How We All Benefit From Integration and Collaboration – Open Source and APIs

As those who know about our company will be aware, SureVoIP® has been geared from its inception to be pro-Open Source. Open Source is the term given to software which the developer has allowed access to for other developers.

 

This is more than a just a statement, it affects how SureVoIP® functions, and how we approach things. It shows a different approach to developing solutions.

 

Let's compare an Open Source approach to the more traditional purely profit-driven approach. When companies are developing software purely for profit, they work in isolation. A team of developers will have a brief, and will work to fulfil this to the satisfaction of the client company.

 

This reflects the 'normal' business approach. A gap in the market is spotted, and a product or service is developed to fill this gap. This is a generally accepted business model, and works reasonably well.

 

However, if we stop to analyse it for a second, we can spot some obvious flaws. The first is that all these products are being developed in isolation. No one individual or business is taking an overview, and there is no guarantee to customers that product 'X' from one company will work with product 'Y' from another company.

 

As I say, this is fairly normal. After all, we wouldn't expect a manufacturer to design a TV to work with another manufacturer's remote control!

 

But, if we extend this thinking to the internet, we run into difficulties.

 

The internet has essentially become a plethora of connected things, enmeshed within our daily lives. We now expect to share a news story by clicking a 'share' icon, and update our Facebook page by using s smart phone app. It is increasingly common to be able to turn on our living room lights at home, by using a smart phone app. As the much talked about Internet of Things becomes prevalent, we will soon expect to order groceries using a voice-recognition device, or expect our fridge to order more milk without us even knowing it's running low!

 

So if we look at internet-based products and services within the framework of the individual product development model, we see this connected aspect would quickly fall apart. With no financial motivation to develop links between disparate products and services, we would simply have a stand off between companies waiting for others to absorb development costs.

 

But – introduce collaboration and integration into this picture, and things change significantly. In fact, you end up with our present day connected world, because it simply couldn't exist without them.

 

Different companies develop products which simply must work with products developed at other times and by other companies. An open, collaborative approach to development is an essential ingredient in this mix, a bit like the flour in a cake recipe. You can have all the icing and cherries you like, but without something to bind all the ingredients together, you don't have a cake!

 

As a pro-Open Source company, SureVoIP® works with collaboration in mind. We are fully committed to this approach – it informs all our development programmes, and has done since the company's inception.

 

We allow full access to our API (Application Programming Interface – read on to find out more), giving other developers the ability to integrate with our systems. This in turn allows a better customer experience, with the internet developing in response to customer needs and expectations.

 

The model of a single company developing products in isolation would not allow this level of cooperation. in fact, it would work against it, as development would stall. The small company with a good idea for customers might be able to develop a new product or service, but would be unable to integrate it with anything. After all, a new app must be able to work with smart phones, or it a waste of development time. The small company who developed it would literally have been better of not bothering, as they will have wasted development time for nothing.

 

This why APIs are so important. An API (or Application Programming Interface) allows developers to integrate with the back-end of other products. It is essentially a set of rules which governs integration, allowing developers to marry two pieces of software, applications or programs together. In this way, new products can be developed and released, with the knowledge that it will be functional and work across devices. Without this, we end up with our single company development model.

 

For the internet we are used to to continue to deliver all the things we expect, then we simply need this collaborative approach.

 

It is the glue which holds all these potentially disparate things together, or, to return to our cake metaphor, the flour which binds all the other ingredients.

 

 

More info on our Developer API

More info on our Outbound SMS API

More info on our Outbound Fax API

 

More informative articles on VoIP and the Internet

 

 

The importance of Perl at SureVoIP and why you should help all Open Source projects

At SureVoIP we use Perl for so many things that it forms a major part of our success. It is in fact critical for us. That is why we became a Gold Sponsor for the Perl QA Hackathon.

What is the Perl QA Hackathon?

A free of charge coding workshop for people involved in Quality Assurance, testing, packaging, CPAN, and other projects related to quality assurance. The workshop is not necessarily exclusive to Perl projects, however, many of the attendees will be planning to work on projects that have a direct benefit to the Perl language.

This year’s Hackathon will be held at the The Rugby Hotel in Rugby, UK from April 21-24.

We use the language, various modules and projects powered by Perl for the following:

 

In summary, if you’re a business or user that thinks phenomenal software projects like Perl and Open Source Software in general is free (quoted from this page):

Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”. We sometimes call it “libre software” to show we do not mean it is gratis.

then you need to understand that in fact all Open Source projects need to receive funding from somewhere. That “somewhere” should be you too! 🙂

Please help any project you use by donating to them.

