Sybase hopes to make life easier for enterprises wanting to enable access to their database applications from mobile devices. The company has extended its PowerBuilder database application development tool to target PocketPC devices running Microsoft's Windows CE software, it announced Monday.Sybase\u00a0hopes to make life easier for enterprises wanting to enable access to their database applications from mobile devices. The company has extended its PowerBuilder database application development tool to target PocketPC devices running Microsoft's Windows CE software, it announced Monday.Pocket PowerBuilder incorporates the same DataWindow application development interface as does the version of PowerBuilder for developing desktop applications, according to Sue Dunnell, product manager for PowerBuilder.The DataWindow can encapsulate a SQL query and the presentation of the resulting data in one control, and it allows a developer to build with five lines of PowerBuilder code what would take 250 to 500 lines of code using other tools, Dunnell said."This is something that's exciting for the PowerBuilder user base; there are hundreds of applications out there that make use of the DataWindow" and that can be easily ported to Windows CE devices, she said. Though much of the translation is performed by a conversion tool included in the software, developers still must ensure that the application's user interface is adapted to the smaller display of the portable device.Pocket PowerBuilder supports Windows CE devices running Microsoft's PocketPC 2000, PocketPC 2002 and Windows Mobile 2003 software, the company said in a statement.The development tool is closely integrated with another Sybase product, SQL Anywhere Studio, which allows developers to add synchronization capabilities to their mobile database applications, according to SQL Anywhere Studio Product Manager Marty Mallick.Warren Wilson, an analyst at Summit Strategies, sees a clear demand for mobile application development tools."Developers of all types are looking to extend their skills in the mobile arena," he said.The lack of appropriate development tools is one factor that has been holding back the adoption of mobile database applications in the enterprise. The economy is another, as it has discouraged investment. In the U.S. a third factor, the diversity and fragmentation of mobile wireless services, has also dampened enthusiasm, Wilson said.When it comes to adoption of Pocket PowerBuilder, its common interface with PowerBuilder is one of its biggest strengths, according to Wilson."While there are other tools for developing for the PocketPC platform, if you are already using PowerBuilder it would make great sense to add Pocket PowerBuilder to your tool list, from the point of view of not having to learn a new interface," he said.There are already 100,000 developers using PowerBuilder, according to Mallick, of whom 2,000 have participated in trials of the beta version of Pocket PowerBuilder since February.Sybase, based in Dublin, Calif., announced a special introductory price for Pocket PowerBuilder on Monday at its TechWave developer conference in Orlando, Florida. The price of $495 for a single-seat developer license is good through August, after which the price will rise to $1,295, the company said in a statement.The developer software, distributed through Sybase's usual channels in Europe, Asia and North America, is available only in English but can be used to create Unicode run-time applications that can be localized for use in other languages, including those Asian languages that use double-byte character sets, Mallick said.