IBM bolsters database for handhelds

IBM is extending its DB2 Everyplace database for handheld devices by adapting it for .net development and offering a special...

IBM is extending its DB2 Everyplace database for handheld devices by adapting it for .net development and offering a special version for small to midsized businesses.

The database commonly is used for embedded applications such as sales force automation and medical and retail systems. It runs on devices such as PalmOS, Pocket PC or Symbian units.

Version 8 features interfaces to the Microsoft .net Framework and .net Compact Framework. These interfaces simplify mobile application development on Windows workstations and servers or Windows mobile devices and Pocket PC systems.

With the latest version, developers now can use Visual Studio .net to build applications for the database, said Jay Pederson, IBM product manager for mobile computing.

"This cuts their development time in half because they can use Visual Studio drag-and-drop [instead of requiring hand-coding]," he said.

Additionally, version 8 features enhanced application development support for Java through bundling of IBM's J9 Java Virtual Machine, for improved connectivity to Java databases.

A plug-in for IBM's WebSphere Studio tool helps developers build sophisticated mobile applications for PalmOS and Pocket PC platforms.

Improved application synchronisation to mobile devices through IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Access provides customers with a real-time, virtual view of business applications such as e-mail, instant messaging and enterprise applications, for working when not connected to the network.

IBM will include DB2 Everyplace Enterprise with DB2 Universal Database (UDB), the company's server-level database.

IBM is also introducing a version of the database, DB2 Everyplace Express, for companies with 1,000 employees or less.

Unlike the Enterprise Edition of DB2 Everyplace, which costs $15,000 (£8,972) per processor for an unlimited number of users, the Express version is priced at $379 per server plus $79 per user.

The Express product's server component, for synchronising with the handheld, is not supported on clustered systems and is limited to Windows and Linux.

Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld

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