Thanks,

Gavin.

Perl Developer Vacancy – API/Portal developer using Catalyst

Please see the following:

API/Portal developer using Catalyst

Thanks.

SureVoIP Browser Plugin and new Add Ons page

Dear all,

We have created a new Add On page to list add ons that use the SureVoIP API.

BETA – The first official addon from SureVoIP is the SureVoIP Browser Plugin which works on:

  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Apple Safari
  • Mozilla Firefox

 

It allows you to “Click to Call” any number on the page and send SMS messages.

You can find it on the Google Chrome App store under SureVoIP Browser Plugin or directly download using the links below.

SureVoIP Browser Plugin download for:

 

For those of you that are developers, the source code for the plugin is available via the SureVoIP-Browser-Plugin GitHub repository so you can learn how to create your own plugins using the SureVoIP API. This is developed using the Crossrider framework.

Thanks!

Aberdeen TechMeetup: SureVoIP API

Hi all,

I will be doing a talk about the SureVoIP API on Thursday 20th March at Aberdeen TechMeetup:

Aberdeen TechMeetup: SureVoIP API

14th Mar 2013 by bruce

Gavin Henry@ghenry

Gavin will take you through the lifecycle of the SureVoIP API including:

* Why it was needed; internal use, partners and customers

* The technologies chosen

* Parts outsourced and released under an Open Source license

* Current uses and “Apps”

* Future

Thanks,

Gavin.

SureVoIP and the SureVoIP VoIP API finalists for the 2013 ITSPA Awards

Just a quick one to say that we made it! We are finalists for two ITSPA awards!

We entered the SureVoIP Telecoms Cloud VoIP API in to the “Most Innovative VoIP Product/Service” category and SureVoIP for the “Best Business ITSP (Small Enterprise)”. See the 2013 ITSPA Awards for more info.

Thanks to everyone for supporting us and being our customers!

Browser plugins and an iPhone/iPad app!

Hi all,

Very excited that this is moving forward now but we have just had a demo of our first iPhone app for SureVoIP (Android coming) which has been developed in partnership with the RGU dePICT program. We received some funding from the EU which we match and so far has been a great experience!

We’ve also commissioned some Browser plugins using crossrider which means using these and the SureVoIP API:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari

you will be able to click any telephone number on a web page and it will call your phone first then that number and connect you. You can also right-click it to send a SMS/text or a fax (by uploading a PDF).

I’d recommend working with your local University and Crossrider 🙂

More soon,

Gavin.

What customers and partners are doing with the SureVoIP VoIP API

Did you know we have at least 6 companies doing really clever things right now using the SureVoIP Cloud VoIP API?

Uses include:

  1. Telephone call generation for click to call via a customers website
  2. We send out VoIP handset status events (actually SIP Presence events from our hosted VoIP platform exposed via JSON) which one company uses to update a webpage to show call centre agents availability
  3. CRM integration for call popups and call records using a well known CRM platform.  This uses our core push events called WebHooks which sends call progress status when someone calls a SureVoIP inbound number (ringing, answered, onhold,  hangup)
  4. Customer portal and .NET wrapper (which will be made open source on our github repo)
  5. SMS notifications in a well known hotel chain
  6. SMS alerts to contact the on call I.T. support via an internal portal

 

All cool stuff and exactly the kind of thing we like to see! Once we have released the new SureVoIP Developer portal you can see all these (once we get permission) with code examples, in the App gallery.

So why are they using SureVoIP? We have an amazing developer API that is fast, connected directly into the core UK telephone network (unlike other non-communication providers that just bolt one on to an existing provider) and access to it comes with every SureVoIP Product and Service.

We are working hard adding and completing more features, exposing more of our hosted VoIP features and improving the API documentation, as well as working with a local University to develop our first mobile App (Apple iOS6 then Android).

Thanks.

Our Raspberry Pi has finally arrived! Time to mess with the SureVoIP API

Well, after what seems ages and ages we’ve finally got our Raspberry Pi:

There’s already been some cool posts about putting VoIP software on to it. We’re going to do some tests and see what cool things we can do with it and the SureVoIP API

Will keep you posted. I really don’t know what took so long for ours to arrive when most others got theirs in June!

SureVoIP VoIP Infographics

We have made live our new infographics which cover how VoIP works when using SureVoIP for customers, and how the SureVoIP Partner programs and SureVoIP VoIP API work. Enjoy!

Feedback?

Thanks,

Gavin.