New tool ‘mobilizes unstructured data

Mobile software maker Agilix Inc. is readying a software development kit for building mobile applications that will let customers collect, index and organize information that can’t use a conventional database: spreadsheets, Microsoft Word documents, .PDF files, PowerPoint slides, Web pages and the like.

The new SDK packages the core functions found in the company’s GoBinder software, a mobile application designed for students and educators working with lots of unstructured information stored in the widely-used Blackboard Learning System from Blackboard Inc. Agilix began creating the SDK when non-academic customers expressed interest in using GoBinder to organize information in documents and other formats needed by mobile salespeople and others.

Agilix previewed the SDK at the recent Visual Studio Live conference in San Francisco.

Both GoBinder and the upcoming GoBinder SDK are based on Microsoft .Net Framework, which features reusable software components linked with back-end applications and data via Web services.

Agilix also has released InfiNotes, a set of .Net controls that lets customers rapidly create digital ink applications for Microsoft Tablet PCs.

“They’re using Web services, and the idea of the ‘service-oriented architecture,’ and not running any software on the server,” says Stephen Drake, program manager of mobile infrastructure software at IDC. “There’s something to be said for that in reducing software complexity and costs. By being focused (solely) on the client side, these applications are so much easier to deploy.”

Using GoBinder SDK, with its built-in database, customers can create notebook and handheld applications that run even when users are offline. By contrast, Web applications require a continual network application because they’re making use of functions and data on network servers.The SDK includes the user interface manager; the GoBinder database, which resides on the client device; and the Mobile Data Manager, which supports interfaces to back-end data sources.

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