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CFDJ: Article

Can You Escape the Wireless Revolution?

Can You Escape the Wireless Revolution?

This editorial has been written in a way unlike any article you've ever read in this magazine. As a testament to the focus of this issue - "ColdFusion and Wireless" - I'm typing it (albeit painstakingly so) on my RIM Blackberry 957. Three sentences in, I can tell you that it's by no means the easiest way to type out 700 or so words, and it's not something I'd recommend (later note: neither would my thumbs!) to other writers. But the bottom line is that it's doable, and although it might not be the best way, it's there and the technology behind it is being developed and clamored for like nothing before.

I recently participated in an online chat with some of the Internet industry's leading consultants, and the topic turned to wireless technologies - certainly not a surprise since it's the latest buzzword. The discussion centered around whether clients are really asking for wireless additions to consulting projects or if it has yet to hit prime time in terms of demand.

The general consensus was that it's still more or less an "afterthought" in large consulting projects, where the company asks for it late in the game as an "à la carte" add-on rather than something that's considered and planned out as part of the main project. However, the trend is moving in a direction that includes wireless access as part of the initial discussions and project development.

Everyone in the online discussion seemed to agree that although the companies are asking for it, they aren't exactly sure what it is they're asking for. Everyone knows the wireless buzzwords, and "remote access" sounds like a great feature. When they try to figure out what to access, and how to wireless-enable it - that's when the confusion kicks in.

Consultants and clients end up in befuddling conversations, trying to iron out what's viable technologically to access over a cell phone or Palm Pilot, and then trying to figure out if it would actually be of any use. Often when the consultants come up with something they could easily implement, the client finds it completely useless. On the flip side, every time the clients come up with something they'd love to be able to do, the consultants lose sleep as they attempt to figure out how in the world they could possibly deliver it.

The reason is that the technology is still as fuzzy as most people's understanding of what it can (or perhaps should) do. In this issue we attempt to clear up that confusion - at least from a developer's standpoint. From a user's standpoint, it'll still be confusing. But here at CFDJ we do what we can.

We've got some great articles in this month's issue that demonstrate the "whys" and of course the "hows" of creating unwired sites. First up is a piece entitled "M-Commerce: A Practical Approach to Usability" by Ralph Fiol, a case study about mobile.actibetier.com. The article covers the architecture of the mobile application as well as some design guidelines for WAP and WML projects. We've also got a great piece on "Updating Databases Wirelessly," which covers CF, Fusebox, and WML, written by Margarita Laplaza de Androuin and Joseph Schmuller. Of course that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can also dip into the usual great roundup of material from CFDJ regulars Ben Forta, Hal Helms, Charles Arehart. and others. Read on...

More Stories By Robert Diamond

Robert Diamond is the founder and editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld.com, the premiere theater site on the net now receiving over 100,000 unique visitors a day. He is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media - a leading designer of entertainment and technology web sites. He is also the lead producer on BroadwayWorld.com's consistently sold-out Joe's Pub concert series, and Standing Ovations benefit concerts. Diamond was also named one of the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by Folio magazine. Robert holds a BS degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Visit his blog at www.robertdiamond.com.

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