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Building a web application and cellular access


wap_newbie
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Hi,I am very new to programming and have a telecom background. However for one of my school projects I need to create a small application which will be posted on the net and can be accessed through the mobile phone.The application I want to build is going to be a small one page survey form with about 3 -4 questions and multiple choice answers. The users will select the appropriate result and this needs to be stored in the backend.However being very new to this field I am very confused over what tool , language and database should I use for my applications. Can someone please help me in answering the following query1. What tool should I use to develop my application :XHTML/Mobile.net/Java Scripts?2. How can I connect the front-end interface with a backend database and what database can be used with what front-end?3. What would be an easy way of sending a link to a mobile phone? Should I use a WAP push?4. If I need to capture the phone number of the person filling the survey how can that be done?Thanks in advance

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1. What tool should I use to develop my application :XHTML/Mobile.net/Java Scripts?First, figure out what phone devices you will need to code for. I recently coded some wireless applications for a local municipality. They had just bought 5 Treo phones and that is all I had to code for. Luckily for me, they use the Blazer mobile browser which is WAP and XHTML compatible. So, I just needed to do what I would normally do for a regular website, just code it for strict XHTML and make my user interface 320x320 (pixels). Of course, if you do not have this luxury, then (like I said) found out from your client/employer what devices this application is suppoed to support.Second, pick a server side scripting language, asp, php, or cold fusion ( I prefer the later). That along with the strictly formated XHTML, you will need all you need to build a dynamic wireless application.2. How can I connect the front-end interface with a backend database and what database can be used with what front-end?Again, you can use any scripting language (asp, php, cold fusion) to develop strict XHTML or WAP applications. They have the capabilities to (using the correct doctype) display properly in a wireless device. So, with a scripting language selected, you literally have your choice of databases to select from. The real trick is making the forms easy to use given wireless device logistics - in other words, use check boxes, radio buttons, and select boxes when ever conceivably possible.3. What would be an easy way of sending a link to a mobile phone? Should I use a WAP push?Using a server side scripting language, you can have it sniff the broeser type when it hits your domain. Then, if its a WAP device, redirect them to the folder with your WAP application. I'm not sure what you mean by sending a link, but most phones and users that have internet access will have email addresses (typically their phone number then @ then the provider) so you could email them the link.4. If I need to capture the phone number of the person filling the survey how can that be done?I'm not sure since its been a couple years since I built my last WAP application, and the XHTML strict application I recently built required log in so I already had the number in the session scope. I would imagine it would be stored in with the common gateway interface (cgi) scope of variables (in cold fusion you would execute this code <cfdump var="#cgi#"> to produce a list of all the variables in that scope along with their values - of course that would have to be run on the mobile device in question.Hope this helps at least a little. If I didn't directly or clearly answer your question(s), please feel free to let me know.BTW, welcome to w3schools.com

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Hey,Thanks for the instant reply. I think i hav got an answer to my question. I will try using XTML and php/cold fusion and guess it should work.About the type of phones, I am not sure yet, but most of them are nokia/motorola wap enabled phones.Thanks once again

Edited by Skemcin
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Hey,Thanks for the instant reply. I think i hav got an answer to my question. I will try using XTML and php/cold fusion and guess it should work.About the type of phones, I am not sure yet, but most of them are nokia/motorola wap enabled phones.Thanks once again

Let me know if you need anything else.
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Let me know if you need anything else.

Hey,I was just going through the tutorials in W3 schools and came across the tutorials for WML. The question that I have is : Can we directly open XTML pages from a cell phone or do we need to make pages using WML only?Also where can I find some reference material on cold fusion?And how can I try using these things on my personal computer? I mean how do i make the database and everything...Thanks,
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Hey,I was just going through the tutorials in W3 schools and came across the tutorials for WML. The question that I have is : Can we directly open XTML pages from a cell phone or do we need to make pages using WML only?Also where can I find some reference material on cold fusion?And how can I try using these things on my personal computer? I mean how do i make the database and everything...Thanks,

Whether you can write in xhtml or if you need wml really depends on what phones you're coding for, what browsers they use.You can download a 30-day trial version of ColdFusion Enterprise Edition server for your own computer. After 30 days it turns into a development enviroment only, meaning you can only test it on your computer, not on a server for others to see. When you're ready to publish the site, you need a host that offers coldfusion.http://www.macromedia.com/software/coldfus...o/faq/#item-1-3
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Small correction(s): it's spelled XHTML :) .And yes. It depends what phones you are looking after. WML is supported by every internet enabled phone but it doesn't have much features. XHTML is supported by every MODERN phone with internet. You may use every XHTML scrict and every CSS as you would be doing on a computer screen, but you'll have to do it for small screens after all. Some BRAND NEW phones are even able to render other things such as SVG for example, but that's another story :) .

