In 1999, when the world was still engrossed with building web applications, we noticed an increasing interest and excitement regarding the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and its potential. WAP moved very quickly from a relatively obscure protocol to the focus of intense interest among developers who wanted to bring web content to mobile devices. Because people spend much of their time on the move and away from their PCs, the ability to view web content on a mobile device is a very intriguing notion.
Consequently, we started toying with the Wireless Markup Language (WML) and its scripting counterpart, WMLScript. It was soon apparent that building WAP applications (or services, as some put it) is somewhat similar to building web applications. However, WML and WMLScript possess limitations that could easily trip up an uninitiated WAP application developer.
Today, WAP and wireless web technology are still in their infancy. Sources for help and information about WAP, although relatively scarce, are increasing at an amazing rate. The main sources of information are the companies that distribute emulators such as Phone.com, Nokia, and Ericsson, all of which definitely played an important part in educating the public on WAP applications development.
Other information sources are the online communities, including AnyWhere-YouGo.com, ASPToday, and Wireless Developer Network. In addition to featuring WAP articles and resources, these online communities run discussion groups and mailing lists. Close monitoring of these mailing lists shows that developers are frequently asking the same kinds of questions (and getting frustrated when no help is rendered).
This is what led us to write this book which describes the WAP application building process and discusses the common issues faced by developers. And the rest, as they say, is history.
We wrote this book with two main objectives:
First, we hope to share with you our hard-earned experience in developing WAP applications. All of us have made silly mistakes that kept us awake at night. We hope that this book will prevent you from doing the same. Our goal is to make you more productive more quickly.
Second, we aim to equip WAP developers with the skill set and know-how to develop and deploy dynamic WAP applications. To benefit developers who need to incorporate processing at the server side and database access into their applications, we have provided coverage for both server-side and database access technologies. Some of the popular server-side technologies, such as Active Server Pages (ASP), Java servlets, and JavaServer Pages (JSP) are discussed in detail. Database access technologies covered in this book include ADO, OLEDB, ODBC, and JDBC. We have also included a discussion on developing server-side messaging applications using JavaMail.
We hope that you will enjoy this book and find it useful.