Wireless Applications on IIS - 26 Sep 2000

The Internet is going wireless. Wireless technology has become crucial for transmitting and receiving up-to-the-minute information. Leading analysts for the wireless industry predict strong growth for the wireless data market. For example, Strategy Analytics foresees a $200 billion-a-year wireless Internet industry by 2004.

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is currently one of the simplest implementations of wireless technologies. It is a standard for linking to the Internet using wireless connections with WAP-enabled devices such as cellular phones, Research in Motion (RIM) email devices, and pagers. WAP devices have small screens that display as few as five lines of text, each with approximately 10 characters. WAP uses Wireless Markup Language (WML), which is similar to HTML but doesn't require using a keyboard or mouse.

To connect to the WAP world, you need a WAP gateway. However, you don't need to install your own private gateway, which would take a lot of time, money, and effort. Instead, you can use a WAP gateway that's available through wireless network operators, such as Sprint PCS, whose services you normally subscribe to when you buy a wireless device.

WML is a tag-based and largely text-based language. However, unlike HTML, WML has strict syntax rules because the content is compiled into a binary form when you transmit the data over the wireless network. You can store WML pages on your IIS Web site; IIS can interpret these pages when you configure a few WAP MIME types. To configure MIME types in IIS 5.0, follow these steps:

  1. Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, Internet Services Manager.
  2. Right-click the machine name, and select Properties.
  3. Click Computer MIME Map, then click Edit to list the existing MIME types. Add the following MIME types by clicking New Type and typing the following information:

    • For file extension .wml, type "text/vnd.wap.wml" (without the quotes).
    • For file extension .wmlc, type "application/vnd.wap.wmlc" (without the quotes).
    • For file extension .wmls, type "text/vnd.wap.wmlscript" (without the quotes).
    • For file extension .wmlsc, type "application/vnd.wap.wmlscriptc" (without the quotes).
    • For file extension .wbmp, type "image/vnd.wap.wbmp" (without the quotes).

After you configure your WAP site and MIME types in IIS, place your WML documents in your WAP site IIS document tree, where you can access them through a WAP-enabled device or WAP emulator.

We've built a feature-rich, fully functional WAP application that you can download at no cost and use on your IIS site. This application lets your WAP device search Active Directory (AD) for users, lists them, then facilitates emailing or dialing them right from your WAP device. To download the Active Server Page (ASP) code, go to the InterKnowlogy support page and scroll down to "IIS Update – InterKnowlogy WAP Application."

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