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Computer telephony integration


Computer telephony integration aims at the integration of computer-based systems, networks, telecommunication systems, PABX , and voice processing systems.

In order to minimise the time needed to develop applications or to port them to different computers or PABXs , there is a need for standards. It is more efficient to develop applications within a familiar development environment  than learning a specific programming language and functions for each application.

The first initiative to develop such APIs   originated from NOVELL/AT&T in 1993 through a TELEPHONY SERVICES API (TSAPI ). Many PABX  manufacturers supported it (ALCATEL, AT&T, FUJITSU, MITEL, etc.). The objectives were to allow Novell-Netware users to access the PABX  functions from their workstations.

The second initiative originated from MICROSOFT, and is called TELEPHONY API (TAPI , or MS-TAPI for MICROSOFT-TAPI  ). Its objective is to allow each PC  user to operate a standard telephone from any Windows-based application (dialling, voice-mail prompts  on the PC screen, etc.). Windows'95 incorporates TAPI  functions and a development kit.

Many companies offer applications or hardware platforms  with TAPI  or TSAPI  functions (Dialogic, Rethorex).

So the application developer should know what kind of API   he gets with the technology he is buying. The ones mentioned above constitute a comprehensive set of interfaces that will be widely available soon.


EAGLES SWLG SoftEdition, May 1997. Get the book...