About the idea
After a couple of years after writing android apps, I chose to write an android app again. I had used Android Studio before but never tired serious android development after the very first time I tried it in Eclipse (the old times when there was not android studio).
I chose a very old idea that I had before for voting. I thought I will make an app that accepts votes from people. This had to be something different from the regular apps. The main difference being that people should not have to install an app and/or should not have to open to a website to cast a vote. Hence, people should use the platform they are already using. Therefore I chose to go in for some messaging platform. The most popular platform out there is Whatsapp but again the problem with Whatsapp is that they don’t have any open APIs and moreover it’s illegal to reverse engineer the Whatsapp APIs. The other option is Telegram who have their APIs completely open. But the problem with doing it with Telegram is that they have very few users compared to Whatsapp. I had to settle somewhere in between the two choices. That’s the reason I chose traditional SMS over Telegram or Whatsapp.
Concept and design choices
Now it was time to design the app for voting but directly jumping for voting was a bit too much for processing and adding too much to the design and in addition to that some extra time in the development of the project. I thought of making it very simple and just storing the SMSes. So I finalised with the idea of writing an app that will accept registrations through the means of SMSes. Hence the name SMServer, a Short Message Server, the server with which people can accept SMSes from the user and store them.
How the app worksː
The basic idea is to accept the SMSes in a particular format . Suppose you are accepting the applications for a party that you are hosting it will be as follows. For example, let’s say I’m hosting an event and I want to accept the people’s names via SMS. So I will create a new form for accepting the people who are willing to join the event. Suppose the event is some music show, I will accept the applications in the following format.
Suppose John Doe is registering for an event, his message will be as follows:
MUSIC John 27
All the words that I’m accepting via the app are case insensitive. The reason being that there should be no mismatch between the words being just because of the case. At least the first word has to be kept case insensitive.
A screen to screen working for the app
- The name for the new form is the name that you want to give to the form which will accept registrations, the form name will be for your own reference
- The starting date and time are the date and time when the form should start accepting the entries
- Same goes for the ending time and date
- The first word is the first word that you have to enter to enter to accept the entry as an entry for this particular form
- The fields are the remaining words from the SMS that you will be accepting as fields in the form
- The form will be saved when you click the save button