Caller ID Developer Tools

This survey of Caller ID development tools accompanies my Computer Caller ID FAQ at http://www.ainslie.org.uk/callerid.htm. If you have come here via an external link or a search engine, I recommend that you have a look at the FAQ first before looking at software. The links on this page are to components that allow you to add Caller ID capabilities to your applications.  However note that it may be as easy (and cheaper!) to just use TAPI directly - see the TAPI section of the FAQ for more info and links to sample code. Alternatively you maybe able to use one of the programs listed elsewhere on this site - see the links at the bottom of the page. For instance, Personal Receptionist makes a real feature of its hooks to other programs using VBScript.

There are several free/shareware Delphi TAPI components at the Delphi Super Page and its mirrors - just select the page for your version of Delphi, and go to "Winsock & Communications". Any suggestions as to which are the best are welcome. Apparently 32 bit versions of Visual Basic come with the MSComm control which will get you started (see this post for some pointers). If you're just doing something simple I'd probably start with TAPILine, anything more complicated I'd go for the newly open-sourced Async Pro.

Async Professional
Vendor : formerly TurboPower
Website : http://www.aprozilla.com/sf.htm
Platform : ActiveX, Kylix and Delphi VCL
Price : Released under the Mozilla 1.1 open source license, used to be US$279
One good thing to come out of the tech bust has been companies like TurboPower creating fantastic software like Async Pro, and then dumping the project only for it to be resuscitated in open source form. This is a very serious comms library - that I've seen described as "Worth every penny" when it was US$279 - that is now effectively available for free. Includes features like ISDN support & DTMF detection and generation. I don't know if TurboPower's more general Orpheus UI library can do TAPI as well, but that's another $229-worth that's now open source. Async Pro is a great library and should be the first port of call for any serious telephony developer.

AVM CAPI SDK
Vendor : AVM, Germany
Website : http://www.avm.de/en/
Download : ftp://ftp.avm.de/develper/capi-adk/ [zip and .tar versions available]
Price : Free?
AVM have all sorts of CAPI/ISDN goodies on their ftp site - it's well work having a look round.

Callscape
Website : was http://www.callscape.bt.com/callscape/develop.htm
Download : http://www.blackmarble.co.uk/callscape.htm
BT commissioned Black Marble Ltd to develop an SDK for their Callscape hardware in 1998. However, this was hidden away once BT got cold feet about the whole Callscape project.  Fortunately, BM released the OCX on an 'as is' basis in January 2002, with source code, API details, and sample VB code. I've also had one or two people ask me about developing Linux software for the Callscape hardware - I think the best thing would be to make yourselves known at the Callscape bulletin board at www.vipersoft.co.uk. Should be a whole lot easier now that Black Marble have released the API!

DameWare DDial
Vendor : DameWare Development
Website : http://www.dameware.com/controls.htm
Platform : ActiveX
Price : US$30
Straightforward TAPI control, also available in bundles.

Eapps Caller ID OCX
Vendor : Eclipse Applications Software
Website : http://www.eclipseapplications.com/products/index.html
Platform : ActiveX
Price : US$27.50 per seat, or US$302.50 royalty free - this will becoming down considerably in the near future
Download : http://www.eclipseapplications.com/products/eacido/download.htm (30 day shareware)
Doesn't look particularly cheap, but at least it is specifically geared up for UK Caller ID.  They are promising a TAPI version and a freeware Caller ID app soon.

Envox (formerly CT Studio)
Vendor : Envox, Stockholm
Website : http://www.envox.com [go to Products | Envox 4.0]
Platform : Windows95/98, NT 3.51, 4.0
Price : US$176 from their website
Enormously powerful, multi-award-winning development suite - read the site for more details.  To give you a flavour of the old version: "Envox Script Editor3.0 is the most complex and powerful native Windows 32-bit application generator for IVR, UnPBX, IP Telephony, Contact Center, Unified Messaging,fax and business communication solutions.  Flowchart scripts are created with powerful building blocks for: telephony/fax functions, speaker verification, HTML-to-fax,DHTML, ODBC database access, switching, MSMQ, email, screen-pops, Speaker verification, voice recognition, text-to-speech and cryptography. Programming languages such as Visual Basic, C and C++ can be incorporated into scripts using the CallDLL blocks."

Exact Call Software Toolkit
Vendor : Exact Development Technologies
Website : http://www.ieenet.com/prod02.htm
Price : "Call"
Platform : ActiveX
Caller ID control originally designed for Rochelle Caller ID units, but I presume it would work with others

ExceleTel TeleTools
Vendor : ExceleTel Inc.
Website : http://www.exceletel.com/products.htm (more details)
Price : 30 day trial, US$50-250
Platform : ActiveX, VCL (Delphi, Borland C++ etc)
Different levels of functionality for different amounts of money, although I've heard that the two are not necessarily proportionate. Good to see them supporting Borland as well as Microsoft. Again, I'm not yet in a position to comment on how good they are, but they seem to be the first to be mentioned when people ask about such things.

