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Reusable Code and IVR Tool kits

One of the often-mentioned advantages of IVR Toolkit like VBVoice, Velocity etc. are its quick implementation of IVR system. To be more precise, implement the IVR call flow quickly with minimum requirement of coding!

While this is quite true that IVR Toolkit removes the requirement of coding the mundane subroutines interfacing the CTI boards, but question arises, is this advantage exclusively belong to IVR Tool-kits only ? I think otherwise! This advantage is equally shared by hard core C or C++ coding from old-school of IVR development!

IVR Tool-kits in a way can be considered modern day compact point and shoot digital cameras where anyone capable of pressing the shutter button can take beautiful pictures! And the learning curve to take picture consists of just three steps :

1. Insert batteries and switch on the camera
2. Point to the object and see the on the LCD screen
3. Press shutter button and look at the captured picture on LCD screen!

Rest of the things would be like aperture, shutter speed, ISO would be taken care by the camera itself! Similarly, with IVR Toolkit, just install the toolkit in your development tool like Microsoft Visual Studio, drag and drop the ‘IVR Controls’ to ‘define’ call flow your IVR and then compile and run! The IVR would be ready!

Now think of DSLRs or old SLR cameras which is used by professional photographers which offer them controls on Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO as well as many other parameters to control light for a better picture! This breed of photographers still stick to SLR cameras precisely because of the controls over those aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc. !

Similarly, old school IVR development, IVR coders have control over CTI boards completely without depending on any third party tools! They have direct access to APIs those control all telephony related functions like sensing incoming call, ISDN PRI command exchange and much more!

And as for the quick implementation of call flow, they can implement fast too, simply exploiting another old school technique called ‘re-usable code’. Over the years, C++ programmers have also developed their re-usable code for controlling all basic CTI functions which they can use in any new IVR applications. The call flow of an IVR is nothing but a smart switch structure which does fixed set of tasks like playing audio file, detecting DTMF or speech recognition, connect call or disconnect calls!

And there is a time tested, excellent tool for re-using code which is widely known as “Copy-Paste”, just copy the code of subroutines or functions ( which control the CTI board) and paste them in your new project with new call flow and you are done!

So, the quick implementation of any IVR call flow is also possible by seasoned and experienced C++ IVR developers. But, for a beginner, most probably, IVR Tool kit is the best option to develop their IVR Systems in quickest possible time provided they already know some development tool supported by the IVR Tool kit. FOr example, if some one know C# or Microsoft .NET, one can easily build IVR application using Velocity or VBVoice.

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