Salesforce has announced it is open sourcing its Node.js voice enabling platform Violet. The project was started early last year in collaboration with the Amazon Salesforce Immersion team. The teams worked to leverage voice capability while building a great user experience.

“We quickly got very excited about the potential voice-enabled devices present-s-, but it also comes with a host of challenges. That’s why today we are excited to share Violet with the open source community, in hopes that it will help others utilize the power of voice,” Vineet Sinha, project team member at Salesforce, wrote in a blog post.

 Violet provides assistance with the construction of conversational bots and apps on Amazon Alexa. The project runs as an Alexa Skill conversational engine, and features conversational support, plugins support, built-out samples, ability to respond to users, ability to get input from users, and conversational goals. 

“Violet makes building basic voice scripts require minimal coding and supports back-end integration complexity being abstracted away into plug-ins,” Sinha wrote. “Finally, built scripts can be tested locally using a web interface and deployed to a web server for easy registration with Amazon’s Alexa API.”

According to the company, Violet has voice scripts that are a collection of intents and goals. The platform uses the information to extract input parameters in order to build a map of what can happen and what code to call.

“For example, when a shopper indicates an interest in buying a rake, a script can simply add rake-finding and purchasing as goals to be met. The script then can ask for necessary information in order to finalize a purchase and meet the goal — which brand, what size, quantity, and billing information,” Sinha added.

The company is currently offering a pilot program to select teams building voice applications in the next few months.

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