc. For advanced users, one can simply edit the configuration text file quickly. Depending on the active licenses, all the controls, components gets loaded in .NET IDE, ready to be used! Any call flow can be created visually by dragging these controls and dropping on the design form. After that, one may simply configure the required DTMF keys, point to next menu options etc. All finer details like number of DTMF digits to accept, total delay time etc. are available for configuration on each control/component. After creating and setting the properties of these components, component’s events allow using code ( C#, VB .NET) to customize further the behaviour of the components at runtime depending on user input or any other external event.
One of the interesting feature of VBVoice is Worker thread. It allows programmer to create separate thread for doing some computation separately without holding the main IVR Call Flow thread. For example, the Worker thread may try to access remote database server, access API, do some computation, billing etc. before giving feedback to main IVR call Flow thread.
To learn about more features one may visit Pronexus : VBVoice – IVR ToolKit.
We have been able to develop a few IVR applications in response to inquiries from our clients to give them POC (proof of Concept) about our IVR capabilities using VBVoice in very short period of time and could impress them suitably.
It also provides controls to dynamically create list of voice files from pre-recorded WAV files without using TTS which is played for menu selection. This kind of intelligent dynamic menu has been forte of C++ developers till now.
Like any other great products, VBVoice has one drawback, presently it supports only Dialogic boards. It does not support Sangoma or other cheaper cousins of Dialogic.
According to Pronexus representative, roadmap of VBVoice includes support for H.263 video play using Dialogic HMP and running VoIP in virtual machines. It will be available for testing very soon. So, we may be able to develop IVVR (Interactive Video and Voice Response System) pretty soon using VBVoice! In the age of 3G and IPad, VBVoice is going to provide exciting time for IVR developers!