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Windows Telephony Programming: A Developer's Guide to TAPI 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201634501
ISBN-10: 0201634503
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This Book

This book has been a part of my life for the last four years. It started as an outline when I was working at Intel. Herman D'Hooge had produced the first version of the TAPI (Telephony API) specification, and Paul Drews was leading its implementation. I was working in a group building telephony boards and telephony applications. I remember it was quite a challenge debugging early TAPI applications that were using alpha versions of TAPI 0.9 through first-try TSPs running in VxDs acting as a multi-tasking OS below single-tasking Windows 3.1 communicating with another OS running on a preproduction DSP mounted on a prototype telephony board. If you think the Telephony API hard to program now, you don't know what you missed.

Which brings me to the purpose of this book. The Telephony API is a fundamental piece of the communications architecture of the modern versions of Windows, that is, Windows 9x, Windows NT 41, and even Windows CE. However, it's fairly large and somewhat daunting to the uninitiated. Still, there is an underlying architecture and a philosophy that, once understood, makes TAPI, if not especially easy, at least approachable. As one of the world's first TAPI programmers, I feel I have a TAPI story to tell that will help ease you into the world of Windows Telephony. This book tells that story. Who This Book Is For

This book is for any C or C++ developer interested in building telephony applications under Windows. This may include human-assisted applications such as call control, call monitoring, and predictive dialing or human-free applications such as audiotex, voicemail, and automatic call directing. The range of telephony applications includes really anything you can do when you hook a telephone or telephone line to a computer. This book is also useful for the TAPI Service Provider developer, as an example of both how typical TAPI applications are written as well as how to write an actual TSP. Simplifying TAPI

This book will be especially useful to the C++ and Microsoft Foundation Classes programmer. In the course of developing TAPI applications, I found myself doing the same things over and over. So, like any C++ programmer, I built a class library. And then I threw it away. I built another one, and I threw that one away, too. Finally, I built the Telephony Framework (TFX). The TFX provides a set of C++ classes that, while leveraging the object model built into TAPI, removes much of the grunt work of developing TAPI applications. Since I was using the TFX to build MFC applications, it has been designed to work well in MFC applications. In addition, many of the samples in this book use the TFX in MFC applications to demonstrate how TAPI is used.

That's not to say that this book is useful only to MFC programmers. In fact, only half of the chapters of this book mention MFC. Those that do always describe and show how the underlying TAPI functions work before they show the TFX equivalent. If you never want to use the TFX or MFC or even C++, I believe this book still provides a good starting place for any TAPI developer.

The TFX itself is really just a repository for a set of classes that I find useful when developing telephony applications in C++. I present them so that the sample applications, and therefore the concepts, are a little cleaner. If you want to use the TFX to build telephony applications, feel free. If you'd rather just use it as a set of code to copy and paste from or as an illustration of the concepts of TAPI, that's OK, too. Who I Am

Whenever I pick up a technical book of any kind, I always wonder what makes the author qualified to write the book. I assume you do the same, so I wanted to tell you a little bit about myself. I've done telephony work of one kind or another for about nine years as of the time of this writing. I started at Spanlink Communications building small- to medium-sized multicaller voicemail, audiotex, and host access systems. Those 386 systems, at their peak, handled about 50 simultaneous calls at a rate of 1,200 calls/day. After about three years at Spanlink, I moved to Intel to help with their telephony efforts. Although the telephony boards I helped to build never saw the light of day, they did spawn the current crop of video conferencing boards that Intel still makes. While at Intel, I developed a bunch of TAPI applications, provided many bug reports, submitted a telephony-related patent, and wrote the original outline of this book . . . which I then filed in a drawer.

I left my software engineering job at Intel to become an instructor at DevelopMentor. There, I began hanging out with the cream of the crop of the Windows community. These were the guys who spoke at the conferences, wrote the magazine articles, and authored the books that I knew and loved. What can I say? I was inspired. A couple of e-mails later and this book was born.

