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Design and Implement a Voice-only Web Application in ASP.NET

This whitepaper demonstrates how to use the Microsoft .NET Speech SDK to build a complete e-commerce starter application. Use these detailed techniques to build your own commerce system that will have your customers browsing, shopping, and making purchases using nothing but the sounds of their voices.


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f you think a voice-enabled commerce solution is still too sci-fi for you to take seriously, then you haven't been paying attention. Voice recognition technology has arrived; it's stable, it's standardized, it works, and there's demand for it. In this article, we will take you step-by-step through the process of building a demo application called "Commerce Voice." "Commerce Voice" is a voice-only version of the "IBuySpy" Commerce Sample in the ASP.NET Starter Kit. The application was built using Microsoft's .NET Speech SDK.

Commerce Voice will show how to create a voice-only service from an existing Web application, by leveraging the existing business and data layers of the IBuySpy sample it is based on. To this end, the Web-based version is included with this sample to illustrate how the two presentation layers work together simultaneously on the same data. It is possible to place an order in the voice-only application and see that order immediately reflected in the Web version. In the process we will demonstrate best-practice programming and design techniques for using the Speech SDK. The tools in the SDK allow the programmer a great deal of flexibility in making design decisions. We have made it a priority to show a consistent set of best practices for developing voice-only applications.

The finished application allows end users to do all of the following:

  • Order products quickly and easily by product number.
  • Browse and learn about products through a voice-based catalog.
  • Use a shopping cart, including the ability to add, review, modify, and remove products.
  • Review previous orders, including totals, dates, and products ordered.
  • Log in to an account securely using Windows Authentication.
Finally, this white paper includes lessons learned from the testing, design, and development stages, as well as thoughts about the differences between building visual applications for the Web and speech applications for telephony.


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