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- What's Next: Voice-SQL (pronounced V-Sequel)
Although nothing of this sort exists at the moment, today I stumbled on the idea of using voice commands to retrieve information from the database. How is this supposed to work? Well, its not about speaking SQL statements and getting the result on display. Its a bit more complex. The idea is to allow people who do not have any idea of SQL to get the information they want by speaking to a V-SQL Query Analyzer, similar to the SQL Query Analyzer in SQL Server. The reason I thought of bringning Speech into this was because of the inherent capabilities of Speech Recognition Grammar Specification (SRGS) and the Microsoft Speech Application SDK (SASDK) to process utterances like 'List all Customers who live in Islamabad' or 'List Customers from Islamabad' in a similar fashion. If the user is simply provided with a textbox to enter commands like the ones I mentioned above, I would be re-inventing the wheel by having to process the text input, when the same can be done by the SASDK Speech Recognition Engine for spoken input. Once the information (or tokens) have been extracted from the voice command, the resulting tokens can be used to generate a simple SQL SELECT statement. The rest is pretty easy. However, all this would require creating a dictionary of commonly used terms/words for database objects, like Customer, Product etc. and then matching the word spoken by the user (from the dictionary) to the Synonym for a database object. I hope I am making sense.
SQL Server is not exactly my core competency. I look forward to asking quite a few questions from Stephen Forte, the SQL Server MVP, who would be visiting to speak at Microsoft PDC 2005. Wish me luck.