IAnywhere upgrades remote access platform

M-Business Anywhere 6.0 adds support for Web services integration

IAnywhere Solutions on Tuesday introduced the latest version of M-Business Anywhere, the platform that enables remote access to corporate databases. M-Business Anywhere 6.0 adds support for Asian languages, enables remote client software upgrades and supports Web services integration.

Enterprises use M-Business to allow their mobile workers or customers to access internal databases using PDAs (personal digital assistants). The client software stores some data on the device so users can still access information even when they might be out of range of a wireless network.

Version 6.0 adds support for Japanese, simple Chinese and traditional Chinese in the client browser. "That means companies are able to do more of a global deployment," said Diana Ungersma, senior product manager for iAnywhere Solutions.

The new version also allows IT managers to remotely push software upgrades out to devices, so individual users don't have to connect the device to a computer to download new software.

Version 6.0 also includes some performance and management upgrades, including improved synchronization time. The improvement is aimed at increasing user satisfaction but also at reducing the costs of wireless connectivity for users, said Ungersma.

The release also includes new tools for companies that may use M-Business Anywhere to mobilize their own software offerings. For example, developers of CRM (customer relationship management) software can self-brand M-Business Anywhere so that buyers of their software can give remote access to end users. The new tools make it easier for such customers to embed M-Business Anywhere into their offerings.

The concept of mobilizing corporate data became popular several years ago but didn't really take off. There has been renewed interest recently with the emergence of fuller function devices and higher speed wireless networks. Ungersma said that some of the original companies offering products for mobilizing data tended to offer a services engagement and custom solutions that ended up being quite expensive.

"What we've focused on with M-Business Anywhere is using the Web as a development platform rather than a proprietary development platform," she said. Because many companies have internal Web developers, which tend to come cheaper than experts in certain development languages, they can deploy M-Business Anywhere for a low cost and quickly, Ungersman said.

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