TAPI has evolved since I first put fingers to keyboard composing that original outline. It's moved from 16-bit TAPI 1.3 running under Windows 3.x, to half 16-bit/half 32-bit TAPI 1.4 running under Windows 95, to full 32-bit TAPI 2.0 running under Windows NT 4.0, to the latest COM-based TAPI 3.0 slated to run under Windows NT 5.0. While I have drawn the line at covering any 16-bit versions of TAPI, I've tried to cover the basics of writing both TAPI applications as well as TAPI Service Providers for all 32-bit versions. The last chapter provides an advance preview of TAPI 3.0. Need More?

This book is not an encyclopedia of TAPI. Instead, I have emphasized its architecture and philosophy with the idea that anything else you need to learn will fit more easily into your newfound understanding. I can recommend several additional resources. First, I recommend the online documentation. The overviews of both TAPI and the TSPI included with the platform SDK are excellent. They were an immensely helpful resource in my understanding some of the more obscure parts of TAPI, as well as helping to track the changes from one version to another.

I also recommend several resources on the Internet. Two public newsgroups, microsoft.public.win32.programming.tapi and microsoft.public.win95mtelephony, have many excellent people answering questions. If your local USENET provider doesn't have these newsgroups, Microsoft maintains a public news server at msnews.microsoft.

Microsoft maintains a World Wide Web ("Web") site dedicated to the communications infrastructure of Windows that includes the latest news on TAPI. That address is microsoft/communications. It also maintains an FTP site with some tools and samples at ftp://ftp.microsoft/developr/TAPI.If you post a question on one of the newsgroups, it's likely that one of these two guys will be providing the answer.

If you'd like more information from me, the Web site for this book is maintained at sellsbrothers/telprog and will include any updates that I need to make after the book is published. Finally, if you'd like to comment to me about this book, you may send me e-mail at csells@sellsbrothers. The Source

The source code for all of the samples provided with the book as well as the entire TFX is provided on the Web site sellsbrothers/telprog. I thought long and hard about providing the source as a set of appendices for this book and ultimately decided against it. Printed source is sometimes useful for understanding specific implementation details. As these details come up, I tried very hard to put the significant source into the text of the chapters themselves. On the other hand, having the full source printed at the end of the book performs no real service except to puff up the size (and potentially the perceived coverage) of the book. As my favorite books are of the thin, focused variety, I found this unnecessary bloating unappealing to me. Plus, I may save a few trees in the bargain. Acknowledgments

This book is the concentrated effort of many individuals. First, I want to thank my wife, Melissa. She tolerates me and my work. What could be more helpful to a telephony nerd than that? And I'd like to thank my kids, John and Tom, for bringing me back to reality when I needed it most. You guys give meaning and perspective to everything I do.

I'd like to thank my publishing team at Addison-Wesley. Because I'm such a sloth of an author, this has included several people who have come and gone during the life of this project, as well as others who have stuck it out the whole time, including Mike Hendrickson, Ben Ryan, J. Carter Shanklin, Alan Feuer, and Rachel Beavers.

I'd also like to thank the folks who invented, implemented, evangelized, and supported this technology, including Herman D'Hooge, Raman Srinivasan, Paul Drews, Guy Blair, Toby Nixon, Dan Knudson, Charles Fitzgerald, and Mitch Goldberg.

As they're the guys in the trenches battling it out over my clumsy prose, the reviewers need a great deal of thanks. They are Jon Flanders, Tim Ewald, Raman Srinivasan, Alan Moffet, Bruce Pennypacker, Grant Schenck, R. Keith Cox, and Erik Gilbert. I'd really like to thank Tim specifically. He had no telephony background before reading this bo

From the Back Cover

Windows Telephony Programming: A Developer's Guide to TAPI offers C++ programmers a clear and concise tutorial to Windows Telephony that significantly reduces TAPI's steep learning curve. TAPI is an API that has standardized the interface between computers and telephony hardware. Included with Windows 9x and Windows NT, TAPI is a major element of the Windows communications backbone. Despite its growing importance, TAPI may still be very daunting and difficult to master.

The author makes TAPI more accessible by revealing its underlying architecture and rationale and by relating its functions and features to specific tasks developers seek to accomplish in their applications such as making, answering, and monitoring calls, handling modem data, and building an answering machine.

In addition to carefully developed, intuitive explanations, Windows Telephony Programming features numerous real-world examples of how actual TAPI programs are built, and a comprehensive C++ class library that takes much of the "grunt" work out of TAPI programming. The author also discusses building a telephony service provider and includes a complete working example.

