Portals arm wireless devices for business

By Tim Fielden, InfoWorld |  Software

GIVEN THE RECENT adoption of wireless technologies at the corporate level, it's no surprise that the market has become overrun with both hardware and software offerings. Unfortunately, neither product category has fully matured. Hardware and network infrastructure still have not moved too far beyond their infancy, and as for the software, many applications do not deliver the kind of high-quality content that business users demand.

Many of these shortcomings are intertwined. For example, wireless software suffers because of the physical constraints of palmtop hardware: The screens are too small for full displays and memory is too skimpy for serious processing power. Several technological advances will have to fall into place before any significant change can occur.

The wireless portal is a good start. Thanks to wireless portals, users can find all the data they need from a single Web interface. Just as with conventional portals, a wireless portal features a variety of services ranging from back-end applications to directions to the company headquarters, all powered by several processes and engines running in the background. And thanks to innovations in search technology, including sharing and bookmarking capabilities, wireless users are one step closer to simulating the desktop environment.

A typical desktop portal offers numerous sources of information, but the six displayed here are sufficient for most enterprise settings. Bear in mind that a great many solutions are available, so if the one you are investigating doesn't meet your standards, keep shopping.

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