Pocket PC access for Notes users

Lotus Notes users will be accessing their databases from a Psion Series 5 pocket computer from April -- thanks to the launch of a joint product from Lotus and Psion, InSync.

The software is courtesy of Time Information Services, which wrote PsiWin originally, and now has a synchronisation engine for Notes. It will cost £50 plus VAT for a single user; and it allows the mobile Notes user to upload new information to the office database, or download new data to the Series 5.

The choice of the Series 5 as the target means that both Psion and Pilot PDA users have jumped the queue; Windows CE doesn't support remote Notes, and won't, say sources, "until Microsoft makes up its mind what it is doing with Java, because that's the only feasible way of supporting a link to that platform."

The Psion software is an early version, and Richard Marler at Time IS said that it will develop rapidly through the year. Cellular phone access, not supported in the current version, will be developed during the next year.

Lotus released EasySync for the 3Com Palm Pilot in January; this uses the calendaring features of Notes to backup the PDA diary. InSync adds exactly this feature to the Psion, allowing rapid updates.

Details of InSync are covered at www.psion.time-technology.co.uk, though it's mentioned without the product name -- look for "synchronisation software" on the page.

Missing from the joint launch by Psion and Lotus was any mention of Java. This is a surprise, since Psion developers were told last summer that a Java version of EPOC-32 would be released around now, and Lotus is heavily committed to Java as an enabling platform.

Neither company would discuss potential launch dates for the Java-Psion machine or software, but they agreed the product was "under development."

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