The term messaging can mean many things. To some people, it may mean email; to others, text messaging; to others still, smart application-to-application messaging. Of course, all of these, as well as others, are valid messaging formats. As discussed in the previous chapter, messaging technology can be used by itself or in conjunction with smart client or thin client applications, but however it is used, messaging technology will be key to implementing a successful mobile solution.
In this chapter, we take a look at the key messaging technologies currently available. We will start with common messaging systems such as email and paging, then move on to SMS, EMS, and MMS, and finish with push and application-to-application messaging. After gaining an understanding of the various messaging systems, we will cover the messaging value chain, ranging from device manufacturers to messaging middleware providers.
Messaging technology relates equally well to both smart client and thin client applications, therefore it is included in the first part of the book rather than in the parts dedicated to specific application architectures. This is intentional, as messaging technology is a great way to tie together both application types.
In Chapter 4, "Mobile Application Architectures" we answered the question why we would want to use messaging for our applications. Here we will look at how this can be accomplished.