Editor's Corner: Mobile Messaging

SMS isn't just for choosing your favorite Idol. Sybase 365 reports that the company delivered 25 billion SMS and MMS messages in 2006, nearly double the amount in 2005.

And it isn't just consumers doing the texting. According to an Aberdeen Group report, 80 percent of "best-in-class" businesses use an enterprise mobile messaging platform. The report is underwritten by Clickatell, Good Technology and Nokia, but I don't doubt its conclusion: "The adoption of enterprise mobile messaging solutions is driven by organizational needs to react more quickly, increase collaboration within the organization, make better decisions faster, and create value for customers."

A big-iron, unified messaging platform may make sense for some enterprises, but there are a variety of options for developers interested in less ambitious deployments like adding messaging to an existing application:

  • Kannel is a new open source package for delivering SMS and MMS, but it makes you do some of the heavy lifting setting it up.
  • Clickatell has a reputation as an inexpensive and scalable hosted option with libraries for a variety of languages.
  • busineSMS.com offers SDKs for targetting multimedia messaging via MMS, Nokia Smart Message and EMS.
  • mBlox offers large-scale international bulk SMS services.
  • And there's always the SMS via email option, which a new service called TeleFlip aims to simplify.
  • What messaging platforms do you use? Post your answer using the comment link below.

Messaging may not be as hot as mobile AJAX, but SMS (and, increasingly, MMS) messages are easy to use and work cross-platform and cross-carrier without much work. How many mobile technologies can you say that about? - Eli