Apps Pushed to Wireless

Extended Systems Inc.'s software allows automatic access to corporate applications.

Extended Systems Inc.s latest version of its wireless server software allows automatic access to corporate applications beyond e-mail and PIM data.

Version 4.1 of OneBridge Mobile Solution Platform, which will be announced this week, includes support for Live Connect data push, an IP-based technology that sends server information to wireless devices with no user initiation required.

"This is a single solution that supports not just PIM [personal information manager] and e-mail and device management but also lets you push mission-critical applications," said Senthil Krishnapillai, product manager for mobile solutions platforms at ESI, in Boise, Idaho.

Version 4.1 includes support for a mobile objects platform, which streamlines the development of customized applications and makes it easier to extend them to mobile devices. Formerly known as XtndConnect Mobile Objects, this feature was previously sold as a separate product.

The ability to push applications beyond groupware may give ESI a leg up on competitors such as Research In Motion Ltd., but officials said that setting up those applications will likely require significant consulting support from ESI, which is helping companies develop applications such as emergency alerts based on sales force automation data.

Groupware access is still the killer application for wireless access software, but IT managers are starting to branch out. "We want to have people access our CRM [customer relationship management] systems and also get stock market updates right away," said John Retherford, senior IT analyst at Russell Investment Group, in Tacoma, Wash., which already uses OneBridge for remote e-mail access. "Getting e-mail on the road has really eased the burden on [mobile employees]. Well be looking to do a lot more."

OneBridge Mobile 4.1 adds support for the Handspring Treo 600, which runs Palm OS. On the back end, OneBridge now supports Microsoft Corp.s Exchange 2003, although that product includes its own built-in wireless access capabilities. Version 4.1 is available now; pricing depends on configuration. Current ESI customers will get the new features as an upgrade.