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Intel, iAnywhere Lend a Hand to Wireless Developers

Intel and Sybase subsidiary iAnywhere Solutions on Monday unveiled a toolkit designed to spur development of wireless applications.

The package, dubbed the Wi-Fi Toolkit, includes iAnywhere software, Intel-based mobile devices and a wireless LAN access point. It's intended to provide software developers with the tools needed to create Wi-Fi applications specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), said Jan Jaworsky, senior director of marketing for iAnywhere. "SMBs have the same needs for mobile access as larger companies, but they don't often have the resources or funding needed to develop customized solutions," she said.

The Wi-Fi Toolkit consists of development copies of five iAnywhere mobile software titles, including SQL Anywhere Studio, M-Business Server and Pylon Anywhere; an HP NX7000 notebook computer (which features Intel's Centrino wireless bundle) and an HP iPAQ H5550 Pocket PC (which uses an Intel XScale processor); and a Cisco Aironet 1200 series 802.11b AP plus a Cisco 2.2 dbi dipole antenna for testing.

The importance of software in mobile computing is often overlooked, according to Jaworsky. "People often think about the hardware, but not the software." For example, she said well-designed applications are critical to overcoming problems such as Wi-Fi battery drain.

"If you need to maintain a constant connection across Wi-Fi network, it's very draining on the battery of the device. But if you can have an always available solution -- that is, available to work offline -- you can conserve the battery life of the device."

The toolkit is available through iAnywhere's distribution partners for an average cost of $3,500, Jaworsky said. For customers who are less familiar with developing Wi-Fi applications, she said iAnywhere is offering a two-day session called the Wi-Fi Jump Start program, which offers an overview of the Wi-Fi environment. She said the cost of that program would vary based on the customer's needs.

Intel and Sybase are also promoting wireless application development via the Unwired Enterprise Developer Tour, a series of free technical seminars. The tour kicked off earlier this month in New York, and continues Tuesday in Santa Clara, Calif.