Mobile software solutions provider iOra has launched Mobile Intranet for the Pocket PC, an extension of its range of tools for sending portal content to mobile devices.
Chief executive Paddy Falls said that the product will appeal to enterprises with an existing portal which want to give mobile workers access to the same data as office-based users.
The company already supplies similar functionality for laptop PCs.
Mobile Intranet is made up of Publisher, a server-based element for data and device management, and a PDA client.
Compatible portal applications include Plumtree, Epicentric, Lotus Domino and Microsoft Sharepoint.
Publisher can capture data from any HTTP-enabled application, ready for delivery to remote PDAs. In the future, Falls sees a good fit between this type of functionality and web services.
"Large organisations are spending a lot on web-enabling applications at present," he said. "A product like Mobile Intranet lets them make the most of that development."
Publisher also allows administrators to control the quantity of data that is sent out to devices, and the amount of storage space on each PDA allocated to portal content.
Data is transferred when a PDA connects to an enterprise's portal server and is then stored locally on the device in encrypted form. Updates are subsequently sent from Publisher each time the PDA connects.
Data transfer uses iOra's proprietary Epsilon compression system to reduce the amount of bandwidth required.
The new product has only been developed for Microsoft's PDA operating system.
Falls claimed that more business applications are being developed for Pocket PC 2002 than for Palm OS or Symbian, making it a more attractive platform.
But IDC research analyst Tim Mui doesn't see any form of PDA being widely adopted in enterprises at present.
"Deployment of handhelds is still at the bottom of most IT managers' lists," he explained. "The return on investment is not convincing, and there are still connectivity issues."
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