Senate Republicans: Beam me up

Senate Republicans: Beam me up

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

FEB. 23—Republican senators next week can join their staff members in using handheld computers to keep track of bills and schedules.

Since last fall, workers for the Senate Republican Conference have been piloting a mobile enterprise application to perform those tasks, said Tim Petty, director of information resources for the conference's information technology department. The project has been successful enough that it will be opened to their bosses in the Senate next week.

The application, AvantGo Enterprise from AvantGo Inc. of Hayward, Calif., runs on the Senate Republicans' intranet, which gets heavy use for hearing schedules, policy documents, legislation and proposed amendments, Petty said. Senate Democrats have their own intranet but have not yet adopted a mobile application.

The Republican conference staff chose AvantGo Enterprise because it can communicate with different types of PDAs, Petty said. Many Capitol Hill staff members already own handheld devices for personal and professional organization, and not all have wireless capability. Pilot participants use their Microsoft PocketPC and Palm OS devices to upload intranet documents by synchronizing with a PC.

If they need documents in a hurry and can't get to a PDA cradle for synchronization, they can beam them to each other via infrared ports.

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