The initiative follows a trend toward software that consume Web services within a SOA, a form of distributed computing that provides integration of applications using standards based on extensible markup language, or XML.
Armonk, N.Y.-based, IBM and RIM, headquartered in Canada, look to "simplify the entire process" of building communications between the RIM BlackBerry, the most popular handheld email device among businesspeople; and the Lotus Domino messaging server, Shawne Robinson, head of mobile wireless solutions for Lotus, said.
"We have our teams working in earnest to develop better tools for our customers," Robinson said.
IBM added XML-based interfaces for use in SOAs to Domino 7, the latest version of the product. The technology is expected to open up Domino to mobile devices. Before, the product was most-often accessed remotely through a Web browser on a laptop.
Ronald Schmelzer, analyst for ZapThink LLC, said he has seen the SOA market shift from exposing applications as Web services to the actual use of those services.
"We've started to see quite a bit of focus now on the consuming side of services," Schmelzer said in an email. "Not just mobile devices, but a systems of all sorts are now becoming service-oriented."
Driving the trend is the rise of technology approaches like Ajax, a method for building Web applications that run in a browser, but perform much like a desktop application.
"This means that we're finally seeing some of the promised benefits of SOA: loosely coupled services that can be composed into new applications and reused in ways not originally foreseen by the service developer," Schmelzer said.
As part of the initiative, RIM is offering Lotus Domino and Sametime customers at no-charge a downloadable, 10-user version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.
The BlackBerry leads the market in data-centric personal digital assistants, according to Gartner Inc.