Handheld vendor Palm has introduced technology which it says will make it easier for businesses to link handheld devices to corporate information systems.
Palm said its HotSync Server - allows corporate IT managers to synchronise Palm applications with office systems - will initially support Palm handheld computers. But the company said it expects to add support later this year for devices based on the Windows CE operating system, which includes the Pocket PC introduced in April.
Christopher Fletcher, Palm's managing director for enterprise business applications, said HotSync Server marks the transition of handheld devices, once viewed as "annoyances" by corporate IT departments, into useful tools that need to be centrally managed in order to harness their power.
"This gives [IT managers] the tools they need to manage these devices at the network level," Fletcher said.
Palm said the server software, which has a base price of $US2400, allows for centralised management of handheld computers and applications and enables synchronisation with enterprise groupware. It also provides a development interface for new handheld computer applications, the company said.
The server software will also help users integrate Microsoft Exchange e-mail and the Exchange calendar with the Palm date book and mail applications. Palm said Hot Sync Server will also provide developers with application programming interfaces based on Microsoft standards to add synchronisation services to virtually any enterprise application or data source.
Palm said it based the HotSync Server on ScoutWare software from US-based Aether Systems.