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Kannel: Glossary

This is a glossary list for WAP related stuff. It is intended to provide answers to the questions about abbreviations most often received by the Kannel gateway team (which can be reached at feedback@kannel.org).


Section 1. Glossary list

Section 1. Glossary list

1.1 DTD

Document Type Definition. The definition states which elements can be nested within others. A DTD defines that the names and contents of all elements that are permissible in a certain document, how often an element may appear, the order in which the elements must appear, whether the start or end tag may be omitted, the contents of all elements, that is, the names of the other generic identifiers that are allowed to appear inside them, the attributes and their default values and the names of the reference symbols that may be used.

1.2 Element

An element specify the markup and structural information in a WML deck. Some elements contain a start and end tag such as the <p> and </p> tag, others are single elements such as the <br/> tag.

1.3 HDML

Handheld Markup Language

1.4 Microbrowser

The micro-browser is implemented in a mobile handset, and is designed to handle WML code using the phone's standard interface. As a result, displays are three or four lines, and interfaces will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and phone to phone. The micro-browser needs to work in the limited memory and processor space of a mobile phone, so it's not as sophisticated as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

1.5 PDA

Personal Digital Assistant. Usually a hand-held device, such as the Palm Pilot. WAP isn't just for cellular phones!

1.6 SMSC

Short Message Service Center. The Short Message Service is a store and forward service, in other words, short messages are not sent directly from sender to recipient, but always via an SMS Center instead. Each mobile telephone network that supports SMS has one or more messaging centers to handle and manage the short messages. To be able to send SMS messages via Kannel you have to have an SMSC connection. Normally you connect to the SMSC via TCP/IP. The SMSC then uses vendor specific protocols to talk to the gateway. This is why Kannel has to support different kind of SMSC protocols like CIMD and SMPP. Contact your own mobile operator for more information about the SMSC connections they provide.

SMSC explanation by Steve Kennedy:

An SMS-C is a device that generally GSM operators have that knows how to route SMS messages (and bill for them). It connects to the operators cellular network, and to other networks SMS-C's. In the phone you set up an SMS-C (message center number), and any SMS's sent are sent to the SMS-C which then routes them, converts them to the correct message types, logs them to the security services or whatever ...

1.7 SGML

Standardized Generalized Markup Language is an international standard for describing the structure and content of machine-readable information. SGML "documents" usually consist of text, graphics, and hypertext links. SGML identifies and names the parts of the information so that these parts can be managed and manipulated to create a variety of products as diverse as typesetting, indexing, CD-ROM distribution, serving as hypertext over the Web, and translation into foreign languages.

1.8 UA

User Agent. The device that contains software which interprets WML, WMLScript etc.

1.9 W3C

World Wide Web Consortium. http://www.w3c.org

1.10 WAE

Wireless Application Environment. WAE specifies a general-purpose application environment based fundamentally on World Wide Web technologies and philosophies. WAE specifies an environment that allows operators and service providers to build applications and services that can reach a wide variety of different platforms. WAE is part of the Wireless Application Protocol.

1.11 WAP

Wireless Application Protocol is a technology which allow your mobile phone to browse the Web. It's a protocol for the transmission of data over low bandwidth wireless networks.

It is implemented as two key components: the WAP Gateway and the micro-browser. Together these enable mobile phones to interact with the rest of the Internet. The gateway connects phones to the Internet, whilst the micro-browser uses an XML document format, the Wireless Mark-Up Language (WML), to display pages.

1.12 WAP Gateway

A WAP gateway makes the transmission to a mobile phone more efficient. A WAP gateway is a two-way device (as any gateway). Looking at if from the WAP device's side, since a WAP device can only understand WML in its tokenized/compiled/binary format, the function of the WAP gateway is to convert content into this format. Looking at it from the HTTP server's side, the WAP gateway can provide additional information about the WAP device through the HTTP headers, for instance the subscriber number of a WAP capable cellular phone, its cell id and even things like location information (whenever that becomes available)

1.13 WAP Server

A frequently misused term. A WAP server by itself is really nothing more than a HTTP server - ie. a web server. In order to confuse everyone, Nokia has a product which they call a WAP server which is a WAP gateway and a HTTP server all in one. Ie. this is actually a content providing server and a gateway. The gateway takes care of the gateway stuff, and the web server provides the content.

