Sendmail to deliver calendaring for mobile tools

Sendmail Inc. will ship on April 19 a group calendaring and scheduling software package designed specifically for mobile devices.

The Sendmail Calendar Server allows enterprise customers of Sendmail’s back-end Internet e-mail routing and hosting software to offer their end users Web-based and wireless access to calendar information. The software supports access to real-time appointments, tasks and contacts as well as synchronization of this information.

“The software was built from scratch to support mobility,” says Wiley Hodges, director of Sendmail’s groupware business. “It has a streamlined interface for mobile devices, it easily supports paging and SMS (Short Message Service) for notification, and it has WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and iMode support. It also has other features that allow users to easily switch time zones.”

The Sendmail Calendar Server supports some aspects of a calendaring and scheduling protocol under development by the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet’s premier standards-setting body. The IETF Calsched protocol will allow end users to share calendaring information over the Internet regardless of the calendaring or scheduling package used by their companies.

“The IETF Calsched protocol is not quite baked yet,” Hodges says. “We will be supporting that standard when it’s done…Over the next two releases, you’ll see increasing support.”

Sendmail Calendar Server also supports XML (Extensible Markup Language) and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). The product runs on Sun’s Solaris operating system and will soon be available for Linux. It costs anywhere from US$2 per user to US$15 per user, depending on the number of users.

The vendor is positioning the software as a lighter-weight alternative to groupware packages such as Novell Groupwise, Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange.

In other news, Sendmail closed its fifth round of venture capital financing last week. The privately held company received US$14 million from its key investors, including Morgan Stanley Venture Partners, Novell and Adobe Ventures. Sendmail officials said the company has experienced four consecutive quarters of revenue growth, and that its revenues grew 50 per cent during 2001.