IBM adds partners to Workplace mix

IBM on Monday announced that a slew of partners have signed up to support its new Workplace Client Technology. The Workplace Client is a rich client platform designed to ease management of and access to a variety of applications.

About a dozen business partners are working with Big Blue to develop their own products using the Workplace Client Technology. The partnerships will give ISVs a common set of tools and a common programming model for developing and deploying applications to a variety of devices, according to IBM officials.

"The server managed client (initiative) is taking a central management approach to a wide range of devices: cell phones, PDAs, laptops, tablet PCs. We've implemented a set of mobile middleware in devices so you can do services on demand," said Steve Steigmeyer, manager of embedded software for IBM pervasive computing.

The partners that have signed on include Adobe Systems, Binary Tree, Blue Martini Software, Cisco Systems, Colligo Networks, e-office, Genius Inside, Intellisync, PalmOne, PeopleSoft, PSC Group, PureEdge Solutions, Relavis, Research In Motion, Siebel Systems, Symbol Technologies, Synchrony, and Wily Technology.

For customers, the extension of Workplace to IBM business partners aims to deliver increased manageability, security and a lower cost of ownership for a wider ranger of software, hardware, and business applications, according to IBM.

IBM's Java-based Workplace Client push includes Lotus tools such as messaging, document management, and collaboration; server-based management tools; and a Micro Edition that extends middleware to mobile devices.

One of the biggest benefits for partners is that they can leverage their J2EE programming skills for developing to small devices, Steigmeyer said. Typically programmers would have to use J2ME, which requires a different set of skills, according to Steigmeyer.

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