iAnywhere Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc. , unveiled the latest version of Answers Anywhere(TM), a robust, scalable middleware platform for building extremely easy-to-use application interfaces that features powerful context understanding and natural language capabilities. Answers Anywhere 4.0 enables end-users whether they are on a wireless phone, using a handheld PDA, interacting with a customized console, or at a desktop computer — to easily and quickly access desired functionality and obtain relevant answers to their queries. Answers Anywhere licensees will be able to augment existing user interfaces to rapidly and intimately integrate legacy content and applications, enabling usable and productive access from a wide variety of access modalities.
Answers Anywhere 4.0 includes support for context awareness; a new hint and suggestions engine; simplified development components and templates; automatic SQL generation and improved documentation, including end-to-end reference examples. Applications built with Answers Anywhere can even anticipate a user’s needs, within the context of an ongoing interactive session or “dialogue.” Such ease-of-use results in shorter learning curves, lower training and support overhead, and more productive end users.
“SRI International has selected Answers Anywhere 4.0 for several large- scale R&D projects in the government and commercial sectors,” said SRI International program director Adam Cheyer. “Answers Anywhere’s dialogue and context handling capabilities are helping SRI develop next-generation smart applications.”
iAnywhere and Xiamen Xiangtone are pioneering mobile search services in China with Answers Anywhere by enabling cell phone users to access information, via SMS or WAP. “The premium SMS market is about providing end users with the information they need, when they want it,” said Yang Lihong, General Manager of Xiamen Xiangtone Information Technology Co. Ltd., a value- added Internet and mobile service provider based in China. “Answers Anywhere enables us to complete a higher request volume than conventional technologies. This allows us to satisfy more transactions and increase revenue.”
The new Answers Anywhere platform drives the development of user interfaces that anticipate user interactions, reflect implied information, and reduce user actions to complete tasks. Answers Anywhere 4.0 includes the following new features: Enhanced Contextual Capabilities — Answers Anywhere 4.0 incorporates an improved context engine that enables applications to “know” what types of information a user might need based on the user’s interactions. For example, in a sales force application, if a user asks for contacts, the application could also display tabs automatically for opportunities, accounts, and other information related to the contact in question. Hint Engine — The hint engine enables developers to very easily offer hints and suggestions to help users narrow down what they’re looking for. For example, after searching for contacts at a company in a specified location, Answers Anywhere suggests follow-up searches on directions to the contact’s location, information about the company, finding meetings set at the specified location with the contact in question, etc. Automatic SQL Generation — simplifies prototyping and database integration. Templates and Pre-Built Components — enable rapid creation of new Answers Anywhere systems.
Additionally, Answers Anywhere includes: Support for a full range of input and output modalities, including voice, email, Web, SMS/MMS, IM, WAP and iMode (multi-modal use is also supported, so users can request information by voice and receive answers via SMS, for example). Support for information and service requests in any language. Support for online and wireless services over any connection method, including wired networks, wireless and Wi-Fi, and cradle synchronization. Support for all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Unix.
“Developers want to ensure that software created for commercial and in- house use is fully deployed and utilized in production environments,” said Babak Hodjat, senior director, engineering, iAnywhere Solutions. “Leveraging Answers Anywhere allows developers to build highly intuitive applications that ‘know’ and can anticipate users’ needs. In this way, application ease-of-use and complexity concerns can be addressed to significantly reduce training and support costs and realize the full value of the company’s software investment.”
Pricing and Availability
Answers Anywhere is available immediately with pricing starting at $100 per seat. A revenue-sharing model for carriers is also available. To learn more, please visit: http://www.ianywhere.com/products/answers_anywhere.html.
iAnywhere provides software solutions that enable applications used on the front lines of business to be just as reliable, secure and available as those at headquarters. The company holds worldwide market leadership positions in mobile and embedded databases, mobile device management and security, and mobile middleware. Millions of subscribers, 15,000 customers and 1,000 partners rely on the company’s award-winning technologies, including SQL Anywhere®, Afaria®, and the AvantGo® mobile Internet service. iAnywhere is a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc. (NYSE: SY – News).
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