Open-source collaboration software vendor Open-Xchange is launching OXtender for Business Mobility, which adds support for push e-mail to mobile phones that use Microsoft's ActiveSync protocol, it said on Wednesday.
OXtender for Business Mobility also lets users synchronize contacts, calendar and other information from Open-Xchange accounts over the air. It can also be used to send information from social networks, including LinkedIn, Xing and Facebook, to mobile phones, according to Rafael Laguna, Open-Xchange CEO.
Open-Xchange picked ActiveSync because many phones come with built-in support for the protocol, making it easier for users to configure an account, which can be done directly on a phone, according to Laguna. The competing SyncML protocol, which is already supported via third-party software, usually needs a client to work, and Open-Xchange has experienced some problems with different versions of the protocol, he said.
Phones that support ActiveSync include the iPhone, devices based on Symbian and, of course, Windows Mobile-based phones. Goggle hasn't implemented the protocol as a standard feature in Android. Instead, the phone manufacturers have to add it themselves. HTC's Hero and Magic and Motorola's Dext both come with support for ActiveSync.
However, owners of BlackBerry devices will have to install a client, such as the AstraSync, according to Laguna. There are also clients for Android phones that come without integrated support, he said.
OXtender for Business Mobility costs US$355 per year for up to 25 users. Additional users cost about US$14 during the first year. Software subscription fees for the following years are 25 percent of the cost for the first year, according to Open-Xchange.
The platform is available for the Server Edition and Appliance Edition of Open-Xchange.