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WebSphere Goes Wireless in Qualcomm BREW

Big Blue's WebSphere Web Services platform has racked up another client win, the latest being a deal with Qualcomm Inc. to extend the open-source initiative to wireless devices.

The Armonk, N.Y-based IBM said it would extend its WebSphere infrastructure software via Qualcomm's BREW platform, effectively opening WebSphere to millions of wireless devices worldwide.

Additionally, the company's WebSphere Studio Device Developer, which creates, tests and deploys e-business applications, would include a BREW plug-in.

The expansion of the IBM platform clears the way for a service that allows e-business on BREW-enabled phones using Java technology. The BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) platform offers wireless service providers a tool for enterprise e-business and consumer applications on wireless devices.

IBM's WebSphere, which is competing with Microsoft's Visual Studio.Net and Sun Microsystems' Sun ONE Web Services initiatives, said the deal would allow wireless carriers to offer subscribers new services based on WebSphere's open standards and the BREW platform, without the cumbersome customer inputs previously required.

For example, a technician using a BREW-enabled device could view video on their cell phone, dispensing instructions on how to remove a part from a photocopier. Then, any replacement parts could be ordered and confirmed - over the air, directly from the phone.

In addition to the WebSphere Micro Environment extension to the BREW platform, IBM said developers would have access to WebSphere Studio Device Developer, which is built on the Eclipse open source platform for tools integration.

"Qualcomm is working with IBM, using Eclipse technology, to provide a BREW development plug-in for WebSphere Studio Device Developer. This will enable BREW developers using C/C++ or Java to use one open development environment, making it faster and easier to integrate application development," the company said.