Speedware Enters Wireless Application Development Space

Speedware Corporation, a provider of application development tools and business intelligence technology, has become one of the first tools vendors to break into the Internet wireless communications space. Internet wireless communications represents a burgeoning market, according to Forrester Research, which predicts that Americans will spend almost $60 billion for wireless services in 2005.

Speedware's entries in the wireless arena are a graphical development tool designed specifically for developing wireless Internet applications and new professional services aimed at helping companies build wireless applications.

The new tool, MobileDev, recognizes the differences between standard Internet development and development devised specially for wireless Internet technology, according to Chris Koppe, Speedware's Director of Wireless Business Development. "There are no vendors creating tools specifically for wireless development," Koppe said in a telephone conference following the Speedware announcement. "XML and Internet tools vendors support WML and HDML presentation layers, but these tools do not have the appropriate graphical representations for wireless objects, nor do they support key features that differentiate wireless applications from Internet applications." The features Koppe refers to include subscriber ID, alert notifications, and location-based services. Not currently supported by the Internet and Web browsers, they are key within the wireless space.

Speedware touts MobileDev for its "rich graphical interface" as well as its ability to speed development and provide for easy maintenance of wireless applications. "Currently, the development of applications for wireless is a slow process, but MobileDev allows for application development in record time—as much as five and ten times over traditional methods," Koppe says.

The first public viewing of MobileDev will take place in the HP booth at the Software Developers Conference, to be held at the San Jose Convention Center from March 22 to 24.

The Market for Wireless Applications

Speedware divides the market for wireless applications into three segments: business-to-consumer (travel, weather information, etc.), e-commerce (online ordering of products, online banking), and corporate intranet or extranet extensions that give mobile professionals access to some of a company's internal data systems. "Initially, we expect a lot of the development will be done on the e-commerce side, and then on intranet and extranet extensions," Koppe says. Speedware's professional services organization has already built two applications using MobileDev—a wireless banking application and an expense management application.