Research in Motion has given its Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) support for web services to enable wireless access to enterprise systems such as SAP.
The company's aim with the 4.1 release of BES is to move Blackberry beyond push e-mail. It has introduced a development tool called MDS 4.1 to help businesses create links between BES and an enterprise system using web services developed either with Microsoft .net or Java Enterprise Edition.
The MDS tool can be used to create a mobile application enabling a Blackberry user to access an enterprise system like SAP.
While such applications can be accessed through a web browser over a wireless connection, David Wilmering, director of product marketing at RIM, said the browser user interface did not always suit handheld wireless access if the screen space is limited.
Instead, MDS allows a developer to create a custom user interface for SAP, or other enterprise systems that run a client application on the Blackberry.
Access to the enterprise system is via an MDS application that runs on the Blackberry which communicates directly with BES.
Tony Cripps, service manager for wireless software at analyst Ovum, said although mobile devices have been able to connect to enterprise systems over a wireless connection for some time, "It is important that the [mobile] application can run when it is not connected to the network."