Sybase promises integrated mobile platform

But will the SAP acquisition cut these mobile plans short?

Sybase will dramatically revamp and integrate its conglomeration of mobile software products, assuming software giant SAP, which is buying Sybase, doesn't have other ideas.

Over the past decade, Sybase has built up a portfolio of mobile products, nearly all gained through acquisitions: a mobile database; data synchronization; device security and management; SMS/MMS messaging software for carriers; development tools; and mobile CRM, field service, banking and payment applications. Now, the company is promising to, yes: integrate them.

It will be a two-step process, which is still being thought through. The first and easiest step is to "wrap" many of these existing applications with Web services interfaces and protocols, says Willie Jow, Sybase vice president of business operations and mobility products. The wrappers will let these applications, or subsets of their functions, be easily called and used by other client and server programs.

Web services, for example, are the basis of the new Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard, which will create a uniform method for accessing information in different content management systems.

But Jow was vague when it came to step 2, which apparently involves deeper re-engineering of these products to create a "unified platform." In part that will involve greater use of emerging Web standards such as HTML5, though Jow says "we're not going to become religious" about it, and force developers and users into a single development model.

The overall guideline appears to be the evolution to an all-IP network. "Underneath, the [Sybase] platform architecture will be more and more IP-based, for things like messaging and enterprise services," Jow says.

He didn't use the word "cloud" but it's likely the end result, or hope, will be a comprehensive set of interrelated, cloud-based mobility services

Not surprisingly, all that takes time. "Twelve to 18 months is a good framework for [when you'll be] seeing new things, Jow says.

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