The telco world has organizations such as the ITU and ANSI; indispensable tools in creating standards that telephony vendors need to design their equipment. An ITU standard takes several years to ratify and formalize, and a typical vendor cycle of development lasts around eighteen months. The Internet community runs off of the IETF, and creates nearly all the web standards used in networking, such as TCP, HTTP and FTP. The IETF is a bit different than the ITU, in that the IETF documents stuff that's already working, so that the standards lag the availability of a product. IETF standards take much less time to appear as drafts, and Internet application development lasts three to six months.
Another sort of standard is an architecture standard. Strictly speaking, IMS is an architecture standard, not an implementation standard. In the Web world, AJAX is an architecture (or web development technique) that uses Asynchronous Java and XML to make rich, interactive web sites. Ajax is a standard because that's how people normally them together - there is no committee and there are no plenary sessions. What is the telco mashup standard? What is an application that uses WITA? I'll define it today, and we can delve into it over the next week. I use WITA for nearly all my telephony mashups, and I've seen many others do the same.
Web Integrated Telco Architectures use the following standard components:
- Voice XML: WITA uses VXML to handle inbound interactions with human beings, and most outbound voice messaging applications use VoiceXML to make those messages rich an interesting. The VXML scripts are delivered by a web services application, and post the inputs the collect to a web services application.
- Ruby on Rails : WITA uses Ruby on Rails to implement the web services application. It's responsible for putting the logic on top of the database, and for rendering views to the user in the form of VxML scripts, Web Services APIs and graphically intensive web pages.
- Telco Web Services : WITA uses telco web services to deliver telephony features such as outbound messaging, conference calling, click to dial and SMS messaging. These web services are called from the Ruby on Rails frame work, and provide the scaling and reliability components of the architecture.
VxML + Rails + Telco Web Services == WITA.