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Small correction(s): it's spelled XHTML :) .And yes. It depends what phones you are looking after. WML is supported by every internet enabled phone but it doesn't have much features. XHTML is supported by every MODERN phone with internet. You may use every XHTML scrict and every CSS as you would be doing on a computer screen, but you'll have to do it for small screens after all. Some BRAND NEW phones are even able to render other things such as SVG for example, but that's another story :) .

Hey Guys,Thanks for the response that you guys have given. I have been trying to read material on XHTML and Cold fusion. But I have not been able to find any reference material that talks about the integration of XHTML and Cold fusion. Can any of you pass on some reference material for both XHTML and cold fusion which will help me build the site. Also does it cost to use Cold Fusion or is it free? and I connect Cold fusion with any backend database for e.g access?Thanks,
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Cold Fusion is a free download and actually will serve two IP addresses once the enterprise edition expires and turns into an developers license. So you can develop and host/browse a site onyour developer PC and then on one other PC browse the site as well.Cold Fusion is a server side language similar to asp and php. Just as with those language, Cold Fusion works in conjunction with XHTML just it would with HTML - only CF is cleaner.Here is some code to give you an example of Cold Fusion and XHTML. This is using the RSS Feed offered here:http://www.forta.com/blog/rss.cfm?mode=fullHere is some of the code:

<!--- loop through array to output feed ---><cfloop index="x" from="1" to="#ArrayLength#"><cfoutput><cfset ItemsDisplayed = ItemsDisplayed + 1><strong>#objRSS.rss.channel.item[x].title.xmltext#</strong><br />#objRSS.rss.channel.item[x].description.xmltext#<br /><em class="smallfont">(#objRSS.rss.channel.item[x].pubdate.xmltext#)</em><br /><a href="#replace(objRSS.rss.channel.item[x].link.xmltext,'&','&','all')#" title="#objRSS.rss.channel.item[x].title.xmltext#" target="_blank" class="newsfeed">[view article in new window]</a><br /><br /></cfoutput></cfloop>

and

<!--- loop through array to output source ---><hr /><blockquote style="text-align:center;"><cfset SourceLength = arraylen(objRSS.rss.channel)><cfloop index="x" from="1" to="#SourceLength#"><cfoutput>© #objRSS.rss.channel[x].copyright.xmltext#<br /><em class="smallfont">(#objRSS.rss.channel.item[x].pubdate.xmltext#)</em><br /><a href="#replace(objRSS.rss.channel[x].link.xmltext,'&','&','all')#" title="[goto news source in new window]" target="_blank"><img src="#objRSS.rss.channel[x].image.url.xmltext#" hspace="0" vspace="3" border="0" alt="#replace(objRSS.rss.channel[x].link.xmltext,'&','&','all')#" /></a><br /><br /></cfoutput></cfloop></blockquote>

If you want to see the best resource on the use of Cold Fusion and then examples of its use with basic XHTML (used to format the data), here ya go:http://livedocs.macromedia.com/coldfusion/7/but specifically:http://livedocs.macromedia.com/coldfusion/...cs/part_get.htmLet me know if this helps.(hmm, I think that is my RSS v2.0 transformer, almost all of it any way)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Guys,Thanks to your help..i was able to create my site..and its working pretty well.I finally landed up coding it in XHTML and used PHP for my server side scripting.One small thing that I wanted to know, is how do you set the resolution/user interface for a site?Thanks a lot,

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Hey Guys,Thanks to your help..i was able to create my site..and its working pretty well.I finally landed up coding it in XHTML and used PHP for my server side scripting.One small thing that I wanted to know, is how do you set the resolution/user interface for a site?Thanks a lot,

I'm not sure I understand your point... a site doesn't change the user's resolution after all. It only adjusts itself to the user's resolution. And you can adjust sizes with CSS(width and height properties) and give them absolute values (pixels). However, for the sake of flexibility (editing only one file for all resolutions), try to use more relative sizes (percentages).
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