Content Provider Interface
One of the most important aspects of VoiceXML applications is their capability of providing access to content. The interface to the content provider has a strong influence on this aspect of the end-user experience.
Data on the Internet is typically stored in a database or is derived on the fly based on compiling data from some operation. Some content providers allow JDBC calls to their databases, but such calls require an auxiliary server to be running in the provider's network. Still others may have an XML interface to their data. Such an interface is much easier to maintain because the query and response need only to conform to an agreed-on data type definition (DTD), which serves as the interface agreement between the content provider and the requestor.
Negotiating an interface agreement with a content provider may take a long time. The best choice is a voice portal host that already has an established presence with the type of provider your application requires. Hosts that have an accessible portfolio containing solid content providers also increase the application's chances of success in the marketplace.