Completely up-to-date, this book covers TAPI versions 1.x to 2.0, and offers a glimpse into the future of telephony with a preview of the new TAPI 3.0 incorporated into Windows NT 5.0. To exploit the power of TAPI 3.0 when it becomes available, it is imperative that you understand TAPI 1.x
and 2.0 first. This book provides the clear methodology to gain that understanding.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (June 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201634503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201634501
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,262,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
OK, I'll be generous. This book might contain some useful information. I think the main benefit is that it's written in a more relaxed style than the Microsoft Platform SDK, and the author fills in the details a little better than Microsoft. Still, he misses a lot of important points, like (for instance) how to actually get something useful like a serial port file handle out of a telephone connection once it's established. But I give him an extra star for at least trying to write something helpful.
Having said that, I think this is a horrible book for learning anything useful about TAPI. The author, for whatever obscure reason, decided to "wrap" the TAPI in his own proprietary C++ wrapper classes, which, according to him, are modeled on MFC. Oops! How are we going to learn to use TAPI from this book when all the examples use the author's pet TAPI classes? It isn't going to happen; at best we'll learn to use the author's version of TAPI, which "of course" (being sample code from a book and all) isn't nearly as powerful as the real thing. This brings me to my next point, which is that all the functions in this book that use realloc() have memory leaks, because the author and technical editor(s) apparently didn't realize that this function won't release a pre-existing memory block if it runs out of memory while it's expanding the block. This kind of sloppy coding irritates me to no end when it's in "sample code" that is likely to be unthinkingly copied by developers!
So, in summary, what we have here is a book that theoretically shows developers how to use TAPI, but actually tries to show off Chris Sells' programming skillz. And since his class libraries are basically useless, what we have here is a book that shows developers nothing that the (free) Platform SDK could have shown us. Save your money for something useful!
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Format: Paperback
The book starts by giving some background information on TAPI, then explains how TAPI works. The examples are for MFC, but can be adapted to plain C++, mostly not to difficult. For me, experienced in C++ (not MFC but Borland's OWL) but never done any telephony work, this book was exactly what I was looking for. C++ experience is mandatory, Visual Basic will not do with this book.
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Format: Paperback
The "Developers Guide to TAPI" provides an introduction and selected advanced topics for the windows developer who is a TAPI novice. As a dyed in the wool "C" hacker, I found Mr. Sells C++ class library somewhat confusing, but this shortcoming is mine and not Mr. Sells.
I believe that the technical material, examples and the method of presentation is a great deal more user friendly than much of the content of the MSDN library series to which I have been a subscriber and user.
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Format: Paperback
Chris has done a wonderful job of providing an introduction into TAPI programming. Most books that discuss TAPI only provide a chapter or two of information mixed in with other topics, but this book provides over 250 pages of nothing but TAPI. Along with a full chapter on writing TAPI Service Providers (TSP's) the book also provides source code to a high level TAPI framework that Chris developed. This is a definate must-have for anybody who is getting started in Windows telephony programming.
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By A Customer on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
A well written introduction to TAPI. Explains how to get started and the considerations you must make when designing TAPI applications. My only complaint is that too much time was spent describing the author's excellent TFX class library and not enough describing the underlying TAPI API's. This is great if you want to use his class, not so great if you want to develop your own.
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if you are c++ programmer who want to learn in short time the basics of tapi, by waliking via good samples, downloaded from the web, with no need to understand what happen behind the scene, this is your book !!! with extra bonus of good framework, to make the developer's life, much more easy.
simple - for all people (but good enough for advanced programming). buy it !!!
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I recently recieved Chris's new book and it's chock full on the kind of information that any "serious" TAPI developer needs to know. He gets right to the point with good clear examples. This one is a must have for anyone wishing to learn the ins and outs of TAPI development. And there's even some good info. for the VB developer as well.
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Format: Paperback
With VC6, the sample code doesn't build out of the box and the author isn't forthcoming with addressing the problems. Some header files are missing and yet all you can get from the author is that the code was built with VC5 and needs re-writing for VC6 (which is not true, btw.) The guy didn't bother to include any build comments in the book and doesn't want to be bothered now.
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