Dancer (15th April 2009)
I was wondering if anybody use Multimedia Message Service (MMS) to send messages to mobiles.
We are looking at the possibility of sending simple assessment reports to parents and we want more formatting than is available in a simple text (SMS).
A seperate message for each student
A message approx 12 lines long (1 line for each subject studied)- each line contains the subject name, current working grade and target + possibly some traffic light colouring
Does anybody already use a MMS serivice if so what do you use it for and how?
How/What langauge do you code MMS in - I've found several and as far as I can tell not all work on all handsets any idea which is best?
In a former life, I used to work with this type of thing ....
Although often seen as an evolution of SMS, MMS is quite different. When SMS was developed telephone networks were closed worlds with all communications based around established telephony protocols, in particular Signalling System #7. By the time MMS came along, though, the world had changed. The Internet had emerged and the convergence of telephony and the Internet was already seen as at the least desirable and maybe even inevitable. In short, MMS was built largely on Internet protocols (OK, they may have used diferent names and so on but that's essentially what was used).
So, in effect, an MMS is not much more than an Internet 'Message' just like an email. Like an email it can contain MIME attachments to convey non-text items like graphics. In particular MMS messages may contain SMIL attachments, which is a way of creating simple multimedia packages (see SMIL Tutorial and W3C Synchronized Multimedia Home page).
MMS was always designed to interwork with email, so you can build an MMS on your phone and send it to either a telephone number or an email address. Many mobile companies support this. In theory the other way round should work, too, but there's a problem: no-one pays to send an email, and the mobile operators are not keen on carrying free traffic, especially if there's a danger that most of that traffic would be spam, anyway.
All is not lost, though. There are various companies that have arrangements with mobile operators to send SMS and MMS for a fee. They have various interfaces, but email is the obvious one for you. Look up Mail to MMS in your favourite search engine, as I can no longer remember who does that sort of thing (but Netsize rings a bell).
Dancer (15th April 2009)
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