Another advantage of the data tag is that it makes it easier to develop simple XML over HTTP web services that you can easily reuse with non-VXML applications. I’m talking about simpler than SOAP and XML-RPC web services. Just good old RESTful style web services. Without the data tag, the only standard way to get data back to a VXML app was to have the HTTP request return a VXML document to transition to. That makes it hard to reuse your data integration service. You typically end up having to wrap the data integration service with a simple VXML document just to keep the dialog going.
Finally, it’s really great to see consultation transfer get added. Many call center applications are difficult or impossible to implement without support for consultative transfers. Lots of VXML broswer vendors added support anyway, just in a proprietary way.