WSRP Portal/Portlet Scenarios using VXML

The following business scenario shows a VXML interface to a common Business use-case envisioned for Version 1.1 of Web Services for Remote Portlets, WSRP, on which our WSRP-Markup Subcommittee is working. The current approved standard can be downloaded at:

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A Sales Manager will be visiting the regional office of her company in the Southwestern part of the U.S. During her flight, before a meeting with the local sales team in the regional office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she uses her cell phone to access her account with the Company's Intra-net Corporate Portal hosted by the Company HQ in Chicago. The Company's server recognizes that she is accessing the portal with cell phone device, and automatically adjusts its configuration for this session to the rules required by her device. In this case, the portal server will build a VXML configuration. Normal password authentication allows her to access areas of the corporate portal available to her position.

Her permissions allow her access to a portlet providing the most recent figures for sales in this region, and other regions for comparison. She selects this portlet to double check that the sales figures trends she is going to cite in her meeting are still moving in the direction her meeting preparations indicated. The portlet provides this information to her in VXML format with interactions as similar to those used for interactions through a GUI browser as the device (cell phone) allows.

Since she is accessing her normal intranet pages, she is also able to check her other normal business portlets, for example voice mail or email, and thereby ensure she is fully prepared for this meeting. Thus, the Sales Manager will have the latest figures and any other incidental information available which bears on the meeting with her regional sales team.

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The first part of the following scenario shows a second WSRP v1.1 scenario from a social context. It shows how a telephone interface into a WSRP-based service would work.

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Elena S. is a recent immigrant to the U.S., from Guatemala. She has had a low-grade fever for several days. It is not getting better, and her hands and feet are swelling. She thinks she may be pregnant, too. Working as a household domestic, she cannot afford a doctor, and she is not a legal resident, so she is afraid to seek government assistance.

She sees a notice promising confidential medical help from a local clinic for recent immigrants in the local Spanish Language Advertiser Newspaper. It has a telephone number, which she dials, activating the VXML Web Service Healthcare Clinic Portal Intake Application:

The VXML Web Service app answers and a voice asks her in Spanish if she wants to speak Spanish. "Si," she replies. The voice then tells her that any information she gives will be treated confidentially, and then asks her to speak her name. The voice asks her to repeat her name and then repeats it back to her saying, "You have said your name is Elena S. Is this correct?" When Elena answers, "Si," the application continues.

The voice asks her to speak her zip code. The voice then asks a confirmation question, in Spanish, rendered here in English for this scenario/use-case example, "Are you in Fairfax Country, Virginia?" She answers affirmatively, and the intake session continues.

At this point the overall VXML Web Service Healthcare Clinic Portal Intake Application, asks if she want to make a free or low cost appointment with the local clinic in her zipcode area. If she answers yes, then the application switches to an Appointment-Scheduling Portlet.

This portlet is configured to make the appointment, which includes sending the applicant to a counseling and tutorial session with a local volunteer counseling service. In this case it is a Church-based service that takes place in a facility provided by the local parish which the organizers know will provide a sense of trust and security. If missing, the lack of this element may well prevent someone such as Elena from using these interconnected local services.

This portlet is one of several which can be triggered interactively by the inidviduals who dial into this service. In this case it is important to have the caller served by a sympathetic and trusted human as the next step.

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The remainder of this use-case shows features that are under consideration for v.2 of the WSRP. This part is not needed for v1.1 but is provided to show how this specification is expected to develop in future versions.

Elena then visits the drop-in counseling service where Elena meets with Pablo V. a parishoner volunteer who takes Elena through a two-part process so that she can use the service unaided in the future. In this case, Pablo shows Elena how to use a simple computer interface so that she can use one of the drop-in center's donated computers to send and receive information, and to make, cancel or reschedule appointments with the Healthcare Clinic.

Pablo shows Elena how to select the service she wants to use from the menu which is displayed on the computer. In this case, she chooses the Make/Change Clinic Appointment by clicking on the calendar/clock icon identified as a medical service by the red cross above the calendar month and across from a combined clockface & digital timestamp readout. A calendar and Clock/Timestamp appears with checkboxes across the the top of the page for various languages, and a voice asks if she wishes to speak each of the languages listed in turn, crossing out or checking each as indicated by her responses. Elena responds "Si" to Spanish and the rest of the session uses Spanish.

The application then asks if she will say her name. Voice recognition software, if available to this application, verifies her identity. Pablo then takes her through the remainder of the intake process, giving her address, employment, etc. All of these data items is displayed visually as well as being processed by VXML to reinforce the association of the information requested and the visual representation. This will include the basic symptomology followed by a confirmation of the date and time of the appointment made for her.

The process will end with the printing of a map showing the clinic's location with directions for her to locate and travel to the clinic. This mapping service is a separate portlet, which demonstrates why the Portal-Portlet relationship is necessary to the VXML application. There will also be portlets for other informational purposes, so that the individual may be able to learn more about their conditions, where further services may be available,

It is important to understand that the portal is set up so that it can gather and record information from the individual for use by clinic staff to better serve the individual. So, it is also necessary for the VXML Fragment Rules to be capable of receiving information as well as distributing it.

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