IBM advancing Workplace platform

IBM Corp. at on Monday is unveiling development tools intended to boost the IBM Workplace collaboration platform. The...

IBM has unveiled development tools intended to boost the IBM Workplace collaboration platform.

The tools will suit different classes of developers, from experienced programmers to business managers, according to the company. Users can build customised business applications to meet business or vertical industry needs. Existing applications can be extended to devices for mobile field personnel.

Tools for IBM Workplace will be part of the IBM Software Development Platform, which will help Workplace customers use industry standards and technology frameworks for building applications with tools integrated with each other.

IBM’s Workplace Client Technology allows for deployment of applications to “server-managed client devices”, including desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and PDAs, said Angus Mcintyre, programme director for client Technologies at the IBM Pervasive Computing group. Key to IBM’s software development platform is use of the Eclipse IDE.

The Workplace portfolio will be expanded to include the following:

  • WebSphere Studio Device Developer 5.7, featuring new tools for mobile client devices. Users will be able to run Java-based applications on laptops and PCs and develop Workplace applications for mobile phones, smart phones, and other wireless devices. New features include life cycle management and extension services that allow an application to run in both connected and disconnected environments.
  • Workplace Builder, intended for those with limited expertise in application development. Featured are reusable components for assembly into applications on the Workplace platform. Workplace Builder is to be part of Lotus Workplace product offerings,  due in the third quarter of this year.
  •  Workplace API Toolkit, for ISVs, business partners, and customers for integrating with the Workplace platform. The toolkit includes sample code, documentation, APIs, and service provider interfaces. For use with WebSphere Studio, developers can use the toolkit to build components for devices or use collaborative functions such as sending mail or instant messages as web services from within their business applications. The first toolkit will be available in the third quarter of 2005. A follow-up release will include a Workplace Client toolkit.
  • Workplace Designer, for complex applications. This tool provides a visual, enterprise-level scripting tool for building standalone applications or to complement applications built with Workplace Builder. Workplace Designer is more advanced than Workplace Builder but less advanced than WebSphere Studio; it will help customers with experience using IBM Lotus Domino Designer use existing skills, IBM said. It is set to ship in a beta release later this year.

Additionally, IBM will enhance support for IBM Workplace Client Technology within its developerWorks program and IBM Innovation Centers. Developers will be provided with tools, code, and education to build wireless, device-led applications for IBM Workplace Client Technology, Rich Edition. 

IBM will also extend its PartnerWorld Industry Networks for ISVs program, in which the company partners with ISVs to meet specific industry needs. Industries expected to be added include automotive, education, electronics, and consumer packaged goods. Industries currently covered in the program are insurance, retail, banking, financial markets, life science and health care, and telecommunications.

Paul Krill writes for Infoworld

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