Mobile tools vendor Antenna strengthens Web development via buyout

Antenna Software has made the latest acquisition in its bid to create a complete toolset for designing, building, running and managing mobile applications, for everything from feature phones to tablets. The vendor is buying U.K.-based Volantis Systems, which has a set of tools for building mobile Web applications.

The combined product sets will let Antenna, based in Jersey City, N.J., support both native and Web applications on a wide range of mobile operating systems and device types. Increasingly, Antenna is targeting sophisticated mobile commerce and e-business applications, as well as mobile access to traditional line-of-business applications.  Both companies are privately held and the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Volantis created an intelligent rendering engine, the Volantis Framework, which tailors Web content for almost any kind of Web-enabled device, everything from IP TVs to e-books, mobile phones and mobile computers.  The components include a runtime framework, a continuously updated  database of configuration information on thousands of mobile devices, and development tools. Using these, developers don’t have to take into account device-level details when designing and writing mobile Web applications.

This is at least the third acquisition for Antenna in two years. In 2009, it bought Dexterra, which had a set of mobile development tools aimed at the enterprise market, and blended that code with its own Antenna Mobility Platform (AMP), a set of middleware and developments used as a platform for software-as-a-service. The new AMP version was introduced in April 2010.

At about the same time, Antenna bought Vaultus Mobile Technologies, which focused on mobile financial, business intelligence and Microsoft SharePoint applications.

Antenna, founded in 1998, originally used the AMP components as the foundation for its own line of vertically-oriented mobile applications for business. In 2007, it brought out AMP Studio, allowing enterprises, VARs, and OEMs to use AMP as a foundation for building and deploying their own mobile applications.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for “Network World.”



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