6/11/2003 - IBM gained increased industry endorsement for its Java-based embedded computing strategy with industry leaders announcing the integration of IBM software and tools into current and future enterprise devices and solutions. The announcement includes agreements with Palm, Inc. and QNX to integrate IBM's embedded middleware with enterprise applications aimed at the mobile workforce, and with Nokia to integrate IBM's development tools to provide an environment where enterprise applications can easily be extended to Nokia handsets.
As device manufacturers look for ways to decrease costs and time to market, while increasing their solutions' ability to connect into backend systems, IBM is rolling out embedded middleware aimed at making it easier for developers to write and maintain applications for different devices running on different networks. To allow for easier connectivity into the different parts of the wireless ecosystem, IBM provides a WebSphere-based device platform that is already tested and integrated with enterprise middleware. IBM's WebSphere Micro Environment (WME) embedded runtime environment and WebSphere Studio Device Developer (WSDD) tools form the basis for an open, scaleable wireless infrastructure that makes it easy for mobile applications to be deployed through a wide variety of devices.
"Once again, IBM and Java technology are at the forefront of the battle to ensure an open ecosystem that developers can write to," said Rod Adkins, general manager of IBM's pervasive computing division. "Device manufacturers and developers are gravitating toward software and solutions that allow them to easily tie their devices and applications into the expanding heterogeneous network of connectedness."
WME, together with integrated messaging (MQe), data aggregation (MQi), data management (DB2e), collaborative software (Lotus Notes, Sametime), device management (OSGi) and seamless device connectivity (WECM), forms a foundation for device software that enables semi connected devices to integrate with enterprise business processes. This foundation can allow applications, middleware and runtime components to be deployed, maintained and managed across the wireless ecosystem. IBM has also used the Eclipse platform's plug-in architecture (www.eclipse.org) to integrate its award-winning tools into WSDD. Powered by Eclipse technology, WSDD provides a comprehensive environment to build, deploy and test embedded Java for cell phones, PDAs, and other wireless / wireline devices.
Palm Solutions Group will incorporate and ship IBM WebSphere Micro Environment (WME) with its Palm(TM) Tungsten(TM) range of handheld computers. WME, IBM's J2ME(TM), Java Powered(TM) embedded runtime environment that integrates IBM's DB2e, MQe and Lotus Sametime, will provide ready access to database, portals, messaging and instant messaging capabilities. This will enable existing business applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning, CRM, and mobile workforce applications to be extended to wireless Palm handhelds. To help developers build wireless applications more easily on Palm handhelds, IBM and Palm will collaborate to build a toolkit for its award-winning WebSphere Studio Device Developer that will target the new devices.
"This extends and strengthens our relationship with IBM," said Todd Bradley, president and CEO of Palm Solutions Group. "Building on our existing agreement around WebSphere Everyplace Access, this relationship makes it even easier for the Palm developer community to write to and enterprise customers to access and run enterprise applications on Palm handhelds. In an increasingly mobile, wireless business environment, seamless integration with back-end systems is crucial.
IBM customer AirToolz has built a field force automation solution for the construction industry based on a combination of IBM embedded software and Palm handhelds.
"Airtoolz provides a field force automation solution, based on WME, in which construction workers spread around different sites can communicate with each other and access information via wireless Palm handhelds," said Phil Hartley, Managing Partner, AirToolz Software LLC. "IBM's approach to embedded Java is unique in that it extends existing business processes, using open standards, out to pervasive devices by integrating enterprise components such as databases and message-queuing in its runtime. This allows for seamless integration with enterprise applications - and provides AirToolz with the advantage it needs to deliver wireless productivity solutions to a very demanding crowd."
QNX Software Systems, a leading telematics player, will integrate WME 5.5 with its QNX® Neutrino® real-time operating system, giving developers a robust platform to build consumer electronics, robotic controllers, retail automation systems and telematics unit applications that can connect to the larger pervasive computing ecosystem. New features in WME make it easier for developers to deploy, maintain and remove applications from automobiles remotely. Using open industry standards based on Java and OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative), IBM and QNX enable the deployment and maintenance of device applications.
"Modern telematics applications combine both on-board systems and remote access functions," said Dan Dodge, CEO, QNX. "From a simple check-engine light that indicates the car needs to be serviced, to transmitting GPS coordinates to emergency services when an airbag event occurs, IBM and QNX offer automotive manufacturers and tier one integrators the products on which to build end-to-end telematics solutions that provide drivers, passengers and service providers with the information they need, when then need it."
Working together with Nokia, IBM has linked Nokia device Software Development Kits (SDKs) to WebSphere Studio Device Developer (WSDD) using the eclipse.org extensible architecture. Together the tools form an integrated workbench that allows individual or teams of developers to create, test and deploy enterprise applications that will run on Nokia handsets. The web update features planned for the integrated tool will be able to notify users of new resources available from Forum Nokia, Nokia's global developer program (www.forum.nokia.com)
"This integration can allow developers to more easily build higher-value applications for deployment to Nokia handsets, allowing enterprise customers to extend various existing business processes out to mobile employees. In this fast moving environment, developers need high-quality, effective tools to take their applications to multiple devices, and link them back to enterprises and services providers quickly," said Lee Epting, Vice President, Developer Operations, Nokia. "IBM and Nokia are working together to build better software tools for the mobile, wireless workforce."
About Palm, Inc.
Information about Palm, Inc. is available at http://www.palm.com/aboutpalm.
About QNX Software Systems
Founded in 1980, QNX Software Systems is the industry leader in realtime, microkernel OS technology. The inherent reliability, scalable architecture, and proven performance of the QNX Neutrino RTOS make it the most trusted foundation for future-ready applications in the networking, automotive, medical, and industrial automation markets. Companies worldwide like Cisco, Ford, Johnson Controls, Siemens, and Texaco depend on the QNX technology for their mission- and life-critical applications. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, QNX Software Systems maintains offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, and distributes its products in more than 100 countries worldwide. Visit www.qnx.com.
Palm and Tungsten are trademarks of Palm, Inc.
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