1.1 Background of Study
Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of phone, Web, or mobile communication systems. It uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages. SMS was the most widely used data application, with an estimated 3.5 billion active users, or about 80% of all mobile phone subscribers at the end of 2010. The term "SMS" is used for both the user activity and all types of short text messaging in many parts of the world. SMS is also employed in direct marketing, known as SMS marketing.
SMS as used on modern handsets originated from radio telegraphy in radio memo pagers using standardized phone protocols. These were defined in 1985 as part of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) series of standards as a means of sending messages of up to 160 characters to and from GSM mobile handsets. Though most SMS messages are mobile-to-mobile text messages, support for the service has expanded to include other mobile technologies, such as well as satellite and landline networks.
SMS portal is a web system that provides the functions and features to identify the users or members and provide them with easy, intuitive, and personalized information and services that are of primary relevance and interests to them. Hence, the main purpose of setting up a SMS portal is to bring the vast information and service resources available from the source or the portal administrator to many concerned members in an effective manner.
In the Christ embassy there is need to have a portal that will aid the sharing of different information timely.
1.2 Theoretical Background
Adding text messaging functionality to mobile devices began in the early 1980s. The first action plan of the Group GSM was approved in December 1982, requesting that, "The services and facilities offered in the public switched telephone networks and public data networks should be available in the mobile system. This plan included the exchange of text messages either directly between mobile stations, or transmitted via message handling systems in use at that time.
The SMS concept was developed in the Franco-German GSM cooperation in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert. The GSM is optimized for telephony, since this was identified as its main application. The key idea for SMS was to use this telephone-optimized system, and to transport messages on the signaling paths needed to control the telephone traffic during periods when no signaling traffic existed. In this way, unused resources in the system could be used to transport messages at minimal cost. However, it was necessary to limit the length of the messages to 128 bytes (later improved to 160 seven-bit characters) so that the messages could fit into the existing signaling formats. Based on his personal observations and on analysis of the typical lengths of postcard and Telex messages, Hillebrand argued that 160 characters was sufficient to express most messages succinctly. SMS could be implemented in every mobile station by updating its software. Hence, a large base of SMS capable terminals and networks existed when people began to use SMS. A new network element required was a specialized short message service center, and enhancements were required to the radio capacity and network transport infrastructure to accommodate growing SMS traffic.
Portal has in the recent years become an increasingly popular term being mentioned and discussed in the IT sector and many organizations. In the late 1990s the web portal was a web IT buzzword. After the proliferation of web browsers in the late-1990s many companies tried to build or acquire a portal to attempt to obtain a share of an Internet market. The web portal gained special attention because it was, for many users, the starting point of their web browsing if it was set as their home page. The content and branding of a portal could change as internet companies merged or were acquired. Netscape became a part of America Online, the Walt Disney Company launched Go.com, IBM and others launched Prodigy, and Excite and @Home became a part of AT&T Corporation during the late 1990s. Lycos was said to be a good target for other media companies, such as CBS.
Portals which relied on HTML frames gave rise to a need for web access points which either required frames or sites that had to offer non-frames alternatives. The interest in portals saw some old media companies racing to outbid each other for Internet properties but died down with the dot-com bust in 2000 and 2001. Disney pulled the plug on Go.com, Excite went bankrupt, and its remains were sold to iWon.com. Some portal sites such as Yahoo! and those others first listed in this article remain active and portals feature widely outside the English-speaking web (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Russian and other very popular sites not frequented by English-only users.) Portal metaphors are widely used by public library sites for borrowers using a login as users and by university intranets for students and for faculty. Vertical markets remain for ISV's offering management and executive intranet "dashboards" for corporations and government agencies in areas such as GRC and risk management.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Due to poor information dissemination system, decision making is made hard for the church management to carry out. Sending of messages of meetings and other church activities to the church members, one phone number after other using mobile phones is burdensome and takes a longer time. The use of manual systems for the sending of information has different errors attached to it and the safety of the information is not guaranteed because of the persons involve in the delivery of the information. Also, the inability of the church administrator to disseminate information especially urgently to the concern members immediately when there is need to do so.
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to design and implement a computerized SMS portal with the following objectives:
- To develop an SMS portal for Christ embassy Ishiagu, Ebonyi.
- To design means for effectively communication to many at a time.
- To state the importance of an SMS portal and portals in general.
- To find out the problems encountered in the existing system of message sending in Christ embassy.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research is of significance to the Christ embassy helping them see the need for an SMS portal and its application. It will educate them on better means of managing information in their system. The study is also of significance to other churches, organizations or establishment who wish to disseminate their messages in this form. The study will expose programmers and web designers on the design of SMS portals and the suitable means of tackling such tasks. This study will trigger further study on the topic by other students.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this research covers design and implementation of an SMS portal, with reference to Christ embassy, Ishiagu Ebonyi as a case study. It focuses on the church administrator to send messages to the concern members effectively and timely.
1.6 Organization of the Research
This research is arranged in five chapters for easy comprehension. Chapter one considers the introduction of the work which includes theoretical background, statement of problem, objectives of study, significance of the study, scope of the study organization of the research and definition of terms. Chapter two, focused on the literature review of the work. Chapter three is on the System analysis and design. Chapter four studied the system implementation and documentation. While Chapter five is on the summary, conclusion and recommendations.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Portal: a web system that provides the functions and features to authenticate and identify the users and provide them with an easy, intuitive, personalized and user-customizable web-interface for facilitating access to information and services that are of primary relevance and interests to the users.
SMS portal: a web system that provides functions and features that allow the portal administrator to send message to intended persons.
E-Portals: An Enterprise Portal is a Web-based interface for users of enterprise applications. Enterprise portals also provide access to enterprise information such as corporate databases, applications (including Web applications), and systems.
Organization: The persons (or committees or departments etc.) who make up a body for the purpose of administering something.
Record: A collection of data.
Management: A body or group charged with the responsibility of planning, controlling, and managing the scarce resources of an organization.
Information: This refers to an already processed data for decision making.
Staff: Personnel who assist their superior in carrying out an assigned task.
Information System: A complementary networks of hardware and software that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create, and distribute data