A programming interface that will integrate Internet and telephony components in one application is now available as part of Sun's Java. The Java Telephony API specification this week received industry endorsement from the likes of IBM, Intel, Nortel and Lucent Technologies.
Sun claims that the API will simplify application development of a wide range of computer telephony integration (CTI) applications and that the scalability of the interface will allow it to be implemented on devices ranging from hand-held phones to large servers.
But others were unconvinced. David Mackenzie, group director at Royal Blue Technologies, a large CTI application provider in the UK, said the first impact the new Java API is likely to have on the market is to confuse it further. ?APIs are only as good as the application software that goes with them,? he said. But he did add: ?I would consider incorporating the Java telephony API on top of our present functionality.? Royal Blue provides a complex call centre application called Rostrum, which has its own API modelled on an ECMA standard. He also said the company had looked into incorporating Microsoft?s TAPI to give customers more choice.
After initial development by Sun and Lucent, the proposed Java Telephony API was shared with Intel, Nortel and Novell, all of whom made contributions and devoted resources to refining it. The proposed specification has been put on to the Javasoft Web site (http://java.sun.com/products/javate/index.html) and is seeking public review and comment until 30 October, when the API will be submitted to the Enterprise Computer Telephony Forum, a telephony standards group.
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