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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 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 softw...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT depl...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...