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Ecma International Approves ECMA-269 as Official Standard

Ecma International Enhances SIP and Speech Service Support in CSTA

ECMA-269 (CSTA) and Related Standards Feature Voice Services Based on SALT and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Enhancements

Specifications Offer True Multimedia Mobility to Enterprise Telecommunications

Geneva, Switzerland. September 16, 2004.

Ecma International (Ecma) has approved ECMA-269, 6th edition, Services for Computer Supported Telecommunications Applications (CSTA), as an official standard, together with a series of related publications. This suite is a complete toolbox for developing a wide range of enterprise CSTA applications taking advantage of Internet technologies such as XML, SIP, and speech recognition and processing.

CSTA is a (Ecma, ETSI, and ISOI/IEC) Standard with an exhaustive feature set and a comprehensive call model. CSTA supports a range of application landscapes — from basic first party call control to advanced third party call control with the same standardised model. CSTA exposes advanced communication platform features to application developers without burdening them with underlying protocol specifics.

SIP enhancements bring multi-media capability and mobility for enterprise and carrier applications. TR/87 and ECMA-269 standardise new profiles tailored to SIP implementations, and specify a SIP transport mechanism for CSTA XML messages, new MIME types for CSTA, and illustrate CSTA/SIP deployment options. These enhancements complement existing SIP features to provide advanced call control and device control features for CSTA applications.

New Voice Services in CSTA are based on Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) and provide speech services such as recognition, synthesis and speaker verification, extending existing mark-up languages such as HTML, XHTML, and XML.

Further enhancements to ECMA-269 include profiles for SIP user agents, an Internet URI device format, Device ID character support for International Numbers, Media Class types to support IM, SMS and MMS, and a new User Model for increased User mobility. ECMA-269 also takes advantage of the Ecma Application Session services (ECMA-354) that defines session management primitives specified in XML schemata.

The new editions of ECMA-348 (CSTA Web Services Description Language) and ECMA-323 (XML Protocol for CSTA) are now fully aligned with the new edition of ECMA-269. Ecma Technical Report ECMA-TR/88 (Designing an Object Model for CSTA) is a new member in the CSTA suite, which facilitates robust and prompt application integration.

"Ecma has a vital role to play in bringing new technologies and techniques to the marketplace within a reasonable timeframe," noted Jan van den Beld, Ecma Secretary General, "Rapidly developed international standards for CSTA increase vendor-independence and interoperability for converged communications-intensive enterprises".

"CSTA continues to be enhanced to support new features, for example in SIP, providing a way to go from ISDN to VoIP in several steps, in each of which applications could run in a differently mixed environment. This avoids a breakpoint from ISDN to VoIP," noted Christian von Reventlow, Tenovis CTO, "Tenovis has successfully implemented the transport mechanism for CSTA messages, introduced in ECMA-TR/87 for controlling SIP User Agents, for other signalling protocols (ISDN and VoIP). Therefore Tenovis actively supports the standardization process of this technique, which is in accordance with existing and future Tenovis products."

"We are very excited to see SALT-based voice services being included into the new edition of ECMA-269," says Xuedong (XD) Huang, General Manager of the Microsoft Speech Platform Group. "We have included SALT and ECMA-323 in Microsoft Speech Server, officially available since April 2004. Through our joint development and early adopter programs over the past two years, though, we have found the SALT specification with ECMA-323 to be industrial strength and meet the most demanding needs for computer telephony integration and call center automation. The inclusion of SALT with the rest of CSTA is a logical next step to bring voice services en masse to the telecom industry."

"Siemens, an active contributor to CSTA standardization activities for many years, is very pleased that Ecma has approved these new CSTA enhancements. These most recent enhancements enable applications to take advantage of the latest technologies in communications — including advanced speech services, mobility, and SIP devices," noted Tom Miller, Principal Architect, Siemens Enterprise Networks, "TR/87 is important because it shows how CSTA and SIP standards can be used together to provide a robust, standards-based application interface for feature-rich SIP phones that can be deployed in Enterprise, Hosted, and Carrier environments. This in an important step in the evolution of the CSTA standards and it creates some exciting opportunities for products that implement them."

As an Ecma approved standard, ECMA-269 6th edition will now undergo "fast-tracking" in the International Standards Organizations (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1). Ecma continues to enhance the CSTA standards. Further information on CSTA activities at Ecma is at:

Any company wishing to take part in this activity should get in touch with the Ecma International secretariat via email at

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 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 the start of fast-tracking in 1987, over 200 (more than 80%) of the total number of proposals for fast-track processing have come from Ecma International, and have been approved.

Main areas of standardization include: Scripting and programming languages; Optical and Magnetic storage media; High speed interconnects; Universal 3D format; 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

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other references in the news story "Ecma International Approves Standard ECMA-269 With Enhanced SALT-Based Voice Services."

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