Local Developer Gets High on WAP

Local independent software provider, Philip Tang & Sons (PT&S), plans to cash in on the mobile revolution by developing applications accessible by WAP (wireless application protocol)-enabled handphones.

The company has created five e-business applications that enables WAP-enabled phones to retrieve and display data stored in AccPac International's accounting software.

"The mobile phone can be used to dramatically increase the efficiency of the mobile workforce," said Ferdinand Tang, a partner at PT&S. "We want to drive its usage with our applications."

According to International Data Corp. (IDC), the worldwide handheld market, which includes smart phones, and palmtop devices, will grow from 8.9 million units shipped last year to 35 million units in 2003.

PT&S's software enables an organization's employees to use the handphone to check on stock levels and pricing, customer details, order status, and payment and invoice details.

Key to each module is an engine that converts the back-end data into WML (wireless markup language) for delivery to the mobile phone over a WAP gateway, said Tang.

"It can also be used to convert data into HTML (hypertext markup language) format for Web access," he added.

The modules, which are written in Java, will be launched in Singapore next week. Pricing is expected to be about US$500 per module.

However, PT&S does not intend to stop at just developing for AccPac.

"Our software can be modified to handle data from Oracle, SAP, and JD Edwards systems as well," said Tang.

And apart from warehouse or accounting information, PT&S is also looking to develop other commercial mobile applications like stock trading, cinema ticketing, and taxi booking.

"We want to push WML beyond content to actually using it for real business applications," said Tang.

PT&S is on the Internet at http://www.tangs.net.

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