IBM has updated its Domino messaging platform to add integrated support for the iPhone, a feature it first promised in May.
In addition, the company said in its announcement on Tuesday that it is releasing a free version of its Domino Designer developer tools, in a move intended to broaden the range of available Notes applications.
The new Domino 8.5.1 provides support for Microsoft's ActiveSync in Lotus Notes Traveler, IBM's software for linking Domino to mobile devices.
iPhone users could previously access Notes via a browser, but the new version adds support for 'push' updates of email, calendar and contacts from Domino to the device. This will mean the iPhone will receive notifications of new messages and calendar events almost in real time.
Domino 8.5.1 also allows iPhone users to work offline, and gives them the ability to erase confidential data remotely, among other management features.
For the Symbian platform, the update provides features such as the remote deletion of data, device lock, password management and external calendar integration. Lotus Notes Traveler also supports the Windows Mobile and BlackBerry platforms.
To set up the Domino link, iPhone users initially must access the server via the handset's built-in Safari browser, downloading a configuration file, IBM said. From then on, synchronisation is carried out without user intervention.
Push email for the iPhone is already offered by vendors such as Microsoft. Google last month expanded Google Sync to allow the iPhone's Mail application to synchronise with Gmail messages.
IBM said it would begin offering a free version of its Domino Designer developer tools with Domino 8.5.1. The software is downloadable via the DeveloperWorks website.
Domino Designer allows developers and users to develop applications that are available within Domino applications, within the Notes client, on the desktop, via a browser or on a smartphone, making Domino-based business data available through a variety of clients. IBM said it is offering the tool for free in order to stimulate interest in Domino-based applications and expand the number of applications available.
The free version includes the software only, an IBM spokesperson said. Those who want full user support and marketing, and the ability to upload applications to IBM's website, will still need to pay $845 (£530) for the full version.
Finally, IBM said it is simplifying the licensing structure for Lotus Domino client software, with two access licences replacing what were formerly 11 licences.