Duo Moves to Mobilize Applications

According to Oracle Corp. and Sybase Inc., a corporate application is only as good as a mobile employee's ability to access it.

According to Oracle Corp. and Sybase Inc., a corporate application is only as good as a mobile employees ability to access it.

While Sybase is making new strides in wireless data access, Oracle is working on making virtually all of its applications not only wirelessly available but also accessible by voice. Oracle last week announced that the next version of Oracle9i Application Server will support voice gateways from several manufacturers, including Intel Corp., Motorola Inc. and VoiceGenie Technologies Inc.

Oracle9i AS Wireless Version 2.0 will ship Nov. 3, officials said. Beyond that, Oracle plans to add voice access to most of its products, which means mobile employees will be able to get to their corporate applications by phone.

Upcoming versions of Oracle JDeveloper will give Java developers the ability to build and debug voice applications within a development environment, said officials at the Redwood Shores, Calif., company. For Oracle E-Business Suite, this will mean field sales and service professionals will be able to call into databases from the road.

"Were trying to enable our application server to hook into all the voice gateways," said Jacob Christfort, chief technology officer of Oracles OracleMobile division. "Developers will essentially be able to go in and build an application off the bat and access it [via voice] with the application server." The company is testing the voice feature in-house, Christfort said.

Rival Sybase this week will announce wireless management software through its iAnywhere Solutions Inc. subsidiary. iAnywhere Mobile Manager will make it easier to install and track applications on Palm Inc.s Palm OS and Microsoft Corp.s Pocket PC handhelds with a variety of remote management tools, said officials in Emeryville, Calif. These include the ability to automatically check device configurations at preset times, restore missing files and fix corrupt applications remotely.