Version History

7.11

Blueworx Voice Response version 7.11 achieves full redundancy with the introduction of redundancy for the Blueworx Resource Manager (BRM) component. It also introduces a new component, the Blueworx Admin Manager (BAM) for cluster management tasks.

BRM Redundancy

  • BRM was introduced in BVR for Linux 7.3 to enable a cluster of BVR machines to share configuration information and to provide centralized management and monitoring. This enabled BVR to become redundant; if one instance becomes unavailable, another instance can continue to take call using the configurations in BRM.
  • BRM itself can now be made redundant with a self-managing, self-healing architecture. Additional instances of BRM can be added to a cluster, and the BRMs will communicate and sync to provide a consistent and continuous service to all the BVR instances in the cluster. This means that should any BVR or BRM instance become unavailable, the cluster will continue to take calls without any intervention.

For further information see Redundancy

BAM Component

  • Cluster management tasks that are not critical to call handling have been divested from BRM into a new component called Blueworx Admin Manager (BAM). This increases the security and resilience of time-critical tasks for call handling, minimising the effect of external factors, such as runaway processes or DoS attacks.
  • Management and monitoring APIs used by the Web Admin Interface are now served by the BAM component.

For further information see BAM Operation

7.10

Blueworx Voice Response version 7.10 includes support for full call recording via SIPREC along with improvements to the networking configuration.

SIPREC support

Blueworx Voice Response can now act as a SIPREC client.

  • Allows full call recording of both inbound and outbound audio when using a 3rd party SIPREC server
  • Enables IBM Watson to listen in on a call with an agent or IVR through use of the SIPREC server provided in IBM Voice Gateway

For more information, see here: Recording calls using SIPREC

Network support

  • Enhanced support for multiple network interfaces in the BVR component: Multiple Network Interfaces
  • BVR now supports DNS SRV records for URIs when making outbound SIP requests (such as outbound calls or MRCPv2 session initiation).
    Note: Configuration of the SRV record is performed on the DNS server rather than on BVR: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2782
    Note: Failover is not supported using DNS SRV, it is simply used as a mechanism to distribute load. Therefore only records using the lowest priority value will be used.

7.9

Blueworx Voice Response version 7.9 includes enhancements to significantly improve security and extend CCXML support.

Increased Platform Security

  • Secure SIP support for inbound and outbound calls
  • Secure SIP support for MRCP and IBM Voice Gateway connectivity
  • Secure RTP support for all streaming audio
  • Support HTTPS encrypted communication to web servers for application resource fetching
  • Support HTTPS encrypted communication to the Centralised Outbound Calling API
  • Logging enhancements to allow the platform to be configured to obscure sensitive information such as recognition results and DTMF keys from the BVR logs and traces

For further information see Security

CCXML Enhancements

  • CCXML support to allow DTMF key presses to be detected in the CCXML application as well as in the VXML application. For further details see CCXML DTMF Support
  • Full support for the dtmfclamp attribute of the CCXML join tag, to allow DTMF clamping to be enabled or disabled during bridged calls.

Other Enhancements

7.8

Further integration with Apache Kafka for Platform events

Blueworx Voice Response version 7.8 adds to the Apache Kafka communications infrastructure by allowing the following new events to be published:
  • Application logging (high level application events and user generated logging)
  • Errors, Warnings and emergency Informational messages
  • Low level tracing

For further information see Configuring Apache Kafka topics output from BVR

7.7

Remote Database Support

The Blueworx Configuration Profile Database (CPD) can now be hosted on a remote database server. Either a remote VM running the PostgreSQL 9.6 server or on a hosted cloud database offering.

For further information see Installing PostgreSQL 9.6 Database for Blueworx CPD

Yum repository for installation of Blueworx packages

Blueworx Voice Response, Blueworx Resource Manager and the Blueworx Configuration Profile Database packages can now be installed using a Yum repository. The introduction of Yum simplifies and aligns the installation of the Blueworx packages with the standard package manager for Red Hat and CentOS.

Instructions on how to use this Yum repository can be found in the Installation section of our documentation.

Centralised Outbound Calling API

The Blueworx Resource Manager is now a central point for initiating outbound calls from a cluster rather than instructing a BVR machine directly. When BRM receives a request to initiate an outbound call, it selects an appropriate BVR machine in its cluster and passes on the instruction. This is particularly useful for load balancing outbound calls and in situations where BVR Virtual Machines are taken in and out of service and so may change IP addresses. For further information see CCXML Outbound Calling.

Bridged transfer support in CCXML (and VXML when controlled by CCXML)

Inbound calls can now be connected to outbound calls through BVR using the CCXML join and unjoin commands. This can be useful in several situations:
  • the SIP trunk provider doesn’t support SIP REFER
  • there is a need to log outbound costs, perhaps for billing purposes
  • there is a need for BVR to stay in the loop of the call, perhaps to pull the call back and reroute for example
For further information see VoiceXML with CCXML for Call Transfer and Bridging and CCXML Call Transfer and Bridging

Fax Call Progress Analysis (CPA) for Outbound Calling

In addition to Answering Machine Detection, the Call Progress Analysis feature in Blueworx Voice Response can now also detect Fax Machines. This is a valuable addition for outbound calling campaigns. For further information see Call Progress Detection.

