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On the radar: Wireless applications

On the radar: Wireless applications

An emerging area of opportunity for Domino developers and administrators is in wireless applications � pushing e-mail, calendars, address books, contact management systems and other information stored in databases out to mobile users who use cell phones, beepers and PDAs.

New standards such as Wireless Applications Protocol (WAP) and new versions of HTML, such as Wireless Markup Language (WML) and Handheld Device Markup Language (HDML), have simplified the effort to provide mobile users with Web browsing capabilities. And a plethora of deals have been struck between telephone companies and content providers to offer the mobile crowd everything from e-mail to comparison shopping.

Such services are creating demand among corporate users for wireless access to company databases and applications. Mobile workers will want to rely less on laptops and more on smaller devices that offer true on-the-go convenience.

"Mobile users will want to get information where they want it, when they want it, on wireless phones and handheld devices," says Mark Kohne, senior partner at eBiz Technology, a Novi, Mich., consulting company that specializes in mobile workforce automation and wireless data applications. "That creates opportunities for Domino professionals because Lotus will be pushing Mobile Notes and Mobile Services for Domino."

Lotus last fall announced Mobile Notes, which will leverage Mobile Services for Domino to provide on-the-go users access to corporate information. Domino professionals who target the mobile arena will enjoy "a hot market over the next two to five years," Kohne says.

Kohne recommends that Domino developers and administrators get up to speed on emerging wireless standards and languages and that they buff up on Domino's customization tools, such as LotusScript and DominoScript. A lot of companies will implement canned solutions, but those solutions will require customization, creating a strong market for Domino consultants, Kohne says. Administrators will be responsible for maintaining the applications and managing the flow of information between Notes databases and mobile devices.

Resources on the Web:
Lotus Mobile Services for Domino and Mobile Notes

Protocols and Standards
Mobile Access Activity Statement
WAP Forum

Leslie Goff is a contributing editor based in New York.

This was first published in May 2000

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