Lessons from The AvantGo Channel Creation Checklist
- Check out whether El Tiempo needs a custom channel or an M-Business Channel. See Is Avant Go free?
- Also see Personal Channel Policy.
- Send an official El Tiempo Email to AvantGo at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how current policy would apply to El Tiempo.
- Make a simple test site at a designated URL to set up a test custom channel; just as the current El Tiempo site is generated every day, a simpler site will have to be generated also for the AvantGo sync server.
- Create first channel (El Tiempo will need an account, and then login to my.avantgo.com/home/ .
- Make custom template (asp or media specific css?)
- Follow guidelines (meta tags, sizes of pictures, special logo, etc.).
- Make sure forms can be handled well off-line for non-wireless users.
- Decide if it is necessary to request a channel ID at this stage (subscribing users with a sign-up process ... maybe to get marketing info in exchange for the free service).
- Set up maximum chache for static stories to improve sync times.
- Restrict access to AvantGo sync servers only.
- Submit channel info to AvantGo once it is operational (if not simply Custom Channel).
- Once the channel is registered on AvantGo's production database, promote AvantGo channel on-site.
- Hardware differences
Small handheld screen; big differences between the various platforms imply having to customize for users and devices, as the lowest common denominator approach must be practically ruled out; limited memory.
- AvantGo limitations
Limited subset of HTML, No fancy plugins, Channel size limit, server side cookies.
- Offline differences
Both link depth and an external pages policy must be established. Forms are posted only when the user syncs again, they cannot be used if the user requires an immediate response. Also, the fact that the pages are downloaded doesn't mean that the pages are read.
When you subscribe to (and subsequently download) an AvantGo Channel, the Mobile Link installed on the desktop computer downloads from the AvantGo Sync Server on the AvantGo site, a specified collection of related pages, which are copied to the palm during the sync operation. There it is served by the AvantGo Client, which also provides browser functionality.
The Sync Server carries out some preprocessing (it shrinks photos too big for the handheld screen, filters out content which cannot be viewed by the Client, such as Java applets, and in general compresses the HTML.
Forms may be filled
The main points are as follows: