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AMS is a web-2-mobile system for sending and receiving structured messages to mobile phones. Structured means both that the presentation of the message to the user is done via a customizable form, and that the message content is delivered or sent via XML to external systems.

For example in the Quick Start Tutorial we created a timesheet message. This message had fields for capturing the client code, hours, type of hours and notes. On the mobile phone this message displays to the user as a form using the phones native GUI. When messages are sent  back to the AMS server they are sent in a binary format, to minimize transmission size on the mobile network, and converted into XML on the AMS server. They can then be stored until they are either retrieved manually, via the web service API, or automatically on sent to an external server.

There is a web service API in both SOAP and HTTP/POX variations that allows you to interact with the AMS service from your own programs. See Web Service API.

AMS System Overview

AMS is made up of several different parts which work together to provide the service.

Templates

The Template Design Tool is a web application that allows you to design AMS templates. Templates form the basis of AMS messages. They define how a message will appear to a user and what the XML format of the message will be. They also allow you to define extra information such as routing rules.

Templates can also contain hidden fields which are useful for customizing messages to a particular user or for storing information useful to backend processing.

Once a template is stored on a mobile phone only the data for a message is sent over the mobile network. This helps to reduce the amount of data required to transmit a message and as a result reduces the data cost to the user.

Gateway

The message gateway provides mobile client authentication, template download and message sending / receiving services. It is responsible for the encoding and decoding of templates and messages from their binary form and for managing mobile accounts. It essentially bridges the web and mobile worlds.

Mobile Client

The mobile client is the software that a user installs on their phone.  It  comes as a J2ME MIDP 2.0 CLDC 1.1,  a BlackBerry native Java application,  Android 2.2+  (phones and tablets)  and iOS. (Apple: iPhone, iPad, iPod) .

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