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Deep Dive: Mobility Services APIs (with Sample Code!)

Last week, my colleague Rajiv walked you through an overview of how our Mobility Services API now supports REST based APIs. As a developer for the Mobility Services Engine (MSE) team, I am very excited about this update because it means that it will be easier for developers to create apps using the MS-API, which hopefully means that more and more organizations will be able to take advantage of the location-based services and functionalities of the MSE. I’m going use this blog to walk you through some of the more technical aspects of the change.

The Basics

The REST API is now widely used in the field of API based web applications. The REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. It is an architecture that is based on set of six rules, and APIs that support REST follow all those rules, making them RESTful.

Compared to SOAP, REST has better performance, scalability, simplicity, modifiability, visibility, portability, and reliability. For secured REST API transactions, HTTPS is recommended.

RESTful Mobility Services API

7.5 applications, including features from the Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution such as Browser Engage and CMX Analytics, are now supporting REST APIs in addition to the existing SOAP APIs previous releases (backward compatibility).

CMX utilizes the basic authentication scheme to authenticate each REST API request. It utilizes the Authorization header in the HTTP packet. The Authorization header is composed as follows:

- Username and password are combined into a string “username:password”.
- The resulting string literal is then encoded using Base64.
- The authorization method, a space and the string “Basic” is then put before the encoded string.

The API credentials can be accessed from Prime Infrastructure (PI), which manages CMX (page is located under Mobility Services > Specific MSE > System > Users).

As Rajiv mentioned last week, the Mobility Services REST APIs can be grouped in the following way:

-          MAP APIs

-          Real time location APIs

-          Location history APIs

-          Notification APIs

Let’s break them down with use cases to get a better picture of when you’d use which. Read More »

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Strength in Numbers: Meet the CMX Partner Ecosystem

Since the launch of Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), we have seen tremendous interest from our customers to monetize their investment in Wi-Fi Solutions and enable new line-of-business applications to gain insights, deliver efficiencies and engage end-users.  This week Cisco is announcing a collection of technology developer partnerships, as managed through the Cisco Developer Network (CDN), that help us bring a “whole offering” to our Customers with the addition of domain expertise, geographical focus and technology feature infusion that gives our Customers confidence, security and operational excellence to move forward in this nascent market.

The foundation of this technical integration begins with the connection to the Cisco WLAN & Unified Access Architecture through the Mobility Services API, which exposes context-aware information gathered by the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) for the integration with following disciplines: Read More »

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More on Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences in Nice, France

Last month I wrote about the Connected Mobile Experiences deployment in Nice. One of the most interesting things I saw at the iCity launch in Nice was a real cool application that can leverage the power of Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution to deliver very unique and exciting capabilities.

Imagine visiting a city and being able to leave your friends digital messages that only they can read when they get to a specific location. Or walking into a new area and getting localized information right then about a specific event. Or customizing signage in whatever language in native to the visitor. Imagine being able to create your own sticky note and making it public or private anytime anyplace electronically.

mandarine-translated-trimmed

All of these things are just some of the possibilities that are now made available using ‘digital graffiti’ from a small startup in the South of France called Geekgaps.

Read More »

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The Next Big Innovation Cycle for Hoteliers

Remember the time when we were trying to figure out exactly what the Internet was? Web pages and dot coms didn’t make complete sense. Wow, how times have changed. Today, our world revolves around the Internet. Most of us connect every day. And now, we are doing more than just connecting.

Our team recently joined other industry experts at HITEC 2013, the world’s largest hospitality technology show. Hot topics discussed at the show included the next generation guest, including BYOC (bring your own content), social media, Wi-Fi services, data security, mobility and more. But one topic stood out among the others – the next big innovation cycle for hoteliers.

So what is the next big innovation cycle for hoteliers?

The one thing about innovation in hotels that stands out to me right now is that it’s almost a constant two-way dialogue between the hotel and guest. When we leverage the network beyond just connecting to the Internet, the possibilities are nearly endless.  This two-way dialogue creates an opportunity to better serve customer needs. And if we pay attention to guests’ dialogue and understand their daily physical and digital habits and desires, there is no more assuming what those needs are. By constantly gathering data to determine future needs, we can create a system that not only is a solution, but can help determine solutions for the future. Read More »

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Cisco Application Visibility with 3rd Party Tools

With the advent of BYOD and the proliferation of mobile applications – it’s become ever important to have visibility into your wireless network using deep packet inspection. By classifying the data flows that go through the wireless LAN, administrators now have visibility into the top users and top applications which are consuming bandwidth on their network. After analyzing this data and armed with visibility into these applications, Cisco AVC allows the administrator to then take action such as prioritize, deprioritize or block on the applications in their network.

Since Cisco has released Application Visibility and Control (AVC) for wireless -- our customers and partners have been highly interested in the technology and how it can be put to work for them.  Visibility into the applications is made possible on the controller web interface which is useful for diagnosing real-time issues or analyzing short-term application trends. The wireless LAN controller GUI is shown below depicting a network using a variety of applications as identified by AVC.

avc1 Read More »

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