Sun, IT Heavyweights Line Up Behind OMA

By Michael Singer (Send Email)
Posted Dec 18, 2001

A coalition of IT infrastructure and application server vendors Tuesday officially launched a new project aimed at taking the frustration out of developing for mobile devices. Sun and a slew of computing giants create a new project to push the development of applications for mobile devices using Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE)-based application servers.

The Open Mobile Architecture Initiative (OMA), announced at this year's Comdex, is being supported by mobile phone giant Nokia (NYSE:NOK) along with Internet mainstays Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HWP), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW), IBM (NYSE:IBM), BEA Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:BEAS) and Borland Software (NASDAQ:BORL).

The founding companies are pledging to work together to help clear the dust when it comes to Web applications in the mobile world and bringing mobile extensions to the Internet realm.

"This is a selfless program," says HP Mobile Solutions VP And General Manager Rich Raimondi. "While the idea came from Nokia and each of these partner companies will benefit from the initiative, we are not putting any of them at the center. We are even open to competing companies joining us like AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, Motorola and Vodafone."

Raimondi says the main focus will be on creating server solutions for service providers, corporations and mobile operators that work together and phasing out those which only serve a fraction of the marketplace. The joint specifications will be developed in full compliance with the guidelines provided by the relevant industry standardization bodies.

The group says OMA marks the beginning of the next phase of mobile services, by incorporating a mobile extension for Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) based application servers.

And that's where the companies say the importance of developers comes in.

The hope is that the effort will lead to the development of uniform mobile application programming interfaces (APIs) and give developers great tools for incorporating mobility in their applications and thus fuel worldwide growth of mobile services and third-party software innovation.

With a more standardized base, developers will be able to address both web- and mobile customers with the same underlying application design and maintain superior usability in both environments. Ultimately, the companies are counting on this to bring greater choice of services for consumers and corporations in a non-fragmented platform environment.

New products and solutions combining the mobile domain with the World Wide Web will be based on open mobile architecture enablers, such as Java and 3GPP compliant technologies, such as WAP2.0/XHTML, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) and SyncML. In order to facilitate the specification process in the J2EE API technology domain, the companies have agreed to jointly prepare the specification proposals prior to submitting them to the Java Community Process (JCP).

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