Sybase subsidiary iAnywhere has brought out new versions of Onebridge and Afaria, the mobile e-mail and device management products, and set out its plans to unite them.
The two products have been integrated as the Information Anywhere suite, as both products reach version 5.5—the first major release since Sybase bought Extended Systems’ Onebridge mobile e-mail software in 2005, and acquired XcelleNet’s Afaria device management tools in 2004. Both releases will come out before the end of 2006.
“They are both still available independently,” said Alison Henderson, company manager for iAnywhere in the United Kingdom. “We differentiate ourselves with our level of integration—but it is optional.”
“One big benefit is the ability to push encrypted e-mail,” said Tim Roberts, technical services manager for iAnywhere, pointing out that this remedies a flaw reported in Microsoft’s push e-mail. “Onebridge has been encrypted for a long time, but it is now integrated with a security manager, so the data can be kept encrypted on the device while it is being synchronized.”
iAnywhere has also upgraded the Onebridge proxy server to a “relay server,” which can be placed in the “demilitarized zone” (DMZ) of the user’s network, not inside the firewall.
The latest OneBridge also adds support for newer Symbian devices, such as the Nokia E-series, as well as Sony Ericsson’s P990 and M600. “Some vendors add a new e-mail client; we keep the standard client of a given device, and add features,” said Roberts.
While Afaria 5.5 also includes integration with Onebridge, users are still taking it on to manage other applications securely, said Roberts. The product now has FIPS 140-2 encryption using AES, and allows over-the-air deployment so patches to operating systems and applications can be sent out automatically.
Other improvements are in the ease of use: “The perceived performance is much better because the software decides intelligently how and when to encrypt data,” said Roberts. “Security products are prone to failing if they are not easy to use.”
Afaria’s remote control has been extended from laptops to Windows handheld devices. Roberts says Symbians will follow.
-Peter Judge, Techworld.com (London)
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