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.

We’ve doubled our VoIP capacity again due to growth in 2012 and our 2013 plans

Hi all,

Hope you’re having a great year too? With 2012 almost coming to an end it’s time to just summarise where we are and what’s been happening in our world of VoIP.

We’ve now doubled our VoIP capacity with BT wholesale again to meet upcoming business in 2013. What else? Here’s a quick list as I know you’re very busy:

  • We have secured funding from the Scottish Business Gateway for a new business plan and sales and marketing work. This is paving the way for us to develop our own ISP related to VoIP in 2013. It is also helping with a new marketing video, website revamp, better purchase experience so your products are instantly live and a new customer and partner portal (plus other things)
  • We’ve joined RIPE – those techies of you will know this is the first step to running your own Broadband and other connectivity products
  • We’ve entered the ITSPA Awards again have high hopes we’ll win it
  • Our iPhone app is getting shown to us this month which is being developed in partnership with RGU
  • We’re closed for Christmas (I hope you are too)
  • We’re launching a brand new conferencing and web meeting product (more this month but it is a real game changer)
  • We’re moving office so we can accommodate more staff
  • We’re working hard on the most requested feature which is call packages
  • The SureVoIP API developer portal will be ready after the new year
  • SureVoIP partners are using the API in some cool ways

We’ve a couple of press releases out before the year end so keep an eye out. How has your year been?

Thanks,

Gavin.

P.S. Have you seen our SureVoIP 5 star reviews?

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 API major components open sourced

Hi all,

Today we are making various pieces of software on our GitHub account Open Source. This includes an OAuth 2 framework for the Catalyst Perl MVC framework and all the components used to make our WebHooks for push based event notifications. Here’s the full list:

 

In most of the README’s you’ll see:

SPONSORSHIP

This module exists due to the wonderful people at Suretec Systems Ltd.

<http://www.suretecsystems.com/> who sponsored it’s development for its

VoIP division called SureVoIP <http://www.surevoip.co.uk/> for use with

the SureVoIP API

<http://www.surevoip.co.uk/support/wiki/api_documentation>

This shows our commitment, as always, to giving back to the open source community.

Lastly, here’s an overview of what you can do with the SureVoIP API:

  • have your accounting software download all your invoices
  • list all your companies calls
  • send text messages and faxes
  • manage all your telephone numbers
  • provide a customer portal on your own site (white label)
  • integrate with other applications that you use
  • create your own customers using your partner account
  • order new telephone numbers
  • get out of credit alerts via the push based event notification framework
  • use OAuth 2.0 for allowing 3rd party Apps access to your account
  • be 100% self-sufficient
  • create telephone calls (good for click-to-call)
  • much more….

 

We’re in the process of creating the Developer sign up pages on our site so that you can register an app and we’ll also have an App gallery to list your wonderful creations! Demo and live apps are coming.

Thanks,

Gavin.