Mobile Remote LAN: Designing a modular service platform
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It is not uncommon for today s users to have access to more than one device, including PC s, PDA s and mobile phones. If the user wants to access services from a remote location, he has to manually customize a connection to each of these services. This thesis aims to make these kinds of services available without complex configuration, using a modular framework. As an example, new hardware or software might be needed in order to integrate home services and mobile devices. These circumstances make it hard for a regular user to deploy new services at home. At the same time people become more and more mobile, and users are moving from being passive consumers to interactive participants of the Internet. The general idea of ubiquitous communication between hosts in the Internet is brought down to a practical level by creating a use case where a user would like to search and retrieve files present in his home network while at a remote location. Solutions to non trivial challenges such as NAT and firewall implications, bandwidth restrictions, modular system architecture, and usability are examined to make a modular service platform meeting the demands of more interactive and mobile environments. The XMPP protocol, mostly known as an instant messaging and presence protocol, is utilized to create a web of trust between services and users. To achieve the goal of making a modular service platform, providing connectivity that allows services and users to be mobile, a working prototype has been made. The prototype consists of a modular service platform, enabling services to be added as plug-ins. The service platform is divided in two parts; one part enabling connectivity using a third party solution, and one part enabling a modular framework to add services as plug-ins. The functionality was tested with a network search as an example service, developed as a plug-in using the modular service platform.