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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-12-07 Print this article Print

Possible applications that could be built on the Infinity middleware platform include traffic-monitoring, disaster recovery and basic data search applications, Schoenauer said. In a traffic-monitoring scenario, cell phones could get data by directly contacting other mobile devices that are along the route a driver is planning to take. Data would be relayed from mobile devices to mobile devices directly via Bluetooth or GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). In a disaster recovery scenario, where cell phone towers might be damaged, Infinity would allow for direct communications between cell phones.
Meanwhile, in an enterprise scenario, the platforms privacy and security features stand out. For instance, clients data can only be shared with a specific units members via phone-to-phone direct communications. Or in a hospital scenario, patients information could be shared with authorized doctors, nurses and care providers only.
"This is something the enterprise needs and will use," said Theresa Lanowitz, founder of Voke Media, in Minden, Nev. "However, this type of technology should go well beyond mobile. Mobile is an important and critical component, but the emphasis should really be on connecting all devices, not just mobile. The middleware should be designed to work with device software, otherwise known as embedded software." Lanowitz added, "There are countless devices roaming the enterprise [not all mobile]. Having the ability to connect these devices, which are often seen as rogue, to the network via a variety of communication modes is the firs step in really completing the enterprise supply chain." Mark Dean, an IBM Fellow and vice president of the Almaden Research Center, said of technology developed as part of the Extreme Blue program, "Its usually something we intend to put into the market quickly." Indeed, Dean said the programs goal is to solve "real-world" problems by creating technology, then "ship it or provide it as a service quickly." Dean said he sees a number of potential uses for Infinity, from Web 2.0 scenarios to use in IBMs core middleware platform. "The Infinity project could yield opportunities for us in WebSphere," he said. "I could see us putting the Infinity capabilities to use to enable mobile devices and game consoles to access information accessible to particular devices." However, "youd have to be able to selectively enable access" to certain information on the devices, he said, something that IBM does with the privacy and security technology that is being integrated into Infinity. That technology includes IBMs Hippocratic Database technology, which takes consumer privacy into account in the way it stores and retrieves information, Schoenauer said. "The enterprise is still largely disjointed and disconnected," Lanowitz said. "The ability to tie all applications, i.e. traditional IT, back office, device [and] embedded software, some of which are mobile, is truly a need that has not been conquered." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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