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The do-it-yourself mindset is by no means a new one. Before the uptick in commercials encouraging homeowners to DIY and the prevalence of HGTV shows dedicated to a given room in the house, Bob Vila ruled the DIY world on “This Old House.”

As any DIYer will tell you, not all projects are created equally. Sometimes if you have the skills to do something you might not have the time to learn new techniques. What should you do in that situation?

In the world of tech, we don’t have to worry about matching the stain color on a hardwood floor, but many of the same questions about whether to DIY or not exist. When it comes to building applications to that automate voice communications, here at Plum we offer two different ways to build voice applications.

These two products have very different approaches to building applications. Plum DEV requires coding and knowledge of the VoiceXML programming language, whereas Plum Fuse has a graphic user interface and drag-and-drop capabilities.

Should You DIY?

When it comes to building a new application from scratch using code there are two questions any organization needs to answer when deciding whether DIY is the right option:

  1. Do your engineers/developers understand how to build applications hosted on a web server?
  2. Do you have engineers/developers who have the time to learn a new product?

Creating Web Services

If you answered “no” to the first question, then DIY is a non-starter. Cloud-based communications like the type you can run on the Plum DEV platform need to be able to execute scripts on a web server. So if you don’t have the resources to write scripts for a web-server then DIY isn’t for you.

Having Enough Development Cycles

If web servers are old hat to your engineers/developers, then the issue becomes whether they have the time to ramp up on a new product. In this case, it’s VoiceXML. The advantage of coding in VoiceXML is that it gives you total control over every aspect of your application.

VoiceXML is not difficult to learn, as far as programming languages go. Where things can get confusing is when developers need to simultaneously learn the capabilities of VoiceXML and the intricacies of how call-flows work. So if your engineers/developers don’t have the bandwidth to learn both VoiceXML and the logic of call-flows then DIY isn’t an efficient option.

The Visual Approach

Even if you don’t have developer resources all hope is not lost. With a visual, drag-and-drop interface, Plum Fuse doesn’t require anyone to learn how to code. Instead, Fuse provides pre-built modules and all you need to do is to connect them. Now, this requires an understanding of call-flow logic so that everything fits together and functions properly, but the point is that it’s easier to build the actual application.

If you’re interested in the different approaches to building applications with these products, read through our side-by-side comparison that shows how to build the same application using both DEV and Fuse.

(Note: you’ll likely still need developers to connect things on the backend, depending on the type of application you build. Fuse and DEV both integrate with web services in the same way.)

A Third Option

At the end of the day, the choice to pursue DIY comes down to having the right personnel and the time to learn a new product.

If you don’t have the capabilities to do any of this, then there is a third option. By taking advantage of our professional services our experts will build your voice application(s) for you.


No matter what option is right for you, Plum helps to deliver killer voice automation applications.

Contact Plum Voice


Jason Myers stitches together letters and words into cogent thoughts as the Copywriter at Plum Voice.

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