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Microsoft Speech Server 2004 Lets You Speak to IT

Speak to IT

You'll need two computers to develop and deploy MSS speech apps. I installed the Microsoft Speech Application SDK onto a Windows 2003 Server (1,400-MHz dual-Pentium III, with 1,024 MB of RAM) and housed the MSS on another Windows 2003 Server (1,133-MHz Pentium III, with 2,048 MB of RAM) with an Application Server Role to enable Internet Information Server 6.0. Once apps are developed using the SDK platform, they're deployed to MSS and an ASP.Net Web server (aka IIS 6.0).

MSS hosts speech apps and their resources, including voice-prompt databases and grammar files. The Web server generates the app's Web pages containing HTML and SALT to end users over a telephone or Web interface (see diagram, page 32). In my tests of these functions, I had to jump through a number of installation hoops, but I cleared each of them with little effort.

The product supports a range of Intel Dialogic voice-processing telephony cards to interface with PBXs and telephone switches. I installed a Dialogic D/41JCT-LS (four-port analog) card into the MSS server and set up a hotline to it--that is, I connected the Dialogic card to a standard telephone using a telephone-line simulator that provided dial tone, ringing and DTMF (Dual Tone Multi-Frequency) tone detection. I drove the Dialogic card with Intel's Dialogic Speech Platform Software Release 1.0. After installing the driver for the card, I used the DCM (Dialogic Configuration Manager) to make adjustments.

With the DCM, I turned on the CSPExtraTimeSlot parameter to support CSP (Continuous Call Processing). CSP reserves time slots to send echo-canceled data over our CT (computer telephony) bus. I also used the DCM to nail the firmware file (D41JCSP.FWL) to the board's configuration.

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