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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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Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences at Cisco Live Orlando 2013

Orlando 2013 being Cisco Live’s largest event yet with over 20000 delegates was where CMX was shown to be a very key part of Cisco’s strategic business solutions offering and was shown right throughout the show from Key note addresses to booth demos, to focussed presentations to whisper suites even to deep customer on to one discussions.

Cisco Chairman & CEO, John Chambers in his keynote address to all the assembled delegates both live and via video link, where he outlined the the vision for tomorrow  by exploring new opportunities and the amazing things that can happen when you connect the previously unconnected, demo’ed the key component that CMX plays in delivering enormous insights and business value to the retail industry.

keynote 1

Taking things a little deeper and more specific in the Hospitality Industry, SVP Enterprise Networking Group, Rob Soderbery in his Keynote, demonstrated a very compelling scenario using CMX to deliver incredible guest experience in a hotel. He showed how CMX can recognize the customer on arrival, wake up the hotel app, offer virtual concierge services, enable automatic checkin, navigation to the room, keyless entry and highly targeted offers. Read More »

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MSE Blog Series Part 3: Monetize Your WLAN using Cisco Location Analytics

March 6, 2013 at 9:56 am PST

In light of the recent announcement of MSE Release 7.4 and Advanced Location Analytics Availability, we thought it would be timely to pick up where we left off on our MSE blogs series. In the first two, my colleague Anshul Tyagi covered how the MSE optimizes the CleanAir experience and discussed other MSE enhancements. Now that we have expanded the MSE to cover advanced location analytics, let’s use this blog to dive deeper into how to monetize your Wi-Fi infrastructure using our new functionality.

So you have a Cisco Wi-Fi network: what can you do to get more insight into the people using it? Do you know which part of your venue is more crowded? Ever wondered where people spend the most of the time in your venue? Where have people been before they arrived at your venue?

Whether it is in retail, leisure, travel or manufacturing, anytime there are people interacting with a Wi-Fi environment, there is also potential to improve the user experience--that is, if you can first visualize that interaction.

With the acquisition of ThinkSmart technologies, a leading data analytics company proficient in location data mining, Cisco opens up a new customer base – that of customer oriented marketing. Cisco ThinkSmart Location Analytics solution leverages your existing WLAN infrastructure and  can help you gain insight on customer behavior, giving you an opportunity for better sales and operations.

How does the Cisco+ThinkSmart Analytics work?

Read More »

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