IBM adds WebSphere to mobile devices

IBM has announced WebSphere Everyplace Access, in a move to extend the availability of its business applications beyond the...

IBM has announced WebSphere Everyplace Access, in a move to extend the availability of its business applications beyond the desktop.

The software allows companies to add handheld computers, mobile phones and other mobile devices to the list of clients that can access applications, all under a single IT architecture, IBM said in a statement.

WebSphere Everyplace Access includes a client component and supports features such as synchronisation.

Yesterday's announcement marks IBM's latest pervasive computing move. In mid-2001, the company announced software designed to automate some of the tasks necessary to unlock applications for use on mobile devices, called WebSphere Everyplace Server Enable.

Last year, IBM also released an updated version of the WebSphere Transcoding Publisher, a tool used to reformat Web content and multimedia files so that they can be accessed from mobile devices.

Additionally, IBM released a beta version of the WebSphere Voice Toolkit for developers to build speech-enabled applications.

WebSphere Everyplace Access extends the use of applications from IBM, such as WebSphere Application Server and the DB2 database, as well as software from IBM subsidiaries Tivoli Systems and Lotus.

Users would be able to access their e-mail, customer relationship management, salesforce automation and supply-chain applications while on the move, said IBM.

Application developers can use Everyplace Tools, a part of the WebSphere Everyplace product, to expand existing applications and to build new applications. IBM did not give details on the amount of work it would take to modify an application so that it supports WebSphere Everyplace Access. Pricing and availability information was not released.

Analysts believe that WebSphere users seeking to make applications available on mobile devices are more likely to turn to IBM instead of one of the many other companies specialising in delivering such applications.

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