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Definitive VoiceXML

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Definitive VoiceXML


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-046345-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-046345-6

The start-to-finish guide to building enterprise-class VoiceXML applications.

  • Code examples and UML diagrams provided for each VoiceXML element
  • Fully developed VoiceXML applications using Java servlets, JSP, and .NET
  • Detailed coverage of text-to-speech and automatic speech recognition technologies
"XML is not a spoken language, but thanks to VoiceXML, it is the language of choice for developing spoken interfaces. If you want to voice-enable your applications and Web sites, this book speaks your language."

—Charles F. Goldfarb

Definitive VoiceXML bridges the gap between enterprise computing and telephony engineering, demonstrating exactly how to build new enterprise-class voice applications and voice-enable existing applications. It's the first book that delivers the depth and breadth of knowledge needed by both enterprise and telephony developers, thoroughly addressing the unique challenges of building voice systems for business.

  • VoiceXML in depth: its role, goals, and key techniques
  • Effective ways to architect and integrate enterprise voice applications
  • Detailed case studies utilizing VoiceXML, Java servlets, JSP, and .NET
  • Thorough coverage of the W3C VXML 2.0 standard
  • Speech Recognition Grammar Format (SRGF) and Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML)
  • Complete VoiceXML language reference

Whether you're developing systems for customer service, finance, travel, wireless commerce, or anything else, Definitive VoiceXML gives you the proven techniques you need to maximize performance, reliability, and ROI.

Part of The Charles F. Goldfarb Definitive XML Series

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Introduction to VoiceXML and Voice Services

VoiceXML Language Reference—Part 1

VoiceXML language reference—Part 2

VoiceXML Language Reference—Part 3

Table of Contents



1. VoiceXML and Voice Services.

Voice services and applications. What is VoiceXML? Road map to the book and other resources. Getting Started.

2. VoiceXML Essentials.

Forms. Procedural elements. Prompt and audio prompts. VoiceXML variable support. Form items. Mixed initiative forms. Menus. Grammars. Events. Grammars. Organizing code into VoiceXML applications. CustomerService.xml.

3. VoiceXML Language Reference.

Assign. Audio. Block. Break. Catch. Choice. Clear. Disconnect. Else. Elseif. Emphasis. Enumerate. Error. Example. Exit. Field. Filled. Form. Goto. Grammar. Help. If. Initial. Item. Lexicon. Link. Log. Mark. Menu. Meta. Metadata. Noinput. Nomatch. Object. one-of. Option. Paragraph. Param. Phoneme. Prompt. Property. Prosody. Record. Reprompt. Return. Rule. Ruleref. say-as. Script. Sentence. Subdialog. Submit. Tag. Throw. Token. Transfer. Value. Var. voice. Vxml.

4. Enterprise Voice Application Architecture.

Example: JSP parcel tracking application. A “thick-client” banking example. The Auto Attendant: generating VoiceXML using XSLT and ASP.NET.

5. Voice Services.

Building voice services. Deploying a high-availability system. Engineering new services. Outsourcing.

Appendix A. ECMAScript Overview.

Syntax. Variables. Operators. Flow control. Functions and objects. Object-based scripting.

Appendix B. HTTP Primer.

An HTTP interaction. GET versus POST. Cookies.

Appendix C. Form Interpretation.


Appendix D. Speech Recognition Grammar.


Appendix E. Speech Synthesis Markup.


Appendix F. UML Class Diagram primer.

Appendix G. Useful resources.




Speech is the most human of human interfaces. No written text has the impact of a baby’s cry, a lover’s whisper … or your boss calling you into his office!

But until recently, the cost and complexity of implementation meant that there was no freedom of speech where software interface design is concerned.

Voice applications required a special purpose computer equipped with telephony and voice synthesis hardware. The software to program these machines was proprietary, complex, and arcane.

Now XML is changing all that — as it has so many other aspects of computing — in the form of a markup language for describing and controlling conversations. VoiceXML, in conjunction with advances in speech recognition and synthesis, is rapidly making the Web a vocal medium.

Adam Hocek and David Cuddihy are just the people to teach you how to take advantage of this new technology. They are professional engineers with decades of telephony and audio experience, and they work with VoiceXML every day.

XML may not be a spoken language, but with VoiceXML and this book you can bring the power and freedom of speech to your applications and Web sites.

— Charles F. Goldfarb, Saratoga, CA, November 15, 2002


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