LignUp Releases Version 4.0 Suite of Communications Web Services

LignUp released version 4.0 of the LignUp Communications Application Server, a suite of telephony Web services.

LignUp 4.0 features 125 call control and media control functions exposed through LignUp Communications Web Services. The Web services are implemented by the J2EE-compliant LignUp Communications Integration Server, a new component of the LignUp Communications Application Server. The  software, standards-based (SIP, RTP, HTTP, SOAP, WSDL) LignUp Communications Application Server enables developers to use their favorite programming languages and development environments to incorporate IP-based communications into Web applications, Web portals, business processes, mashups, blogs and wikis.

With LignUp 4.0, developers can integrate communications into applications using LignUp Communications Web Services for access to telephony, media, interactive voice response (IVR), text-to-speech (TTS), voicemail, unified messaging, and presence capabilities. LignUp 4.0-powered applications can be used to ring any phone—IP phones, mobile devices, or fixed landline handsets—independent of the enterprise PBX, carrier switch or network to which they are attached. By extending the reach of voice-enabled applications and services to a broad community of consumer and business users, LignUp 4.0 is empowering enterprises, Web 2.0 companies, and service providers to realize the promise of communication-enabled business processes (CEBP) for greater personalization, productivity, collaboration and efficiency.

"We have invested in high quality systems to manage our service and sales operations, but traditionally telephony has been entirely detached from the core business functions due to the lack of interfaces. The open Web service architecture of LignUp 4.0 now allows us to easily weave communications into any of the applications we run," said Paul Wignall, group IT director at Zycko, a value-added distributor of IT infrastructure solutions. "For example, now within our Siebel CRM application, the salesperson uses click-to-call functionality to initiate a customer call. Once the call is in progress, a popup screen appears in Siebel where the salesperson can either note the conversation or record it, and then store this against the contact for future reference. This is a win for business efficiency and customer service."

LignUp 4.0 provides a library of LignUp Communications Web Services with both lower-level Web services for control and LignUp VoIPlets -- Web services that deliver functionality out-of-the-box for integration into business processes. LignUp Communications Web Services extend across seven major categories:

  • Call Control: Click2Call, Hold, Park, Pickup, Blind and Supervised Transfer, Disconnect
  • Media Control: Record, VoiceDrop
  • Screen Pop: with CallerID, Reject, Redirect
  • Call State and Presence Notifications: Ringing, Busy, Connected, and other Presence States
  • Personalization: Ability to set personal preferences for Call Routing, Screening, Forwarding, Notifications, Personal IVR menus and View Call Logs, and Voicemails
  • Provisioning: Ability to setup and adjust Extensions, Voicemail boxes, IVR menus/Auto Attendants, Hunt Groups, Dial Plans and Routing Rules
  • VoIPlets: Click2Record, VoiceNotification, VoiceConfirmation, VoiceApproval, VoiceBroadcast

LignUp Communications Web Services are implemented by the J2EE-compliant LignUp Communications Integration Server, first available on Apache Tomcat and the IBM Websphere Application Server for deployment within existing enterprise SOA infrastructures. A new component within the LignUp Communications Application Server architecture, the LignUp Communications Integration Server provides a framework for using, creating, exposing, and managing LignUp Communications Web Services, which serve as reusable software blocks for building communications-enabled applications across the enterprise.

LignUp Communications Web Services can be consumed within developers' preferred environments, such as Eclipse/Java, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft .Net Framework, and business process engineering language (BPEL) engines. LignUp interoperates with existing telephony infrastructures and manages the lower-level telephony communications.

Communications Application Server includes several components:

  • LignUp Call Director, a SIP back-to-back user agent (SIP B2BUA), HTTP client and HTTP server used to join, hold, park, transfer, and disconnect calls. Programmable via CCTRL -- an XML Call Control scripting language, it hides the details of SIP, enabling developers to focus on the business logic of their applications.
  • LignUp Media Server, a software-only, high-volume media (RTP, g.711, g.729a) processing engine for media functions, such as audio recording and playback; dual-tone, multi-frequency (DTMF) digit collection and generation; automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) via third-party engines; and T.38 fax origination and termination. The Media Server is a SIP endpoint, so it can accept calls, and a built-in HTTP client enables it to post information, for example DTMF digits, to external applications. Programmable via MCTRL -- an XML Media Control scripting language and VXML scripts, it hides the details of media processing, and also enables developers to focus on the business logic of their applications.
  • LignUp ProCentrex, a multi-tenant IP-PBX built using LignUp Call Director and LignUp Media Server XML scripts.
  • LignUp ProVoice, a voicemail application integrated with LignUp ProCentrex.
  • LignUp ProMessenger, a unified communications application for browser-based access to voicemails, emails, and faxes. Users can set call screening and forwarding rules; click-to-call from call logs; and manage address books, calendars and to-do lists.

The LignUp Communications Application Server is based on a service-oriented architecture, from the core server functionality all the way through LignUp Communications Web Services and VoIPlets. Each component in the architecture can be deployed on an Intel-compatible server, or distributed on multiple servers and in server farms -- locally and in geographically disparate locations. General availability of LignUp 4.0 begins June 1, 2007. It can be deployed both as an enterprise or service provider solution.

Developers can get a start with LignUp 4.0 through the LignUp beta CodeLign developer program. By participating in CodeLign, they get access to six of the LignUp Communications Web Services, and 800 free phone minutes running on the Level 3 network to build and test their communications-enabled Web services, applications, mashups, wikis, and portals. LignUp is hosting the developer environment on the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), and audio files created by LignUp-based applications are stored on the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

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