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IBM and SAS Institute might not seem obvious sources of information for those interested in developing iPhone web applications, but - such is the appeal of Apple's little wonder and its perceived applicability to business users - that these hoary old giants are getting in on the act.

SAS software engineer Adam Houghton has rather helpfully described how you can build a web application for the iPhone in an article on IBM's developerWorks site.

The application - a viewer for Javadoc - uses an Eclipse plug in available in beta from Aptana and Firefox co-founder Joe Hewitt's widely used iUI plug in.

In itself, the application is nothing special because it needs Safari to run. Developers can, of course, build iPhone applications using the official Safari web kit available on Apple's iPhone developers site. But the use of open source development tools to offer an alternative raises some interesting questions about the possibility of similar alternatives to the native iPhone developer kit, which Apple has promised for release later this month.

IBM and SAS follow SAP who was quick out the gate hacking a native iPhone application before Apple reminded it of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and forced the world's largest supplier of business applications to get inline and build for the iPhone's Safari browser just like everyone else.®

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