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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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Cisco Mobility Services APIs go RESTful

As a product manager, I am happy and excited to tell you that Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) now supports REST based APIs. Why am I happy and excited you ask? MSE’s REST based APIs allow web app developers to rapidly develop location aware apps with ease.  Let me walk you through this new feature at a high level, and my colleague will take you through a closer look feature blog next week.

Mobility Services Engine and API support

For readers who are not familiar with the Cisco Mobility Service Engine and the APIs, here’s the gist:

-          Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) works in conjunction with Cisco Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) and Cisco Aironet Access Points (APs) and computes real time location for all Wi-Fi end-points using RSSI based triangulation algorithms.

-          MSE stores real time and historical location of Wi-Fi clients in its database making it a gold mine of data for indoor location. (Remember that GPS technology is not effective for indoor location)

-          This rich store of indoor location data is now available to app developers to query through a REST based API over a secure HTTPS connection.

What can I do with MSE REST APIs?

MSE REST APIs allow web developers to query MSE location database using the HTTP(S) GET method. HTTP response payload can be received in XML or JSON format. Here is a list of resources that are accessible over the REST API. Read More »

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Deep Dive: Major User Interface Transformation in CMX 7.6

You read about the three flavors of analytics we offer with the Connected Mobile Experiences solution last week. One of the key innovations Evyatar discussed is the a completely transformed user interface for onsite analytics, so I want to give you all a closer look at exactly what enhancements are in store for location analytics CMX 7.6 (available later this year).

Redesigned from the bottom up, the UI update came from a strong team effort to  deliver a solution that is not only relevant to our customers, but intuitive and easy to use for business users. Our vision is that anyone from sales to marketing,  from store management to customer operations should be able to use the tool without having the call the IT guy.

The redesign process considered around the needs and learnings of our early customers, with over 20 individual customer interviews and previews, and incorporated input from proven UI and HCI experts.

The most important feedback was from our customers, and we listened! The new UI contains both overt and subtle changes, all tailored from our customers’ perspective in order to deliver tools they need to make better business decisions, enhance their customers experiences, improve their operational efficiency and increase their revenues

Some of the major UI innovations coming in this release include:

Analytics Dashboard

A new dashboard introduced to deliver key information at a glance when the user first logs in. The dashboard layout can be configured to display the most relevant information to the user so that they can immediately make use of it within the business.

ui1 Read More »

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Three Flavors of CMX Analytics: Onsite, Online & Social

Big data seems to be everywhere these days. Everywhere you look there are new companies and technologies that promise to crunch up enormous databases and instantly extract from them knowledge and understanding.  Although that sounds impressive, it raises the question – how can that help me and my business? How does fitting an N degree polynomial to a CRM database help me grow my business?

At Cisco, we’ve taken a very practical approach to big data. We started by asking our customers: what do they want to know? What information would help our customers’ better manage their sites, optimize their operations and grow their business? We took those questions and built Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) Analytics around them.

iStock retailWouldn’t a store manager want to know how many of his customers were new? Did that new marketing campaign launched last month really drive new visitors to the store? Or another example, let’s say the layout of the store was just changed, wouldn’t the manager want to know if it was effective? Did people spend more time in the store? How about better understanding your customer base?  Which web sites do my visitors visits? And of course retail isn’t the only segment that would like to know things. Wouldn’t an airport want to know how long people wait in the security line? Would a train station like to know how long before the train leaves people come into store?

Cisco’s CMX Analytics takes anonymous device location data gathered by the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), and leverages that data to provide clear, concise and relevant information.  In order to make the data easier to visualize, we have recently enhanced our user interface adding many features that help users immediately and intuitively grasp the data.  Our new dashboard enables every user to customize the views they wish to see and prioritize which data is meaningful to them. Our new Path engine enables customers to visualize how many people walk through the different paths in their venue. Our new reports can tell our customers everything from how many people are using their Wi-Fi to which floor people spend the most time in.  These are just a few examples of the many innovations pouring into out CMX Analytics platform. Read More »

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CMX to be featured at the inaugural IoT World Forum 2013

On October 29-31, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, Cisco will host customers, partners, influencers and policy-makers at the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum.

barcelona

This October, Barcelona will begin the journey towards joining the ranks of Nice as a connected city, making it the perfect hotbed for displaying the Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution in action. During the IoT World Forum, Cisco will showcase the CMX solution in a number of venues, both indoors and out.

CMX Analytics will be displayed on a large screen in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Arts on Barcelona’s waterfront, where the conference is being held. We will display dwell time, patterns of movement, crowding, etc. each day for the conference itself, showing real insights on the venue and attendees. Read More »

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