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Uploading images from mobile phone to a website

Posted on 2007-10-08
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Hi,
Could anyone please tell me if there is an easy way to upload images from a generic mobile phone to a web site.
My web site is written in asp.net 2.0 and I use visual studio ide.  Run on IIS 7 with SQL server.
I would prefer if the mobile user didn't have to install any software on teh phone.  
The images have to come not my own server, not to another service.

I am looking for either a VS Control, some code examples, a flexible web service,or someone to tell me it can't be done!!

Thanks in advance
Andrew
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Question by:andrewh123
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Expert Comment

by:DiscoNova
ID: 20035466
HTML has a standard INPUT-element type "FILE". Using that is as easy as creating a webpage like

<html>
 <head>
  <title>Test</title>
 </head>
 <body>
  <form action="whatever.something">
   <input type="file" name="thefile">
   <input type="submit">
  </form>
 </body>
</html>

After this, it's just a matter of how you set up whatever.something; it needs to be willing to (and capable of) receiving uploaded files. How that is realised, is totally up to you. If the mobile phone has a browser, it most likely will be able to use the input element - it's been available for quite a while now.
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by:andrewh123
ID: 20036335
Hi thanks for that.
Is it really that simple?  I must admit, I haven't actually tried this yet, but am basing my question on the fact that when I access gmail on my mobile, there is no option of attaching anything to the email (that I can find), which led me to believe that it wasn't straight forward.
So you are saying a normal html form with a browse, and file upload (as for a normal web browser) would do the trick?
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by:DiscoNova
ID: 20036499
Of course, I can't be certain. This is more of a "gut feeling", since the input type file has been around since HTML 3.2 (at least) and is usually very well supported on most of the browsers I'm familiar with. At least on the last few phones I've had have had no problems with the element. The story might be different for older WAP-browsers, but I suspect there to be something similar for that protocol also.

Of course, I could be completely mistaken :)
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by:andrewh123
ID: 20036513
I just built a simple app using asp:FileUpload - I can upload files no problem from my PC, but the browse button does not appear when I connect from my mobile, just the text box - it is not hidden, just not there!!
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by:DiscoNova
ID: 20036732
On my mobile, I don't see the "browse"-button either, but I can activate the element itself by clicking it (which causes the file browser to appear and allow me to choose the file to upload). I used a following file for testing (I didn't actually try to handle the received file, but it certainly "went" to the server) ...

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Test</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <form method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
      <input type="file" name="x" accept="*/*">
      <input type="submit" value="test file transfer">
    </form>
  </body>
</body>

Granted, there definetly seem to be some issues regarding this subject, and my gut feeling appears to have been "not entirely the exact opposite of being nothing but correct". And no, I'm not at all certain which way that double/trible/quadruble negative boils down to :D
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by:andrewh123
ID: 20036782
on my phone, I just get a text box to type text into.  I was hoping this would work across all phones in the same way it works across all browsers.  Obviously not!
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DiscoNova earned 2000 total points
ID: 20036825
Obviously.

Well, another suggestion. If the browser supports flash and/or javascript (which might be a bit stretching, having failed to support such basic and ancient HTML-element), you could perhaps try http://swfupload.mammon.se/ in case it proved any better.

However, there is no standard way in mobile phones to send phones (unless you count SMS, and for some reason, most people never do - for hopefully obvious reasons:) so I think trying to figure out a way to get the phones' browsers to play ball is the safest bet to solving the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:DiscoNova
ID: 20036835
hmm... "send files", not "send phones" was what I meant :-p
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by:andrewh123
ID: 20062101
Thanks for your help there DiscoNova - I think you've provided the answer - just not the one I was hoping for!!
Regards
ANdrew
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