SMS Alerts in SharePoint 2010 over Office Mobile Service Protocol (OMS)
The Service Overview
In this post, I want to share the exciting news of SharePoint’s 2010 new feature. Finally it’s possible to send SMS directly from SharePoint to mobile phones. This feature was only available in some add-on components before (e.g. Virto Extended Workflow Activity Kit and going to add it to our SharePoint Alerts & Reminder Web Part ). The advantages of sending SMS instead of Email messages are obvious: SMS alerts or reminders that are received on mobile phones are more preferred than Email messages that can be lost in the mass of spam.
Here’s what SharePoint 2010 offers
The interface is standard as it’s very similar to previous versions of the product. Adjustments are easy to do, simply enter the address of the Office Mobile Service (OMS) web-service which you want to use for sending messages, then specify the connection parameters. Further details on Office Mobile Service is available below. The Test Service button checks if OMS web-service is accessible using provided URL (user name and password are not verified). This check is needed because OMS web-service URL depends on the mobile operator and country.
It’s now possible to select the method of sending alerts in alerts settings. Email option is selected by default.
Alerts delivery method is displayed in the list of existing alerts.
Office Mobile Service (OMS)
SharePoint 2010 uses exterior servers similar to SMTP servers for sending SMS alerts. However, Microsoft started development and promotion of their own protocol instead of using existing ones. That is how Office Mobile Service (OMS) appeared.
This open protocol enables clients to send text and multimedia messages (mobile messages) remotely to the server which processes these messages and delivers them to mobile phones.
Typical scenario of utilizing this protocol is data transfer between computer application and mobile phone. The recipient can answer messages and the server in return will deliver the answer by SMTP protocol, i.e. by email.
Key quality of this protocol is that it’s built on base of HTPP(S) and SOAP protocols.
This means that in fact SMS gateway must support typified web-service. What do you get from web-service? What you get is the ability to send SMS from any platform you want.
The protocol is being developed at the moment and version 0.2 from 08/28/2009 was available when the article was published. For promotion of their protocol and simplifying server search, Microsoft represented web-service http://messaging.office.microsoft.com/HostingProviders.aspx that helps to receive the list of providers, which supports OMS protocol and message delivery to your operator.
All you need to do is decide which provider to use, complete the agreement, then adjust the SharePoint connection parameters and start working.
Some providers advertise themselves not only for clients but for mobile operators as well. They offer automatic adding to the list of the Office Mobile Service Providers.
To view the full specifications of OMS, please go to http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd774103.aspx
Get more details at Virto Team SharePoint Blog.