IBM Delivers Mobile Web Services Toolkit

Kit includes tools for building Web services apps that run on Palm OS, Windows CE and Blackberry handhelds.

IBM on Friday announced a new Web Services Toolkit for Mobile Devices, featuring tools and a Java runtime for building Web services applications that run on Palm OS-based handhelds, Windows CE-based Pocket PC and Blackberry handhelds.

"Web services are not just for B2B commerce or for integration, but also for connecting a wide range of devices," said Bob Sutor, director of e-business standards strategy for IBM, of Armonk, N.Y.

These devices include cell phones, PDAs and pagers. Web services allow these devices to access applications residing on enterprise servers--such as schedules, inventory management programs and customer relationship management systems.

Sutor said that integrating devices is key to the e-business on-demand strategy that IBM is pursuing. "You have to have these types of capabilities," Sutor said.

IBMs WSTK for Mobile Devices supports Java on all three devices it currently runs on. And the product supports the C language on Palm OS-based devices, as well as Java.

Microsoft Corp. offers Web services support for mobile devices with its mobile device extensions for the .Net Compact Framework. Borland Software Corp. also offers a cross-platform mobile development environment.

IBM officials noted that unlike the .Net Compact Framework, IBMs solution supports more than one device and different languages. Microsoft supports the Pocket PC and the Visual C# .Net and Visual Basic .Net.

"We are excited that the industry is beginning to recognize XML Web services as an enabling technology in the mobile space," said Ed Kaim, product manager for .NET mobile development at Microsoft. "We have already invested several years in delivering this vision to our Visual Studio .NET customers, providing native support for XML Web services through both the .NET Compact Framework for smart devices and ASP.NET mobile controls for the mobile Web."

The WSTK for Mobile Devices will be available as a plug-in to IBMs WebSphere Studio Device Developer (WSDD) 5.0. WSDD 5.0 is an integrated development environment for building and testing applications for wireless devices.