On a mobile device, a push notification is an alert message sent by an application that we can open, remove, authorise or block. But what about the architecture you have to set up to integrate this feature in your mobile application? And what it the process of a push notification, from its creation until the it is delivered on the user’s mobile?
Several elements are needed to create (manually or automatically), send (sending server), transmit (iOS APNS, Android GCM, Windows Phone MPNS) until the receipt of the notification on the device. The push server can belong to you or be hosted by a provider. Once installed, notifications are sent completely freely, apart from server maintenance costs. To create your own notifications, 2 different methods exist:
– use a backoffice type of interface or a simple web page with a CMS to write and send manually your push notifications.
– plan an automatisation for you notifications. For instance, you can schedule a push notification for every time one of your user receive a private message.
Once created, your notifications go through the push server of the targeted platform (iOS,
Android or Windows Phone) so they can then redistribute them to your users’ mobile devices.
Let’s see now the needed operations to send a mobile notification. Every time you open your mobile application, you will be asked a unique identifier (token, ID, etc.) to access to the platform server to identify the application on a specific mobile device. Then you send the unique identifier of the platform server to the mobile application. The identifier is transmitted to the sending server so it can be stored and refreshed in a database. To send a push notification, your sending server pass the notification to the platform server. For that, it provides the concerned identifier et the associated message. Then the platform server checks the push settings (authorisations and application identity) and pass the notification to the targeted mobile device. Platform servers send immediately a notification reception report to update the identifiers database, according to uninstallations and notification deactivations. iOS server reports are done less frequently and they are available through a dedicated service.
For every server request to send a notification, you will have to proceed to all of these operations cited above, or you can ask help a web design agency. Pimclick, an agency based in Bangkok, is expert in mobilerelated services and has worked on push notifications with Gallerie’s night for instance. However, even after all these operations, it does not mean that the push notification will necessarily be displayed on your user’s device. Neither platform server can ensure that. Indeed, the application users can anytime refuse to receive these push notifications. In that case, the sending process is still happening, the mobile device receives it but does not display it. Also, some notifications can be lost following a computer bug for example or because a mobile device stays turned off for too long (notifications can expire).
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