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Will the EdgeClick Mobile App Platform Resurrect SCO?

The SCO Group announced a developer program and key partnerships with Microsoft, Palm and Day-Timers for its EdgeClick mobile app platform this week. SCO is pursuing app mobilization after a slowdown in UNIX server sales and a costly, ongoing legal battle with IBM.

EdgeClick is envisioned by the company as a platform and backend independent ecosystem for mobile applications. "We want to have a mobile product that will address all the needs of mobile users, it is not going to just be a subset of SCO UNIX users," says Darl McBride, president and CEO of SCO.

Announced in February, EdgeClick will allow developers to extend UNIX, Windows and Java applications to smart mobile devices, such as phones and PDAs, via a service-oriented architecture. The technology uses EdgeClick Processor servers, which connect to enterprise systems to link backend systems, apps and Web services to PCs, mobile phones and other devices. A Web portal called EdgeClick Park serves as the transactional hub for EdgeClick digital network services. SCO offers a suite of Me Inc. digital services based on EdgeClick technology called Shout, Vote and Team. Hipcheck, a new service for remote control and monitoring of Windows and UNIX servers, was announced this week.

At the SCO Forum in Las Vegas this week, the company announced new partnerships with Microsoft, Palm and Day-Timers. The EdgeBuilder Mobile Application Development (MAD) toolkit, which supports J2ME and the .NET Compact Framework for mobile device clients, will integrate as a plug-in to Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 for .NET framework developers. SCO has also joined Microsoft's VSIP program as a premier partner, which allows the company to redistribute Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio Premier Partner Edition IDE with its toolkit.

SCO also announced a partnership with Palm, supporting its PluggedIn developer platform so that EdgeClick developers can build mobile services for the Treo 700 smartphone series. The Treo 600 and 650 smartphones were the initial reference platforms for the Me Inc. services, which have been available since 2005.

Finally, SCO has partnered with Day-Timers to develop, market and support mobile automation services including customized solutions for vertical industries (medical, real estate, insurance). The Day-Timer branded solutions are expected by year end.

The new developer program announced this week will provide access to the various IDEs, which are integrated with the toolkit; sample applications, engineering, market and sales data. SCO is planning to make the EdgeBuilder tools available via its EdgeClick Park Web portal sometime this fall.

"MAD is not just a compiler or a development kit," says Sandy Gupta, chief technology officer and general manager, SCO Platforms. "It is a complete runtime. It transforms your laptop or whatever you are using for your developer workstation into a complete edge of the network server. So you can start developing as well as testing your applications from your mobile phones or emulators directly to the laptop." The architecture also supports real-time, negating a lot of the synchronization issues.

In June, SCO announced the EdgeClick Developer Challenge to encourage developers worldwide to create mobile apps using MAD. The deadline for submitting mobile app solutions is February 9, 2007. The winner receives a BMW M5 or $100,000.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards (krichards@1105media.com) is the editor of RedDevNews.com and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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