Sybase Thinks Small With Tool

Sybase Inc. last week released beta code for Pocket PowerBuilder, a scaled-down version of the company's application development platform aimed at devices.

Sybase Inc. last week released beta code for Pocket PowerBuilder, a scaled-down version of the companys application development platform aimed at devices.

The Dublin, Calif., company said Pocket PowerBuilder will let PowerBuilder users leverage their skills on the platform and build mobile and wireless applications that run on Microsoft Corp.s Windows CE operating system devices. Company officials said Pocket PowerBuilder maintains such features as the Sybase DataWindow data access technology and Sybase SQL Anywhere Studio, the companys mobile database and enterprise synchronization solution.

"Overall, I think Pocket PowerBuilder is a good addition to the mobility development tools market," said Warren Wilson, an analyst at Summit Strategies Inc., in Bellevue, Wash. "I think there is definitely a need, as the mobility market is still young. PowerBuilder has a large, active community of developers who I think will generally welcome a tool that lets them use their existing skills to extend applications into the mobile space."

"Im quite excited about the product," said Bruce Armstrong, a developer at a large aerospace company in Southern California and an alpha tester for Pocket PowerBuilder. "It allows me to use pretty much the same RAD [rapid application development] environment that I use for enterprise applications and yet deploy to a PDA."

Separately, Iona Technologies Inc. last month announced Mobile Orchestrator, a Web services-based business process integration tool built in alliance with Intel Corp. to support Intels Centrino mobile technology. Ionas Mobile Orchestrator fits into Intels Occasionally Connected Computing model in that it is a "store and forward" Web services application that enables mobile workers to work just as efficiently while connected to a network as when not, Iona officials said. Iona is based in Dublin, Ireland, with U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Mass.

Armstrong said there is demand for this kind of technology on the PowerBuilder side. "Quite a number of PowerBuilder developers have been eager to be able to deploy to PDAs, and there are some folks out there who have started developing products to enable this," Armstrong said.