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The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open, global specification that lets users with mobile wireless devices (e.g., phones, pagers) access and send information easily and instantly. WAP uses the Wireless Markup Language (WML).

WML is similar to HTML, although WML has a different structure. WML consists of a set of units called cards. These cards make up a deck that is written in WML. The cards let users with non-QWERTY keyboards (e.g., mobile phone pads) browse through information. WML also has a smaller set of markup tags than HTML. This smaller set of tags makes WML more appropriate for implementation in wireless devices because their display units are restricted in size and quality.

You don't need to install a new WAP server to use this protocol. You can just WAP-enable IIS. To WAP-enable IIS, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), and right-click the computer name you want to WAP-enable.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Under the Computer MIME Map heading in the Internet Information Server tab, click File Type.
  4. Click New Type.
  5. Enter wml in the Associated Extension box.
  6. Enter text/vnd.wap.wml in the Content MIME box.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 for each of the file types you see in Table 1.

After you've WAP-enabled IIS, you can add the functionality of Active Server Pages (ASP) to your .wml documents. At present, .wml documents are static. By adding the asp.dll to create a .wml document, you can create such functional elements as database access and dynamic pages. To create ASP-enabled .wml pages, add the following line to the top of your page (you must complete steps 1 through 7 before adding this code, which only works on .asp files):

<% response.ContentType = "text/vnd
.wap.wml" %>

This line forces the server to output a text-based .wml file that the WAP-enabled device can understand.

With the global move toward digital wireless technology, WAP is going to become an important specification in the future. WAP-enabling IIS is easy and fast, and the addition of ASP can result in eye-catching, dynamic information for your wireless technology users.