Apache Kafka Consumer for CDR events

A new blueworx-utils package is available that includes an Apache Kafka consumer to read CDR events from the Apache Kafka blueworx.cdr topic and output them to a PostgreSQL database.

For further information see Outputting CDRs to PostgreSQL.

Sample Applications

BVR 7.7 includes Sample applications for Fax CPA and all types of call transfer.

7.6

Introduction of integration with Apache Kafka for Platform events

Blueworx Voice Response version 7.6 introduces a new optional communications infrastructure that forms the foundation for significant future enhancements. Blueworx components can now broadcast events from the entire cluster to interested applications using a high-performance Producer-Consumer Event Pipe powered by Apache Kafka.

Blueworx components can "produce" a stream of event records into the Event Pipe. Events are labelled under various categories called "topics". Multiple "consumers" can read, store and react to these events.

For example, a BVR component may produce a record that an event has occurred (such as a new call has arrived) to a topic (such as "call events") and applications interested in that topic (such as a call logger) can take action (such as store the event in a database).

Example uses for this infrastructure:

Consumers can be freely developed to integrate with 3rd party analytics, databases, visualizations, etc. Sample consumers are being developed by Blueworx and will be provided complete with source code to illustrate how to develop consumers for Blueworx.

Further information on the benefits of using Apache Kafka for our Event Pipe can be found at https://kafka.apache.org.

The initial release of the communications infrastructure includes support for publishing Call Detail Records (CDRs).

For more information on configuring BVR for Apache Kafka, see Apache Kafka Configuration.

7.5

Integration with IBM Watson through IBM Voice Gateway

Blueworx Voice Response for Linux 7.5 introduces a complete Cognitive Contact Center solution supported by the integration of IBM Voice Gateway and IBM Watson Conversation with Blueworx Voice Response.

The integration allows Blueworx Voice Response to seamlessly blend traditional IVR applications with Virtual Assistants or Chat Bots running on Watson Conversation.

Combining cognitive capabilities with Voice Gateway and Blueworx Voice Response enables businesses to deliver a more dynamic, Omni-Channel, natural and fluid customer experience. With this powerful combination customers can experience a more conversational approach to their interactions and receive information or resolution to their inquiries more quickly than in traditional interactions handled by legacy IVRs.

Integration with IBM Watson through IBM Voice Gateway

7.4

Web Admin Interface

Blueworx Voice Response for Linux 7.4 and Blueworx Voice Response for Cloud 7.4 introduces a new, web-based user interface for administrators. The clean layout and task-oriented design makes the configuration of BVR easier than ever. By connecting to the Blueworx Resource Manager, only one GUI is required for managing thousands of BVR instances with support for clustered environments and multi-tenancy.

Share license keys with BVR AIX

Blueworx Resource Manager is now also able to share its license keys with Blueworx Voice Response for AIX. Customers in a hybrid environment only need to store keys in one place making admin easier.

7.3

Blueworx Voice Response for Linux 7.3 and Blueworx Voice Response for Cloud 7.3 includes significant enhancements for clustered and private Cloud environments, making the management of multiple machines and applications easier than ever along with unrivalled scalability. In this release, we're introducing three new components, the Blueworx Resource Manager, the Configuration Profile Database and the Web UI.



Blueworx Resource Manager

Blueworx Resource Manager (BRM) establishes a new central point for configuring, controlling and querying Blueworx Voice Response on one machine or a cluster. BRM is responsible for:

Blueworx Resource Manager Web UI

The BRM Web UI provides

Configuration Profile Database

The Configuration Profile Database (CPD) introduces a significantly improved method of storing data for BVR and BRM, replacing flat-text configuration files. Using a centralised database allows for configurations to be shared across multiple instances of BVR, while at the same time providing significantly more speed and flexibility as the amount of data stored increases.

Per-call Configuration

Together, these components allow BVR to be configured for each individual call rather than configuring an entire system which offers significantly more flexibility, particularly when multiple applications and/or multiple tenants share the same cluster. A call can now come into any BVR instance in a cluster, which queries BRM on how it should handle the call, and receive details on how to configure itself for just this call. Call configuration can be added or changed on the fly with no downtime, even while calls are in progress. This makes scaling and managing applications in the cluster significantly easier; applications can be added at any time and increasing capacity simply requires adding instances of BVR to the cluster. BVR can then immediately handle any call for any customer or application on the cluster.

Flexible cluster architecture

The three main components, BVR, BRM and CPD have been designed to be independent allowing them to run on different Virtual Machines. This can provide more performance to a component, or the components can run on the same Virtual Machine; the choice is yours.

Other enhancements include: