Get started

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Getting started with SoftIVR provides an advanced, hosted IP IVR platform which has been designed to be robust, flexible, scalable and easy to use to implement any conceivable IVR service. All interaction with the platform – programming, loading of audio, debugging – is carried out using an AJAX front end in a web browser, meaning that there's no software to download or user interfaces to learn. This document describes how to get started with SoftIVR.


An IVR application will usually consist of the following – individual items may be absent in specific circumstances: Audio files or prompts – these are played to callers, either as information or to ask them to do something; A program or script to define the way that the caller progresses through the IVR service; A number or numbers which a caller can call to gain access to the service. We're going to combine the elements above to make a few applications, culminating in one which records voicemails and e-mails them to you.

Firstly, log in to SoftIVR – visit and follow the link to log in. If you've not registered before, then follow the link to register instead: it takes a couple of minutes to do and gives you access to the platform.

Now select the 'Code editor' tab – we're going to write a simple script to make sure that everything works. Create a new service – click on the button at the bottom of the (empty) service list, and give your new service a name - “Beep” and a description - “Demo beep service”. Click on “Create”, and you'll see it appear in the service list. Now click on the blue arrow to the right of its name, which will open the code editor window. This is where you'll edit the code which determines how a service runs.

For now, we're going to write a simple service which just plays beeps when it's called. Services are written in Javascript, a scripting language made universal by the web, and a critical component of the Web 2.0 revolution. For a good introduction to Javascript, we'd recommend this - it's not for the non-programmer, though.

You can cut and paste, or type, the following code in to the editor:

// Answer the incoming call
// This causes the following block of code to repeat forever
while (1) {
	// Play a tone at 800Hz (a medium-pitched beep) for 0.2 seconds
	playtone(800, 0.2);
	// Do nothing for 0.8 seconds

This very simple service answers the phone, and plays back a short 'pip' to the caller every second until they hang up.

To allow people to call the service, you need to assign it to a number. Select the 'numbers' tab, and 'Create new'; choose 1000 for the number to assign, and select 'Beep' from the dropdown list which lets you choose a service.

The last thing you'll need to test this service is a way of calling in to your IVR. The most straightforward way is to call one of our test access numbers, listed in the 'access numbers' tab, enter the code listed there and then, when prompted, enter the number assigned to the service above. You should hear the beeps.

If so, congratulations! If not, then you might want to go back and check the code that you've entered, or try our support: we are available at by e-mail, MSN or Google IM.

Next: Getting started with the debugger

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