The application could allow patients to pick the time for an appointment with their doctor online, or members of a health club to schedule a meeting with a coach or reserve facilities.
Hula will also offer tight integration between devices including mobile phones, making it easier to use a phone to email appointments to a predefined distribution list.
Such applications are possible only inside a corporation or when both parties use the same client software.
Novell kicked of Hula last February when it released the source code for NetMail under an open source licence.
NetMail is a web-based email client targeted at users who required limited access to email and calendaring applications, such as college students and factory workers.
Patrick warned, however, that it will take more than version 1.0 to get there. "It will be some time before we see ourselves replacing heavy use enterprise mail and calendaring," he said.
Such applications cannot offer the necessary level of integration with devices and other applications because they are not designed in a modular fashion and lack support for open standards, according to Patrick. This makes it hard to add functionality.
The Hula project is on track and is receiving contributions from developers. Following up on the timeline promised at the project's inauguration, a first version of the application is scheduled for release later this year.
Novell is slated to launch a commercial product next year based on the open source code bundled with support. The company has yet to decide on a launch date and a name for the commercial version.
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