Welcome!

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

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
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...