Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

WAP & ColdFusion: ColdFusion in WAP Architecture

WAP & ColdFusion: ColdFusion in WAP Architecture

The rapid expansion of wireless access technologies, the implantation of the Internet into all spheres of human activity, and the pressure of mobile communication markets - these factors represent the development of wireless services.

Standards for mobile communications have been developing rapidly in the last few years. The sequential appearance of analog (AMPS, NMT-450) and digital standards (GSM, D-AMPS, DCS), and their gradual movement to a universal standard, resulted in the formation of mobile communications companies all over the world. A new community of wireless subscribers is being created.

New services, like roaming and data transfer, formed the basis for the globalization of services provided. Mobile subscribers need data availability. This is now possible due to wireless applications that have been developed based on standards that are applicable for any type of wireless carrier.

It's impossible to overestimate the penetration of the Internet into all areas of human activity; it's become the environment of information distribution and storage. The Internet is also a fast-growing business media. During the past 10 years Internet technologies have progressed greatly. Now there are several typical solutions in the fields of access authorization, database publication, remote monitoring and Internet services integration to Web servers.

To save investments, developers want to get maximum usage and create new usage for existing technologies.

Market pressure is also a major influence. For example, there are more than 100 million Internet users, but the number of cellular network subscribers is more than double that number. Another example, the coefficient of penetration into the PC market (principal users of the Internet) is much lower than the one for cellular set owners - even in the U.S., a very computer-oriented country. So the Internet services and features that are required beyond the bounds of the Internet community already have a huge audience.

Components
The wireless application protocol (WAP) specification is one of the main technologies in wireless applications - the software that's based on the specification. The main technology components are the WAP browser, WAP gateway and WAP server (in its turn, it may consist of HTTP, and application and database servers). A detailed description of all WAP-specification peculiarities is beyond the limits of the article.

  • WAP Browser: Usually it's a built-in wireless terminal, but in certain cases it may be executed as loaded software (Palm Pilot).
  • WAP Gateway: Used as an intermediary between the WAP client and the HTTP server, it adapts the data that's received by HTTP queries from the WAP server to specialties of transmission environment within the cellular communication network. Common restrictions to the environment are:
    - Connection instability
    - Considerable service activation time
    - Limited rate of data transmission to the cellular terminal
    - Limited memory of the cellular terminal
    - Limited calculating capacity of the cellular terminal
    - Limited possibilities of information and graphical representation on the cellular terminal
    - Truncated capacities of information input
    - WAP Server: Includes the HTTP server of the WML content, the database server, and the application server as a binder element.
Today, application servers are the standard solution in the development of Internet/intranet applications that provide basic functions of scalability, data protection and transparent access to databases. The products from Oracle, Sun and Allaire are the leaders in the market.

ColdFusion as a WAP Application Server
The basic requirements for the development of wireless application software are:

  • Development simplicity: The high dynamics of new services imply a simple method for their creation and modification. A program interface that allows developers to use their acquired skills when developing applications is also required.
  • Wide integration: Databases, Internet services, Web servers on the Net, and the phone services of cellular companies are indispensable for their dynamic content. The means for wide integration are contained in ColdFusion at the necessary level of tag development. A number of tags have already been created - some available free of charge. It's also possible to create tags independently. For example, to select and publish a recordset of two linked tables from the database, write some statements in CFML. To send this set as an e-mail, you need three more lines; to design the result as an XML set - one more line.
  • Interoperability: Usually reached by using a WAP compatible browser that can interpret WML v.1.1. With ColdFusion it's possible to adapt WML contents to a specific cellular terminal type. To carry this out, a user variable that stores data on a terminal and a microbrowser type are analyzed.
  • Independence on the cellular communication standard: Usually obtained by the WAP interface adjustment, it's an essential property of the WAP application.
  • Personalized user interface: The CF developer may personalize the data published on request. The various possibilities of customizing WML page generation relies on client variables.
  • Strong security: There are several levels of data protection. The basic ones are encoding and both database and application access control.
  • Portability: CF is available on all widespread hardware platforms. The software operates under Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Sun Solaris, HP UX, Linux and BSDI. There are also free versions of CF Express with limited functionality.
  • Flexibility and scalability: It should be easily scalable with many program interfaces such as CORBA, Java, JavaScript, Perl, VBScript, COM and DCOM. Existing methods of document generation allow you to use packages as an HTML contents source, as well as a WML contents source.
  • Price: CF version 4.5 costs $1,500, and doesn't depend on a concurrent number of users.

Wireless Application Sample Pilot by Peter Service, Ltd.
The scheme of a wireless application that demonstrates the main features of the ColdFusion application server is shown in Figure 1.

This approach is realized on http://wap.billing.ru and http://wap.nwgsm.com. We used WAPLITE gateway from Infinity Technologies (www.waplite.com) in the production mode for all our wireless solutions. Full-range WTLS-enabled applications for the corporate market are supported. In addition, WAPLITE gives the best solution for middle-sized wireless carriers worldwide.

A sample staff list from a wireless carrier involved in WAP is described below:

  • The manager marks data on the current number of cellular company subscribers using a WAP interface. This data modification should always be controlled.
  • The customer service employee enters the data into a specified DB table. After data has been marked, the session is terminated and the subscriber is transferred to waiting mode.
  • The CF application dispatcher starts up the tracking application (frequency is set by the user) that checks the parameter that indicates changes in the DB table. If the variance value exceeds the quantum specified, then a request-on-notification will be sent via three gateways - e-mail, HTML/SMS and HTML/pager.
After notification of receipt, the cellular terminal owner may reactivate the session and execute operations specified in the fixed list stored in the database: publish the parameter that was tracked on a public server, call up customer service, technical service, and more. Here the caller doesn't need to know the called numbers.

The application server may also appear as a mediation device that realizes the initial processing of Call Data Record (CDR) from the WAP gateway.

At last, all features that are related to displaying database contents on a cellular terminal may be published via the same Web server using practically the same application server modules.

Figure 2 shows a demo variant of a WAP interface for a cellular network subscriber that allows (after authorization) modification of the service status. Next to this one, a variant of a similar interface on a cellular communications operator's Web server is shown for comparison.

The CF application server realizes several integration levels:

  • Interaction with a WAP gateway on receipt of the CDR acting as a mediation device
  • Interaction with active regional wireless networks
  • Interaction with Internet services
  • Application for protection from unauthorized access
  • Establishing a session with a WAP terminal and access authorization
  • Establishing a session with a visitor who orders services in standard HTML using a standard Web browser.
Conclusion
Allaire's CF application server allows you to create new services for cellular communications operators and corporate customers, to scale these applications as well as adapt them to new conditions. It enables the wide integration that's required by wireless applications for cellular operators, public Internet services and service providers, and corporations.

More Stories By Sergey Ruseev

Sergey Ruseev is the Web project manager for Peter Service Ltd., a telecommunications
software development company in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has a BS in computer science
from the Leningrad Electrical Engineering Institute.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.