5

Group Management

With the growing need of users to employ a multiplicity of terminals – i.e., mobile phone, PDA, PC – and to have their services available on each of these devices, the situation has arisen in which users expect their service data to be available on all devices, thus obviating the need to build such data more than once.

One solution for such a problem is to use web pages. The problem with web pages is that users have yet to master web browsing on the small screen. Another problem is that solving such a need using the web does not allow such data to be integrated with existing applications running on a mobile phone or any other device.

Let's take a closer look at the issues by taking a real-life example: a user wants to create what is called a ‘buddy list’ on their PC and mobile phone. Without a group management solution, this user has to create their buddy list twice; once on the PC and once on the mobile. Now, the user walks into an Internet cafe and wants to use their web messenger. She cannot do so because her buddy list is stored locally on her PC and mobile phone. Had she a web interface that allowed her to build a buddy list that could be stored in the network, her problem would be solved. But, what if her buddy list on her mobile phone used the address book embedded in the device? Different means are needed to enable the device to store such data in the network. The same means can then be used to build a single buddy list. So, instead of the user building ...

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