Like many emerging services and technologies, development of IVR services too have many competing methods to develop IVR software. While Googling, interacting with various IVR companies, professionals I have found out some different types of IVR development tools or ‘school of thought’ as they call!
Here are few I have thought of :-
1. Old School Of thought – Using built in API in C++ provided by the CTI manufacturers.
This type of IVR developers are decreasing and might become extinct in future! Most probably, Dialogic, Synway and Donjin may provide some lifeline to this kind of IVR developers as they are few CTI manufacturers with well documented API in C++. Old IVR programmers like me still prefer API and C++ as it gives power!
2. Web Style development – VXML, CCXML, VoicePHP
This kind of IVR developers treat IVR software as website or portal ( now we know why they call voice portal) and want to use simple tags for interacting with caller. This is intended to be open standard which will use a VXML Browser ( just like web browsers). VXMl browsers are available on Asterisk as open source also commercially available from Voxeo, I6net, Phonologies from India. Few CTI manufacturer like Digium, Sangoma etc. support this kind of IVR development tools.
3. Extension of Traditional Development tools like Microsoft .NET – VBVoice, Velocity
This kind of IVR tools reside in traditional powerful development environment Microsoft .NET technologies. They are very powerful and does not need any learning curve as conventional C# or VB is used for coding while using the Telephonic or CTI interfaces as component just like any button in the form. This kind of IVR development is gaining momentum now for the obvious reasons.
4. Complete New Tool with simple drag and Drop visual tools – Envox, Invox, Osidail, XtendIVR, OmniVox3D
This kind of tools comes as a complete solution which has its own GUI tool to drag and drop for making IVR call flow, test them offline, compile them and even port to VXML code to host in another hosting platform! With recent advancement in internet, this kind of tools are completely online and developers can just create an account and then start developing their IVR software! I think, the number of this kind of tools are highest at present.
So, these are four majorly available IVR development tools and every tool has merits and demerits. Most probably, a choice of IVR development tool would mostly depend on type of IVR software.
The one similarity in all above available tools are, they are licensed per channel basis. Developers has to pay per channel for their production IVR software for using the development tool or VXML browser.