the Pipeline

Goin' mobile

We couldn't get across the ocean to the 3GSM World Congress conference for wireless technologies in Cannes, France, but through the magic of e-mailed press releases, some of the companies that announced new products there brought a little bit of Cannes back to us.

What that means is we got the same announcements as usual, just with a Cannes dateline added to them. C'est la vie.

Bitstream Inc. officials announced that a beta version of its ThunderHawk SmartPhone Edition is now available. ThunderHawk is a mobile browsing technology that displays Web page layouts. Mobile phone Internet users are accustomed to getting news from Web sites converted into columns of plain text, but Bitstream intends to improve the experience.

ThunderHawk shows page layouts so users can quickly locate needed information. It displays a larger version of the text from a selected area, so you can read it. By doing both in a split-screen mode, the system lets you read one article without losing track of other articles on the page that you also want to check out.

ThunderHawk supports open HTML standards and security protocols so that wireless device users get what Bitstream calls complete Web browsing. The company

didn't mention if it also blocks pop-up ads.

Allies unite

Also in Cannes, BEA Systems Inc., Documentum Inc. and MobileAware Ltd. have joined forces to create an integrated product set for mobile content delivery. Users can access online content and downloadable media using wireless phones.

The product suite, composed of existing applications from the companies, is designed to be scalable and fully integrated.

The set includes MobileAware's Mobile Interaction Server Version 3.2, BEA WebLogic Platform 8.1 and the Documentum5 Enterprise Content Management platform. The products run on servers based on Intel Corp. processors.

Defywire mobilizes on the home front

Defywire Inc. also stayed home, but that didn't stop the company from releasing Defywire Mobility Suite Version 2.0, which ties mobile devices to data stored on remote computers. The release includes new application development features and a Java Management Extensions-based services environment.

The company says users can develop and deploy mobile applications more quickly and cheaply than before with the features the new version offers. It allows application developers to establish the graphical user interface and application logic without writing all of the Java code. The system generates most of the code needed for application security, provisioning and connection management.

A mainframe state of mind

They said it was dead, that it would go the way of the dodo and the dino, but what do they know? And who are they anyway?

The mainframe is alive and well, and Software AG is tailoring applications for it. The company has optimized its Adabas database software to take advantage of the speed afforded by IBM Corp.'s 64-bit storage technology for the mainframe.

The shared virtual storage technology that IBM created for its zSeries mainframe is also new. Adabas now can run multiple symmetric multiprocessing engines, allowing faster data throughput with the mainframe.

Mainframes are still widely used by large organizations in government and commercial settings, said Joe Gentry, vice president of enterprise transaction systems at Software AG.

"The sizes of the databases and applications running in the federal government are just tremendous," he said.

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