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Sybase has shipped a new version of its Pocket PowerBuilder development environment, specifically designed to speed up and simplify the creation of mobile and wireless applications.

It's the latest move in Sybase's bid to make the mobile enterprise the centrepiece of its strategy, and to boost corporate interest in mobilisation by making applications development simpler.

The company claims that Pocket PowerBuilder allows applications to be created in hours, deployed in days and offer complex data synchronisation with enterprise databases within the remit of a rapid development tool.

Among its features are a full integrated development environment with many ready-made components, drag-and-drop rapid programming techniques and a patented technology called DataWindow. The latter supports data access and processing and presentation without coding. MobiLink is the synchronization tool with links to DB2, SQL Server, Sybase Adaptive Server and Oracle databases.

Integration

Predictably, there is tight integration with the iAnywhere mobile tools and ultrasmall database. A first for the database market will be planned support for real time publish and subscribe from the Sybase SQL Anywhere database to mobile devices, enabled by an embedded Java Messaging System.

In November, Sybase set out its stall for 2004 under the Un-wired Enterprise banner, which integrates products from its fastest-growing unit, iAnywhere, with others from the main company and those under the main Sybase brand. At that time, the company promised an overhaul of the whole range within six months.

It has also launched various developer support programmes to encourage uptake of mobile technologies. Last autumn, it signed up Intel to announce a joint developer training program to raise awareness of iAnywhere's capabilities. This follows hard on its product agreement with Intel last month, to offer a hardware and software bundle called Wi-Fi Toolkit. This aims to simplify the task for developers building corporate applications, particularly for small and medium businesses.

Capital

The overall plan is to make greater capital from the established name of Sybase. This week's product announcements are the first stage in the process of pulling together, over the coming three months, all its data management and middleware options into a tightly integrated package called Unwired Server. In the second quarter, Unwired Toolkit will do the same for Sybase's development tools.

Sybase has a good chance of success in this market. Its ultralow footprint database is well ahead of the pack with over 70 per cent market share. What's more, the Sybase product set - even without the repackaging - provides a more integrated end-to-end mobile platform than any of its competitors apart from IBM WebSphere Everyplace.

© Copyright 2004 Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

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