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Etelos brings offline data synch to Web apps

How many times have you heard, "Web apps don't make sense when you're on a plane"? Etelos now has an offline data sync service called Apps on a Plane.

Etelos on Monday will open a limited beta for software that lets hosted application providers give their customers access to information offline.

It's called Apps on a Plane (AOP), a name that addresses a long-held limitation of Web applications. Namely, they can't be used when someone is on a plane or otherwise offline.

Company founder and Chief Technology Officer Danny Kolke said the software will synch data from an end user's computer to back-end applications when they go on and offline.

It's designed so that independent software vendors or businesses can convert existing applications to the offline synching capability without having to write code. By contrast, other alternatives for taking Web applications offline, including Google Gears, require developers to recode their applications, he said.

A rules engine gives people a way to automate how data should be moved when people go on and offline. For example, a salesperson's contact information can be updated to a CRM system and be set up to resolve conflicts, Kolke explained.

Initially, AOP will modify applications written with LAMP or Java Server Pages, he said. Etelos will then support other development frameworks, including Ruby on Rails and .Net.

A limited beta for AOP will start Monday and Etelos will demonstrate it at the Web 2.0 Expo next week.