Air2Web, Aether Rev Developer Apps

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-04-23

Wireless application enablers Air2Web Inc. and Aether Systems Inc. are each readying upgraded development offerings that focus chiefly on increased mobile commerce security and simplified device-specific development issues.

Air2Web, of Atlanta, has a broad plan for upgrading its subscription-based mobile development solution, DevCenter. In addition to a new security and authorization feature, various revisions due to be rolled out throughout this quarter will add support for Handspring Inc.s VisorPhone, Microsoft Corp.s Pocket PC operating system, and international languages and networking.

"Were not targeting every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to make a wireless application. Our target is corporate developers or integration developers," said Air2Web CEO Sanjay Malik.

The software built with these tools will be write-once, read-anywhere. "From a developers point of view, they should not have to consider what the application will look like on the different devices," Malik said. "You make an application that requires the input of the tracking number. How its input is managed on the platform."

Also new for Air2Web are APIs for telephony, speech recognition and streaming media.

For NetBank, a subsidiary of Atlantas NetBank Inc., Air2Webs products have been a good fit so far. Currently, said NetBank CEO D.R. Grimes, customers can remotely check their account balances and view recent transactions. Before the end of the year, Grimes hopes to launch actual wireless transactions, perhaps with the new Air2Web products. "We are in the process of testing that," he said.

"What well have to do is make an evaluation of the cost to delivery of that vs. the cost of implementation," Grimes said, referring to Air2Webs new products. But, he said, "Weve been very pleased with our relationship."

The new development framework from Aether Systems, of Owings Mills, Md., is Aether Fusion, announced last week. By applying Java and XML (Extensible Markup Language) underpinnings to Aethers existing products, which were both developed in-house and acquired, Fusion is more open and speedier to write to, company officials said.

Rather than debuting in a single product, Fusion-based services will roll out throughout this summer, according to officials. Like Air2Web, Aether is working with device makers and carriers to implement its new solution.

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