Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) & Wireless Markup Language (WML)
   
  What is WAP? (Wireless Application Protocol)
 
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an application environment and set of communication protocols for wireless device designed to enable manufacturer vendor and technology-independent access to the internet and advance telephony services.
 
The WAP protocol is the leading standard for information services on wireless terminals like digital mobile phones. WML is the language used to create pages to be displayed in a WAP browser.
 
The WAP standard specifies a set of protocols and an application environment for the delivery of interactive and real-time information services over a mobile network to conforming hand-held digital devices. Examples of such devices are PDA’s and mobile telephones with displays. WAP aims to integrate Internet, wireless data, and telephony.
 
WAP works with all types of wireless networks including GSM, TDMA, CDMA, and the upcoming 3G networks.
 
The WAP standard is based on Internet standards (HTML, XML and TCP/IP). It consists of a WML language specification, a WML Script specification, and a Wireless Telephony Application Interface (WTAI) specification.
   
  What is WML? (Wireless Markup Language)
   
WML stands for Wireless Markup Language. It is a mark-up language inherited from HTML, but WML is based on XML, so it is much stricter than HTML.
 
WML is used to create pages that can be displayed in a WAP browser. Pages in WML are called DECKS. Decks are constructed as a set of CARDS. WML uses WMLScript to run simple code on the client. WMLScript is a light JavaScript language. However, WML scripts are not embedded in the WML pages. WML pages only contain references to script URLs. WML scripts need to be compiled into byte code on a server before they can run in a WAP browser.
   
  What is the advantage of WAP? (Wireless Application Protocol)
 
Portability
A WAP application on one network should be easily portable to a different environment with little or no change. The alternative to using WAP is to write applications using proprietary protocols. Such applications will require substantial code rewriting when porting to a
  • Different type of network (examples of network types are GSM and CDMA)
  • Different bearer protocol (examples of bearer protocols are SMS, short message service or CSD, circuit switched data)
  • A new device type.

User Experience

  • WAP aims to enhance the user experience by addressing characteristics of wireless environment:
  • Narrow bandwidth connection.
  • Devices with small screens, limited battery use without recharging, limited memory, and limited processing power.

Cost and Application Development Time Reduction

  • New services can be added quickly and at a lower cost using WAP. This is made possible by the easy availability of standardized WAP tools and platforms such as WAP software development tool kits, WAP gateways, and WAP devices.

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