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The Mobile Web Server - An Apache Port to Symbian - Part I

, 31 Jan 2008
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The First Ever HTTP Web server for mobile devices

Introduction

The first ever HTTP web server for mobiles and it does all you can expect from a web server, in fact it does more than that. Nokia Beta Labs has come up with a Web Server for Mobile phones. The first working prototype was deployed in October, 2007 and I've been chasing the project for every bit of it so far since then. Currently you have version 1.2 Beta released on their web-site. Basically, it's an Apache port to Symbian platform and the web-server is deployed as a Symbian application which comes as an SIS file package.

Background

I will write a series of articles, with this being Part I itself. In this article, I will have you install your first working mobile web server and provide you with features and functions. Later articles will include the architecture, how it works, the application areas and will try to elaborate more useful information and details on the web-server. So, here we go...

Points of Interest

Carry your own web server right in your pocket, hosting your web-site or web-application, straight out of your cell-phone. Let people reach you, see you, text you, for almost no cost.

Getting Started

To start with it, you must register by filling up the form at this location. You must choose a valid and available Sub-Domain name for making your cell-phone uniquely reachable on the internet. Like mine is ruchit.mymobilesite.net and you can hit the web-server running on my cell-phone by typing this URL in any web-browser, anywhere in the world. So, please choose a good name as well. The web-server can host CGI applications on py60 (Python for S60), static HTML web-pages and it comes with pre-bundled application with basic services which you can access at your URL, which in my case is http://ruchit.mymobilesite.net, as I said earlier. Once you've reserved a unique location on the web for your Cell-Phone + Web-Server, you can download the web-server and install it on your cell-phone. You can download the server from here. You can use Nokia PC suite to install the server application. After installation, your application menu should display with the icon of the server like this..

webservericon_thumb.jpg

Now, start the application by clicking on the icon and you should see the main application menu. Now, our objective is to let the server know its identity by binding it to the respective URL, in my case as you know it'd be http://ruchit.mymobilesite.net. When you run it for the first time, it will detect it as a fresh installation and will prompt you to punch in the most basic details to let itself bind it to a unique Internet location. You can download the User Manual from the web-site in order to complete the installation and play around with it in more details. Once you've started the server successfully, you should see this screen on your mobile.

webserver1_thumb.jpg

And yes, Symbian S60 2nd and 3rd edition phones have multitasking capabilities, so you can let this server be running in the background and continue working normally. Phone like N95 and higher E series phones have floating point units, which makes it a breeze.

Features and Functions

You (anybody) can access your Web-Server by typing the associated unique URL you gained as part of your registration process. You can have administrator logging into your cell-phone or you can entertain guest users as well. They will have the following features accessible.

Camera: The person logged in can access your camera. The person can take pictures by clicking a single button and he can watch it straight on the browser and he can save that picture on the local desktop. He can't have the video streaming as this is way beyond the scope of possibilities, demanding good amount of resources. Yes, you can think of real good ideas to tap on this feature. Like, you can do immediate sharing or remote cam kind of solution.

Web Chat: You can chat with the cell-phone owner in real time with his approval. It supports some smileys too.

Messaging: You can send a single message to the cell-phone owner like a quick-drop message for owner's information or for any other important stuff.

Calendar: You can access person's calendar entries right in the browser. You can manipulate them if you've enough rights or you can add one. How about adding your birthday in your friends mobile without his knowledge and check back his expressions, thinking when reminded, "Hey, I never did it!"

Phone Log: You can access owner's Dialled Calls' Logs, Received Calls' Logs and Missed Calls' Logs in real time.

Presence: You can view cell-phone's status and availability information, on which the web-server is running. You can learn, if an active call is ongoing or what's the battery level of the server phone or even the data bearer of the web-server, either EDGE, 3G or WLAN.

Send SMS: You can send an SMS to any-other cell-phone number from the web. This will be charged into the owner's telco. account.

GuestBook: You can fill up the guest book of the owner, if you like.

Contacts: You can access the owner's phone book on the web and manipulate, If you've got enough rights. How about checking a number you need without bothering your friend by asking, "Hey, do you have this guy's number?".

Gallery: You will have access to the owner's pictures album both on phone memory and external memory facilities.

Well, there are other more exciting features like blogging, contact me, etc. You can check out and download the latest version at http://www.mymobilesite.net. Feel free to comment or write to me on my email ruchit@ruchitsurati.net. Please mark the subject as 'Mobile Web Server'. More information on Mobile Web Server will follow this post in later posts. Till then, cheers!

Get ready for the next generation of connected applications. There's a lot more to it.

- Ruchit S.
http://ruchitsurati.net

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Ruchit S.
Software Developer (Senior) InteractCRM
India India
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralApplication Pinmembermbaocha6-May-09 17:25 
GeneralRe: Application PinmemberRuchit S.6-May-09 19:29 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberThomas C.P20-Dec-08 0:41 

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