I am new to Nokia development and am looking at the possibility of using Nokia phones as part of our in house work ordering system. I need to send job tickets to staff and then allow them to respond with job start/finish times and optional comments.
Having browsed through the developer pages I am unclear as to what direction to take. We currently have SQL Server/IIS server backend systems that we would want to link the systems too.
This is an interesting idea for a mobile application.
There are a several ways you can implement this...
Using SMS you can send the "job requests" and have your staff reply to you in a SMS which they compose themselves. To do this, you need to write an SMS Application with a CIMD interface (depending on the SMSC that your service provider uses). You can get service from a local SMS Aggregator and they should have several types of SMSC interfaces you can use to send SMS to all operators in your area (if all of your staff isn't using the same service provider). This SMS Application will run on one of your servers and interface to your back-end systems. But, you might need some kind of GUI to initiate the SMS from your server-side applications (unless you want to automate it).
A simpler alternative (as far as network interfaces go) is to use only WAP. Using XHTML, you can create forms (with radio buttons, text entry fields, and submit button)... and your staff would need to use their XHTML enabled phone to login and fill in a form each time they complete a job ticket. You can also use any language to dynamically serve the XHTML. This would function like any other web application that would connect to a back-end DB for data R/W. AND, XHTML would be viewable/usable via PC and mobile phone. However, your staff would need to know when to go to the XHTML page.
You could use both technologies to
-- send job tickets via SMS
-- include the URL of their job ticket in the SMS. All Nokia phones have the ability for users to automatically launch the phone's browser with the URL by clicking on "Options">"Find">"URL address"
-- respond to job ticket by filling in the required information on the XHTML web page and click the "Submit" button to send to your systems
Of course, if you really want to get really complicated and have a nice, clean UI... then you can write a Symbian application which can be downloaded and installed (just once) on every staff member's mobile phone. Symbian applications can
-- intercept the SMS messages (job tickets) and read them
-- display the information in a nice format for the user, including a form that they can fill in
-- connect to your back-end systems by making a socket connection and send the needed data
Basiclly, do the functionality of the Messaging Client and WAP Browser do... in a seamless package, personalized for your company.
For more information at www.Forum.Nokia.com
Go to "Technologies" >> "Messaging" >> "CIMD"
Go to "Technologies" >> "Browsing/WAP" >> "Documents" >> "XHTML/WML"
To see which phones support XHTML and Symbian(Series 60), go to "Device Specifications" from www.Forum.Nokia.com