ISDN CAPI Call Monitor
Vendor : Reiner Keiffenheim
Website : http://www.keiffenhome.de/iccm/ICCM_OCX/iccm_ocx.html
Price : DM10
Platform : ActiveX .OCX
Download : http://www.keiffenhome.de/iccm/ICCM_OCX/Download/download.html
A CAPI OCX based on Reiner's ICCM program- he has sample code for VB and Access to download as well.

ISDN Control
Vendor : Arion Software, Greece
Website : http://www.arion.gr/Isdn/isdn.htm
Price : US$30
Platform : ActiveX .OCX
Download : http://www.arion.gr/Isdn/activex/isdn.zip
"ISDN control is a simple control that you can add to your applications and get information before you pick the phone up. Caller ID, called number, call type ID and description. " A fairly simple control for quite a lot of money - I'd look at the AVM and Keiffenheim options first. Needs CAPI 2.0

Julmar
Vendor : JulMar Entertainment Technology, Inc.
Website : http://www.julmar.com/tspdesc.htm
Downloads :  http://www.julmar.com/samples.htm
Price : Free, except for TSP++ which I guess is very expensive.
Platform : TSP++ is a C++ library
JulMar's main product is TSP++, a set of tools for writing Telephony Service Providers (TSPs).  However, they have lots of goodies on their downloads page which are of interest to anyone developing TAPI applications,notably their TAPI call monitor. As well as a free TAPI class library, they appear to have a generic TSP that works with NT, although I have heard that it doesn't work very well.

Modem CID
Vendor : Netpoint Computers Ltd.
Website : http://www.netpoint.co.uk/modem_cid.html
Download : http://www.netpoint.co.uk/files/ModemCID.exe
Price : US$49
Platform : OCX
An OCX that handles all you need to add Caller ID to your applications,with sample code for VB5, VB6 and Access 97.  A nice, simple way of Caller ID-enabling your applications, and you can grow into their ModemTools range if need be.

Modem Tools
Vendor : Netpoint Computers Ltd.
Website : http://www.netpoint.co.uk/products.html
Download : http://www.netpoint.co.uk/free_trials.html
Price : US$99, US$149
Platform : OCX
Looks a powerful general telephony toolkit with DTMF detection and the rest. The package also includes a component for playing WAV files down the line. TAPI novices should check out their sample files on the download page which if they're the same ones that whereon their site have a full TAPI demo for VB5 using only API calls.

QuickStar Fax/Voice/ModemSDK
Vendor : Anthony Mai, Quickstar Software
Website : http://www.qfax.com/software.html#util
Platform : DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95/8/NT versions
Price : "shareware"
I've no idea if this is any good or not, or whether Anthony Mai is still in business, but his website is still up.
"With this small, flexible and powerful SDK library, you can add voice/modem capability to your application in no time. All you need is add a couple dozen lines of codes to your Visual C++ source files".

TAPILine
Vendor : Mike Amundsen
Website : http://www.amundsen.com
Download :  http://amundsen.com/files/bookcode/mstdg/tools.zip
Price : Freeware
Platform : OCX
Simple TAPI OCX - can't argue with the price, and it comes with examples and help files.  Good place to start for TAPI novices - it was included as part of Mike's "MAPI, SAPI & TAPI Developer's Guide"(SAMS, 1997). Last I heard he was working on a more advanced VB5 TAPI 'testbed' as part of an update to the book, but he's reorganising his website at the moment, so I don't know what's happening there.

Telephony Toolbox
Vendor : Exepos Ltd, now part of Lynx Group plc
This used to be a good toolkit for the corporate developer, but now seems to have been completely lost within Lynx' Aspire CRM software [formerly CTIManager].

TeleVantage (formerly Visual Voice)
Vendor : Artisoft Inc.
Website : http://www.artisoft.com/products.html
Platform : Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual J++, Delphi etc.
Price : They don't say
Heavy-duty ActiveX toolkit, that's aimed at users of Dialogic boards,but also works with TAPI hardware. It's won many awards, and I've had one or two warm recommendations from users for its power and ease-of-use. I guess the price is probably the only catch, but I guess Artisoft reckon that their target market are making too much money to worry about such things ;-)

VBVoice
Vendor : Pronexus
Website : http://www.pronexus.com/prod/vbvoice.html
Platform : ActiveX
Price : They don't say - guess it will be quite expensive.
Visual Basic toolkit for developing telephony applications. Particularly good manuals.

Vocom
Vendor : Radsite, Italy
Website : http://www.radsite.com/vocom/
Platform : Windows 95, but compiled applications can run under DOS
Price : US$200+
Serious development tool for telephony applications.

Yes-tele.com
Vendor : Yes-tele.com
Website : http://www.yes-tele.com/
Platforms : Access, DDE and VB4.0
Price : Freeware
Caller ID code, but they all need the MS Comm control and I think they only work with Yes-tele.com's proprietary (?Bellcore?) hardware.

Link Graveyard
I've seen links to a callerid.zip on Jumbo and Winsite but it doesn't seem to be there. I believe it's some kind of VB component - any ideas folks?
 

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Copyright Alastair Ainslie 1999-2000.