IBM-Symbian link up for business Wap tools

IBM and Symbian have formed an alliance to provide offline business software for mobile phones, writes Guy Campos

IBM and Symbian have formed an alliance to provide offline business software for mobile phones, writes Guy Campos

The partners announced their agreement at the Symbian Developer Conference in Santa Clara, California last week.

IBM is to add embedded extensions of its MQ Series messaging and DB2 database middleware to Symbian's Epoc operating system.

The partnership will enable users such as sales, customer service and technical support staff to access centrally-held data and carry on working with it should their train travel through a tunnel or their car pass beneath a bridge.

Users of the first generation of wireless devices can lose their data, and work, when their connection drops out.

However, Jon Prial, director of marketing at IBM pervasive computing, says, "This is not an issue of connectivity. It's about accepting the way people work and making it easy for them. As soon as you start playing with and manipulating data you're going to want to do it on your device with local storage."

IBM and Symbian is unveiling wireless travel industry and banking applications at the Cebit conference in Hanover, Germany this week. Symbian is a software consortium owned by companies which produce 80% of the world's mobile phones.

Meanwhile, Finnish-owned firm F-Secure is launching what it claims is the first anti-virus software for Wap servers.

The software, which is approved for use on Hewlett-Packard hardware, will be available on Windows NT in the spring and on Linux and HP Unix thereafter.

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