As part of the Dreamforce 2009 Force.com campground, Salesforce hosted a hackathon with heaps of prizes.
At the ‘beginner level’, entrants just had to code a pre-defined system. Next came the challenge to integrate with social platforms. Finally, the ‘Secret Agent’ level required more sophisticated integration. Finalists integrated with Amazon and BaseCamp.
For the hackathon, I created Voiceforce with Force.com guru David Schach (X Squared on Demand) and defending champion of last year’s Dreamforce, Elaine Greco. We threw together a system that allows a Support Case to be lodged via a voice interface.
Using Dial2Do, a user can place a phone call, say “Create Case” and leave a message. A minute or so later, the Case appears in Salesforce:
It was quite amazing placing a phone call and seeing the spoken message appear within a Case. Yes — Dial2Do actually transcribed the phone call directly into a case. The flow is basically:
- Call Dial2Do and leave a message
- Dial2Do transcribes the message into text
- It sends the message via a URL to a Force.com Sites page
- The Visualforce controller extracts the message from the URL, creates a Case and inserts the message
- Voila! It appears in the list of cases — providing a voice-to-case system
Unfortunately, Dave Carroll & co didn’t include us in the Top 3 entries, but if they saw our fantastic logos I think they would have changed their mind! (Yes, that ‘No Typing’ logo was hand-created from a mouse mat! Great work, Elaine!)
The most fun was hacking in the company of fellow Force.com developers. It was hard to type without having somebody ‘auto-correct’ my syntax! The M&Ms and bean bags helped, too!
The Bottom Line
- Integration with Force.com is easy — both in & out
- Force.com is a community as well as a platform