1.14 WBXML

WAP Binary XML. This specification defines a compact binary representation of the Extensible Markup Language. The binary XML content format is designed to reduce the transmission size of XML documents, allowing more effective use of XML data on narrow-band communication channels.

The binary format was designed to allow for compact transmission with no loss of functionality or semantic information. The format is designed to preserve the element structure of XML, allowing a browser to skip unknown elements or attributes. The binary format encodes the parsed physical form of an XML document, i.e., the structure and content of the document entities. Meta-information, including the document type definition and conditional sections, is removed when the document is converted to the binary format.

1.15 WDP

Wireless Datagram Protocol. The WDP layer operates above the data capable bearer services supported by the various network types. As a general datagram service, WDP offers a consistent service to the upper layer protocol (Security, Transaction and Session) of WAP and communicate transparently over one of the available bearer services. The protocols in the WAP family are designed for use over narrow-band bearers in wireless telecommunications networks. Since the WDP protocols provide a common interface to the upper layer protocols (Security, Transaction and Session layers) ,they are able to function independently of the underlying wireless network. This is accomplished by adapting the transport layer to specific features of the underlying bearer.

1.16 WML

WML is a markup language based on XML and is intended for use in specifying content and user interface for narrow-band devices, including cellular phones, communicators and pagers.

1.17 WML Card

single WML block of navigation and user interface in a WML deck. A WML card must exist inside a WML deck containing one or more cards. WML decks are XML documents.

1.18 WML Deck

A collection of WML cards. The whole deck is loaded when the browser requests a URL, and access to individual cards in the deck can be specified in the URL.

1.19 WML Script

Scripting language for WAP devices. Based on JavaScript, but less powerful.

1.20 WSP

Wireless Session Protocol. The Wireless Session Protocol provides the upper-level application layer of WAP with a consistent interface for two session services. The first is connection-mode service that operates above a transaction layer protocol, and the second is a connectionless service that operates above a secure or non-secure datagram transport service.

1.21 WTA

Wireless Telephony Applications. This specification defines the Wireless Telephony Application (WTA) framework and the WTA user-agent. The WTA framework supports Wireless Telephony Applications that interface with the in-device telephony related functions and the network telephony infrastructure.

1.22 WTAI

Wireless Telephony Applications Interface. The WAP WTAI features provide the means to create Telephony Applications, using a WTA user-agent with the appropriate WTAI function libraries. A typical example is to set-up a mobile originated call using the WTAI functions accessible from either a WML deck/card or WMLScript. The application model for WTA is based on a WTA user-agent, executing WML and WMLScript. The WTA user-agent uses the WTAI function libraries to make function calls related to network services. The WTA user-agent is able to receive WTA events from the mobile network and pushed content, like WML decks and WTA events, from the WTA server. WTA events and WTAI functions make it possible to interact and handle resources, for call control etc., in the mobile network. The WTA server can invoke applications dynamically using content push with WML and WMLScript.

1.23 WTLS

Wireless Transport Layer Security. The "equivalent" to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) widely used in the HTML world - although not identical in functionality. The WTLS layer operates above the transport protocol layer. The WTLS layer is modular and it depends on the required security level of the given application whether it is used or not. WTLS provides the upper-level layer of WAP with a secure transport service interface that preserves the transport service interface below it. In addition, WTLS provides an interface for managing (eg, creating and terminating) secure connections. The primary goal of the WTLS layer is to provide privacy, data integrity and authentication between two communicating applications. WTLS provides functionality similar to TLS 1.0 and incorporates new features such as datagram support, optimized handshake and dynamic key refreshing. The WTLS protocol is optimized for low-bandwidth bearer networks with relatively long latency.

1.24 WTP

Wireless Transaction Protocol. A transaction protocol is defined to provide the services necessary for interactive "browsing" (request/response) applications. During a browsing session, the client requests information from a server, which MAY be fixed or mobile, and the server responds with the information. The request/response duo is referred to as a "transaction" in this document. The objective of the protocol is to reliably deliver the transaction while balancing the amount of reliability required for the application with the cost of delivering the reliability. WTP runs on top a datagram service and optionally a security service. WTP has been defined as a light weight transaction oriented protocol that is suitable for implementation in "thin" clients (mobile stations) and operates efficiently over wireless datagram networks.

1.25 XML

Extensible Markup Language. W3C's standard for Internet Markup Languages. WML is one of these languages. XML is a subset of SGML.

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