IP telephony development tools

Most companies that are choosing to implement IP telephony networks realize that they can be used for more than just phone service. Whether you planned to expand your telephony network when you installed it or now want to take advantage of its functionality, this tip from Informit

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might help as it examines a few IP telephony tools for developing applications.

"How will this technology change the way I do business?" This is the question companies are now asking with regard to IP telephony. While just a couple of years ago, companies were deploying IP telephony because they needed a new phone system, today more and more companies are looking to IP telephony applications to impact strategic objectives beyond the PBX. IP telephony has evolved to the point where these applications are readily available. An impressive suite of development tools is now available to help developers create these new capabilities quickly and cost-effectively.

Aptigen Designer, from Aptigen, is one example. It streamlines and accelerates the IP telephony application process by allowing non-technical staff to dynamically create and maintain applications. Using a simple Windows-based interface, Aptigen Designer lets companies develop and maintain Cisco IP telephony applications without requiring extensive XML knowledge and often without involving a software developer or applications team.

Another example is The Design Studio from Net6. Design Studio is a point-and-click, visual development environment used to transform a companys XML- and HTML-based applications into the proper format for employees or customers using IP telephones or wireless devices. The benefit is that it accomplishes this without a single change to the underlying application. Further, it allows applications to be driven to screen-based IP telephones from virtually any manufacturer. Finally, the NORA bubblet technology from Norstan CDG enables companies to develop customized functionality to enhance the capabilities of the virtual interactive agent, NORA. This enables PC users to have enhanced interaction via voice, video or a number of forms of messaging with other users or information sources, customized for their particular industry or requirement. This is proving to be a cost-effective option for companies looking for a controlled introduction of convergence capabilities without requiring a full-fledged migration to IP telephony.

It is interesting to note that the IP telephony movement has finally matured to the extent that not only are applications widely available, but the tools to develop these applications quickly and easily are just as common. This fact, along with a market that continues to vote with its purchasing dollars, tells us that IP telephony is going to be here for a long time and that the market's expectations have been raised beyond just placing phone calls.

Read an example of IP telephony applications in action at Informit.

This was first published in November 2004

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