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IBM expands Palm access software

The computer maker improves the software that lets people with the popular handheld computers control their servers wirelessly.

IBM has improved software that lets people with Palm handheld computers control their servers wirelessly, providing features ordinary employees as well as system administrators can use.

The new software, called Swap, is an upgrade to the "Snapp" software IBM released in January. Where Snapp enabled a handful of administrative capabilities, Swap expands the list and adds features useful for traveling sales reps and other workers.

Swap lets Palm-equipped workers extract information from databases, tap into sales reports, place new orders, monitor Web traffic or restart servers. It includes password and encryption features to protect against misuse of the service, IBM said.

The new product follows an augmented IBM effort to take advantage of the enthusiasm for wireless technology. IBM is selling servers and software that will let companies build the back-end infrastructure needed to power Internet services that cell phones, handheld computers and other devices will tap into.

Swap works with IBM's version of Unix, called AIX, but an earlier version exists for servers running Red Hat Linux. Swap uses Palm's Internet service, Palm.net, to connect wireless Palms with the server, IBM said.