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Hello SDN Readers,

This blog is about communicating enterprise information through SMS. Short Messaging Service or SMS in short is a very common way of communicating information to mobile users. SMS is one of the channels through which you can communicate enterprise information in SAP NetWeaver Mobile, the others being RSS, and the default channel.

To start – What is a channel?

Simply put, a channel is a mode of communication between the DOE and its receivers.
A channel is characterized by attributes such as direction of the channel(only sends data to devices, only receives data from devices, or both), registration criteria, sychronous/ asynchronous, and so on.

SAP NetWeaver Mobile provides a default channel through which mobile clients for laptops and handhelds communicate. In addition to this channel, we provide an SMS and an RSS channel.

The SMS channel is based on SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). In the DOE, this channel is an outbound channel (only sends data to receivers), synchronous in nature, and does not require device registration.

How does the SMS Channel works in SAP NetWeaver Mobile?

SAP NetWeaver Application Server (ABAP) has a module called SAPconnect. SAPconnect provides a standard interface for external communication, which supports sending using telecommunication services such as FAX, text messages (pager/SMS), Internet mail and so on. You can find more information on SAPconnect here.

In the Data Orchestration Engine, a mobile number is specified for each device. So, after the DOE calculates data that a device must receive, it sends the data to the SAPconnect module. The module then sends the data to the SMS gateway.

There are two activities that you can do when configuring an SMS channel:

  1. Maintain rules on a data object to filter out information that must be sent via an SMS. Example, you can create a rule: [ORDER_VALUE > 10,000] – here ORDER_VALUE is a data object node. Then SMSes are sent only for those orders whose value is greater than 10,000.
  2. Maintain separate message texts for sending SMS messages. Example, you can maintain the following text “A new order [ORDER_NO] for $[ORDER_VALUE] has been created”. Here, ORDER_NO and ORDER_VALUE are data object nodes. If an Order 1230099 has been created in the back-end for $55000, the SMS sent will be “A new order 1230099 for $55000 has been created”.

How do you configure the SMS channel?

To begin with, you need an SMS Gateway that you can reach from the application server. After that, here is an overview of the steps:

  1. Enable the server to send SMS
  2. Configure the SMTP Plug-in
  3. Assign SMS channel to devices
  4. Configure the data objects to send SMS

I have detailed all the steps on how you can configure the SMS Channel in this guide. So, download the guide and try it in your landscape. It is quite simple!

Next Blog: Using the RSS channel of SAP NetWeaver Mobile

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3 Comments

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  1. Stephen Johannes
    The SMS channel you described, is very limited and does not support enterprise grade SMS marketing.  In fact where is the SMPP support in Netweaver, along with the 2-way SMS support using shortcodes and other functionality?

    SMS via e-mail is only designed for low-volume non-commercial applications here in the United States and ends up costing the end-user more because of the resulting split messages(i.e. one messages ends up being 2 or 3 text messages in terms of subscribers count).

    I’m interested if you can show me where in the Netweaver stack there is support for SMPP or two way SMS which is required for enterprise grade SMS marketing.

    Thank you,

    Stephen

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    1. Sujit Hemachandran Post author
      Hi Stephen,

      The SMS channel that I have described should be used more as an alerting mechanism, and it is used along with the standard SAP NetWeaver Mobile client. This would ensure that you are alerted for very important information and then you can synchronize with the server to access the details of the particular business data.

      However, scenarios such as a 2-way SMS with SMPP protocol can be easily realized in SAP NetWeaver Mobile. We allow you to define your own “channel” with any protocol and communication behavior.

      Hope it answers your query,

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      1. Stephen Johannes
        The question is then do I have build then from scratch in java, an SMPP implementation etc? 

        SMS has become a valid channel for business applications.  For enteprise grade SMS applications that are beyond downtime alerts, you would need support of SMPP, webservices, HTTP post methods to handle communication to an SMS gateway.

        Right now unless I want to reinvent the wheel, it would be very hard to use Netweaver stack to implement a SMS application such as ordering via text message with the tools provided.  Not to mention doing marketing campaigns, etc.

        If you are supporting true mobile access, then I would expected a more fully mature channel to handle SMS scenarios.  Oracle wireless server already provides this functionality:

        http://www.clickatell.com/developers/oracle.php

        Why can’t SAP???

        Thank you,

        Stephen

        (0) 

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