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Jan W. van den Beld
Secretary General
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Press Contact:
Martin Jacklin
Media Relations
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Ecma publishes key Web Services call control standard

Ecma International has produced the world’s first complete call control web services specification (ECMA-348)

Geneva October 1st 2003 - Ecma International announces the publication of several Computer Supported Telecommunications Applications (CSTA) standards, including the world’s first complete call control Web Service specification, ECMA-348.

Web services are self-contained modular business applications that are loosely coupled, communicating directly with other Web services via the Internet using standards-based technologies. Web services can be accessed by customers, suppliers, and trading partners independent of hardware, operating system, or even programming environment.

ECMA-348 (CSTA-WDSL) provides a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) specification for CSTA. A WSDL is an XML schema describing everything that an application needs in order to communicate with a Web Service. ECMA-348 builds upon the features of ECMA-269, 5th edition – CSTA Services and ECMA-323, 2nd edition – CSTA XML Schema, which were published in December 2002.

CSTA WSDL facilitates the creation and deployment of web based CSTA applications. For example, by using CSTA WSDL with many industry Web services development environments, a web services developer can access CSTA features provided by a CSTA implementation without knowing details of the network or underlying transport protocols.

The December 2002 editions of the CSTA Standards enhance the support for non-voice media such as Instant Messaging, Email, SMS, etc. The new editions also provide more support for inter-working with SIP based infrastructures and include specific profiles that are optimized for voice browsers.

Additionally, ECMA TR/85 “Using ECMA-323 (CSTA XML) in a Voice Browser Environment” (December 2002) illustrates how voice browsers use CSTA call control. Examples of using CSTA XML with SALT browsers and CCXML browsers using ECMAScript are included.

Onno Elzinga, Ecma International Chief Technology Officer, commented: “ECMA-348 is the first complete Call Control Web Service specification. It enables the use of Integrated Software Development Environments, which are off the shelf tools, unlocking the vast potential of Web Services programmers already familiar with XML. It complements and uses the XML schema definitions of ECMA-323 and enables the use of other Internet Protocols such as SOAP, TCP and HTTP.”

Victor Chan, Siemens Director OpenScape Product Management said: "The latest Ecma International CSTA Standards bring together all forms of media that people need to communicate in their business. CSTA lets our customers write applications that manage Voice, Instant Messaging, SMS, Paging, and Email, in the same way, no matter what type of infrastructure (IP based SIP, for example) they have. This is real voice and data convergence today."

Mr. Manfred Edelmann, Tenovis Senior Chief Architect said: “The new CSTA WSDL Standard and the existing CSTA XML Standard offers application developers a very comprehensive and powerful set of XML call control features. Applications can be developed much faster and with much less complexity because WSDL frees application developers from having to deal directly with underlying web transport protocols.”

Dr. X.D. Huang, General Manager of the Speech Technologies group at Microsoft, said: “CSTA XML for Voice Browser Environment plays an important role in the Microsoft Speech Server, currently available to our beta program participants. Through the open Ecma standard, our partners are able to develop advanced communication services using the rich functionality provided by CSTA, and are able to do so in an interoperable and portable manner without having to resort to expensive and proprietary solutions.”

Ecma continues to enhance the CSTA standards. It is currently working on  advanced conferencing features to support collaboration applications, using CSTA with new versions of W3C Web Services/SOAP specifications, using CSTA with SIP phones, for example. Further information on CSTA activities at Ecma is at:

http://www.ecma-international.org/activities/Communications/TG11/cstaIII.htm.

Any company wishing to take part in this activity should get in touch with the Ecma International secretariat on helpdesk@ecma-international.org

About Ecma International

Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for information and communication technology (ICT) and consumer electronics (CE). Ecma is a not-for-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Industry and other experts work together in Ecma to complete standards. Ecma then submits the approved work for approval as ISO, ISO/IEC and ETSI standards.

Ecma is the inventor and main practitioner of “fast tracking” of specifications through the standardization process in Global Standards Bodies like the ISO. In ISO/IEC JTC 1, Ecma has the status of an A-liaison, equivalent to a national body without voting rights. Since its start in 1987, over 196 (more than 80%) of the 232 submissions for fast-track processing in JTC-1 have come from Ecma.

Main areas of standardization include: Scripting and programming languages; Optical and Magnetic storage; High speed interconnects; Safety, Environmental, Acoustical and Electromagnetic product attributes; Enterprise and Proximity Communication and Networking; and File and Volume structures. Publications can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.ecma-international.org.