Future versions of Bea's Web Logic server will support the wireless application protocol (WAP), providing a way for businesses to build applications that can be accessed from mobile phones
Last week Web application developer Bea announced an agreement with Nokia to integrate the Nokia Wap Server with Web Logic, the Bea e-commerce transaction platform.
Bea and Nokia plan to offer software developers an end-to-end mobile commerce development kit for building and testing mobile Internet services.
The combined Wap and transaction server technology could be deployed in application areas such as banking and financial services, online ticketing and telecommunications applications.
Alfred Chuang, president and chief operating officer of Bea, says, "Your office is now in your pocket. With more mobile phones in the world today than PCs, one can easily picture a future where location becomes a matter of choice rather than necessity."
The deal will help evolve Wap, which is primarily focused on delivering information to handsets at the moment. But in the future, users will want to conduct e-commerce transactions via their Wap phones. Software from companies like Bea offers a way to ensure an e-commerce transaction is completed successfully.
Web Logic is a Java application server that has been built to handle large volumes of transactions. Users include stockbroker Charles Schwab and Amazon.com.
Bea says the Nokia deal will help it extend traditional legacy and Internet applications to put them into the hands of mobile business users. Such users require sophisticated capabilities to perform mobile commerce transactions over the Web from wireless devices.
Mark Prichard, senior architect at Bea, says the first generation of Wap applications has been geared towards providing users with information on their mobile phones. "To do transactional work involves linking to back-end legacy systems," he says.
It is essential to co-ordinate transactions across back-end platforms. The Bea Web Logic logic application server has been optimised to provide this facility Prichard explains.
Nokia is a founder member of Mobey, a forum for supporting users in the finance industry embarking on Wap projects to deliver Wap-based financial services. Other founding members include Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Visa International and Ericsson.
In the UK, high street bank The Woolwich last month rolled out its Wap-based banking service throughout its branches. The new service enables customers to check the balance on their bank accounts, transfer money between accounts and pay bills from Wap-enabled mobile phones.