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Microsoft To Ship Speech Server 2007 by Year-End

Microsoft will begin beta testing Speech Server 2007, the latest version of its interactive voice response platform for call centers, in May and plans final release before the end of the year.

At the top of the list of additions, Speech Server 2007 will finally add native support for Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML). It also will provide enhanced support for Speech Application Language Tags (SALT), according to a Microsoft statement.

“With the newly included VoiceXML support, customers will be able to write World Wide Web Consortium’s VoiceXML 2.1-compliant applications within Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and deploy those applications, or existing VoiceXML 2.1-compliant applications, on Speech Server 2007,” the statement said. The company also announced it has joined the VoiceXML Forum at the Promoter level.

The update will also add a .NET Framework-based application programming interface (API) for low-level access to core Speech Server functions, to enable customers and partners to build applications on the Speech Server API using JavaScript, C# and other .NET programming languages.

Speech Server 2007 will also add native support for voice over IP (VoIP) protocol, as well as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP).

Microsoft will include Speech Server Analytics Studio and Speech Server Business Intelligence Tools to give customers the ability to generate customizable, detailed usage reports. The Analytics Studio will provide a variety of predefined reports that let a user drill down from high-level analysis all the way to actual call events and audio files.

Speech Server Analytics Studio is built on SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, so it will enable developers to write their own custom and ad hoc reports. In addition, Speech Server Business Intelligence Tools will be able to report long-term views of caller behavior by creating blocks of large volumes of caller data that can be reviewed using online analytical processing, the company said.

To apply to participate in the beta program go here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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