Attachmate's PalmFrame gives handhelds mainframe access; rollout due before 2000

Attachmate's PalmFrame gives handhelds mainframe access; rollout due before 2000

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

Attachmate Corp.'s PalmFrame software gives handheld devices access to mainframe data.

The Bellevue, Wash., company's business solutions group combined a Web-to-host publishing system with the AvantGo server from AvantGo Inc. of San Mateo, Calif., and will throw in consulting services to develop specific applications.

Attachmate expects a general PalmFrame rollout by the end of the year. 'There are more ideas about how this could be used than we had imagined,'' said J.B. McCrummen, the company's director of marketing.

Many field workers and those who move about in facilities such as hospitals already use handheld devices to record data, but exchanging the data with a legacy system is difficult.

An estimated 70 percent of government and corporate data still resides in mainframe computers, Attachmate officials said.

To build PalmFrame, Attachmate used its e-Vantage host publishing system, which can bring data stored on mainframe, IBM AS/400, Digital VAX and Unix computers to desktop PCs via centrally managed Java, ActiveX, Hypertext Markup Language and Microsoft Windows applications. The AvantGo server software gives handheld Palm OS and Windows CE devices access to Web applications.

Put together as PalmFrame, the two products first translate host data to a Web format, then frame it for small devices according to the application requirements. Data is downloaded or uploaded when the handheld device is in synchronization mode in its cradle. It can also transmit data through a wireless Internet connection.

The standard PalmFrame has one-way data flow. Two-way flow also is available. The basic system costs $50,000, plus $200 per client.

Contact Attachmate at 425-644-4010.

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