As predicted by PC Week two weeks ago, Lotus and Psion have announced closer integration between the Psion Series 5 personal digital assistant (PDA) and Lotus Notes. A new synchronisation software package called InSync, developed by Psion developer Time Information Services, will allow Notes users to synchronise their Notes Calendar and Address Book with the Series 5's Personal Information Manager (PIM) application. The software will be released in April, priced at around #50 for a single user licence. Psion also announced an upgrade to PsiWin 2.1, the standard synchronisation package that is bundled with every new Series 5 PDA. Existing users can download a free copy at Psion's Web site (www.psion.com). The upgrade allows improved access to common Windows applications such as Office97, Schedule+, Lotus Organiser and MS Outlook. With PsiWin 2.1, synchronisation is more seamless and provides more integration with Windows Explorer. Docking is instantaneous once the cable is plugged in, and synchronisation can be automated to occur every time the Series 5 is docked or at user-defined intervals. In addition to the Lotus Notes plugin, a Novell Groupwise plugin is also available. Version 2.0 of InSync, available by the middle of the year, will offer synchronisation with the Psion's Data database as well, allowing the user to choose which fields of the Notes database to download to the PDA so as to reduce the amount of data on the device. The interface will still be that of the Data application, although, as predicted in PC Week on 10 Feburary, Psion is planning another version of the client that will "offer users similar levels of data access and features to those found on a PC running Notes". The InSync software will officially be compatible with versions 4.5 and 4.6 of Notes, although previous versions may work as well.
"Lotus views the relationship with Psion as a very important one," said Victor Aberdeen, Internet product manager at Lotus UK. The company has also built a wireless server for Domino that includes connectivity to PDAs, and it is expected that future versions of InSync will include support for wireless synchronisation.
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