NEW YORK, SPEECHTEK 2007, Aug. 20, 2007 — Today at the SpeechTEK 2007 Conference and Exhibition, the VoiceXML Forum announced the publication of the Session Log Annotation Markup Language (SLAML) specification. The new draft specification describes a methodology for collecting, storing and retrieving runtime data for speech-based services and will help make data-analysis and service-tuning tools platform-independent. The SLAML specification was developed by the VoiceXML Forum Tools Committee’s Data Logging Working Group and is available for download at The VoiceXML Forum is encouraging its members and the industry at large to review the specification documents and provide feedback. Comments may be e-mailed to DL The comment period closes on Nov. 9.

Analysis of runtime data is essential to tuning speech-based services for best performance. Previously, there was no uniform method for representing voice recordings and other runtime data from speech-based services. Platform, application and tools vendors have traditionally used a variety of approaches for formatting runtime data, creating interoperability issues.

“Data generated by a speech-based application during runtime can provide valuable visibility into the performance of the application and the user interaction. However, data capture has not been adequately addressed by or integrated into any relevant speech industry standards,” said David Thomson, chair, Tools Committee, VoiceXML Forum. “The SLAML specification will enable service providers to mix-and-match development tools, application servers and VoiceXML browsers, while maintaining a consistent data-logging format. Additionally, industry-wide adoption of the specification will make field data easier to analyze and use, improving speech system performance and usability. We encourage all vendors, service providers and customers to review the specification and submit their comments.”

The SLAML specification includes five documents:

  • Data Logging Overview
  • Session Log Annotation Markup Language Specification, which defines the data logging model
  • Application Server Logging Specification (ASLS), which defines a format for logging in server-side applications
  • Automatic Speech Recognition Logging Specification, which describes tags for logging run-time data in an automatic speech recognition server
  • VoiceXML Browser Data Logging Specification, which describes tags for logging run-time data in VoiceXML browsers

Tools Committee in Action at SpeechTEK

The VoiceXML Forum’s Tools Committee is comprised of representatives from more than 60 member companies and is among the most active of the VoiceXML Forum’s seven committees. The Tools Committee has four technical working groups: Data Logging, Metalanguage, Advanced Dialogs and Open Source Grammars. This week at SpeechTEK, t he Committee is sponsoring its second workshop on Advanced Dialogs and will study methods for standardizing language features that support systems with advanced dialog capabilities. In addition, David Thomson and other Tools Committee members will moderate or participate in several tools-related sessions, including:

  • New language specifications (Monday, Aug. 20 at 1:45 p.m.)
  • Which tools are right for you? (Monday, Aug. 20 at 3:00 p.m.)
  • Watch your grammar (Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 4:15 p.m.)

About the VoiceXML Forum

Founded in 1999, the VoiceXML Forum is an industry organization whose mission is to promote and to accelerate the worldwide adoption of VoiceXML-based applications. To this end, the Forum serves as an educational and technical resource, a certification authority and a contributor and liaison to international standards bodies, such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) IETF, ANSI and ISO. The VoiceXML Forum is organized as a program of the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO). Membership in the Forum is open to any interested company. For more information, please visit the Website at

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