VoiceXML is the industry standard for automated voice communications and the most flexible, feature-rich language for building voice apps.
Voice eXtensible Markup Language (VoiceXML, VXML) is a computer programming language in the XML family. It enables developers to create applications to automate interactions over the phone. VoiceXML is the current industry standard programming language for building voice applications.
Telecom industry experts created VXML in 1999. Development was eventually turned over to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees specifications for a wide range of technologies. VXML has gone through several update iterations and development of the standard is on-going.
Why does any of this matter? It shows that VXML is a mature, reliable, and thoroughly vetted development language. VoiceXML is also an open standard, which means that it continues to be developed and enhanced to meet the evolving needs of voice technology and voice applications.
VXML shares many similarities with HTML so web developers with the ability to build web pages using HTML can easily make the transition to making voice applications using VXML. With a shallow learning curve for HTML coders, business don’t need to sink funds into training or hiring new developers.
By its very nature an open standard is non-proprietary, so anyone can use it and it is not tied to a particular vendor or development platform. Therefore, applications built with VXML can be ported to other platforms, saving significant development resources.
VoiceXML can be programmed to carry out any imaginable voice-based task or business process. A wide range of communications features, including text-to-speech (TTS) and SMS/MMS, makes VXML an extremely powerful communications tool. APIs allow you to integrate with databases, and automatic speech recognition (ASR), artificial intelligence (AI), and voice biometrics engines.
From a development perspective, building voice applications is similar to creating web pages. Web pages use HTML and a web browser to send and receive text and images over the internet.
Likewise, applications built with VXML act as a voice browser to input and output audio over the PSTN or VoIP. The obvious difference is that you access a web browser on a computer and you access a voice browser with a telephone.
IVR and other voice applications, like those built on the Plum DEV platform, connect to the internet in the same way as a web browser. The main difference is that IVR talks to web servers using VoiceXML instead of HTML.
Recent improvements to IVR technology enables it to much more than simple data presentation and collection. Modern IVR applications possess powerful, robust features that let companies automate complex processes, use real time data, and much more.