Press Releases

Press Releases


ACCESS to Release Application Framework to Open Source Community

  • Continues momentum for mobile Linux market
  • Provides industry’s first open source mobile Linux application framework for commercial use—enabling commercial and community collaboration to foster development of mobile Linux ecosystem
  • Enables secure application management and integrated user experience

SUNNYVALE, CA, October 30, 2006 — Continuing to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the development of open source components optimized for the mobile and embedded device markets, ACCESS CO., LTD., today announced it plans to release an Application Framework to the open source community under Mozilla® Public License (MPL) v1.1. Security features that extend the Linux® kernel are planned for release under the General Public License (GPL) v2.

Developed as part of the ACCESS Linux Platform, the Application Framework has been designed specifically to meet the requirements of mobile phones and devices. In addition to providing a set of services to install and manage applications, the Application Framework from ACCESS can integrate communication between applications, enabling a seamless user experience for music, messaging and other advanced features. The Application Framework is also designed to enhance application security to prevent unauthorized use of phone services or tampering with critical system data.

The Application Framework release from ACCESS is expected to be available for download before the end of end of this year (2006) at:

“As a company committed to the growth of the mobile Linux software platform market, Orange believes that ACCESS’ decision to open source the Application Framework will benefit the entire mobile Linux ecosystem,” said Yves Maitre, vice president, devices for Orange.

Accelerating Mobile Linux Market Growth, Avoiding Fragmentation and Fostering Mobile Linux Ecosystem
An application framework – a way to install and manage applications, along with providing the ability for applications to interact with each other and the user – is a core part of any fully integrated mobile operating system platform. Currently, there is no open source solution available for commercial software in mobile and embedded devices.

“We created the Application Framework to ensure that applications can be well integrated and securely managed, not just by us, but also by third party developers, operators and all participants in the global mobile Linux ecosystem,” said Mike Kelley, executive officer and senior vice president of product development at ACCESS.

“We evaluated what is available today and recognized that an application framework designed specifically for mobile devices was needed. We believe open sourcing the Application Framework will benefit all mobile Linux developers, manufacturers and operators; which in turn should help foster the growth of the mobile Linux phone and device market while helping avoid potential fragmentation,” continued Kelley.

As part of its efforts to help grow the mobile Linux market and foster a global ecosystem, ACCESS has decided to contribute its Application Framework to the open source community. By open sourcing the Application Framework, ACCESS’ goal is to help speed the development and adoption of mobile Linux phones and devices while taking the first step to help prevent fragmentation.  The next step in preventing fragmentation will be to work with industry standards organizations, such as the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum and Open Source Developers Labs (OSDL) to determine how they may adopt the Application Framework.

“The Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum welcomes any initiative that can lead toward building a robust Mobile Linux Ecosystem,” said Haila Wang, president and chairman of LiPS. “Consistent with its practice to review open-source solutions in order to help handset makers and operators to bring phones to the market more quickly and at lower cost, LiPS is looking forward considering this important contribution from ACCESS.”

“Mobile Linux market share is continuing to increase and with steps taken by companies like ACCESS that demonstrate ongoing commitment to the open source community and the development of a robust mobile ecosystem, the numbers will continue to rise,” said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. “ACCESS gets it. By opening its Application Framework, it will help to both increase the use of its own platform and the subsequent growth of mobile Linux.”

Need for Application Framework for Mobile Linux Market—Making Linux Applications Mobile
Smartphones and mobile devices have small form factors with limited memory, storage and display space, and as a result, these devices must do things differently than a PC. Furthermore, the usage model for smartphones and mobile devices is very different than a PC, typically made up of short tasks interrupted by many events such as receiving calls or messages while browsing.

Users tend to concentrate on tasks rather than applications. For example, the user will take a picture and send it, rather than launch a camera application and spend a lot of time in it. This difference affects how mobile applications need to be represented and launched, how they inter-communicate, and what resources they require. The Application Framework from ACCESS has been designed to address these needs.

Benefits for Developers
ACCESS has also developed the Application Framework with developers in mind. Leveraging the application framework should allow developers to create applications that seamlessly blend within the device environment and the applications already installed.  This capability is expected to make it possible for users of ACCESS Linux Platform-based devices to extend the capability of their mobile phone or device while retaining a high level of integration and consistency. 

Maintaining ACCESS’ philosophy of reducing industry fragmentation, the ACCESS Application Framework is designed for use with GTK+. Currently, GTK+ powers the extremely popular GNOME desktop, and its use in the ACCESS Linux platform is expected to enable developers to leverage existing expertise and code.

“Through the GNOME Mobile and Embedded initiative, the GNOME Foundation is fostering innovation and collaboration in the mobile and embedded device market. By contributing their Application Framework to the community, ACCESS is showing their dedication to the success of Free Software, GNOME and the GMAE initiative,” said Dave Neary, chairman of board, GNOME Foundation. “I’m delighted to see a high-quality software development framework put into the hands of embedded software developers worldwide, and to see ACCESS showing themselves to be a good citizen in the Free Software community.”

ACCESS Application Framework Services
The Application Framework from ACCESS consists of several services or “managers” that are being designed to install and manage applications and enable applications to interact with each other and the user. These include (please see attached for description of each component):

  • Bundle Manager
  • Security Policy Framework (SPF)
  • Exchange Manager
  • Notification Manager
  • Application Server
  • Attention Manager
  • Alarm Manager
  • Global Settings Services

ACCESS and the Open Source Community
ACCESS is an active member of the open source community. The Company is a founding member of the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum and Open Source Developer Lab’s (OSDL) Mobile Linux Initiative group. In addition, ACCESS has made a number of contributions to the open source community including:

  • libsqlfs Library: Created as part of the ACCESS Linux Platform, the libsqlfs library is an add-on to the popular SQLite package. The libsqlfs software library was designed to provide a more flexible and convenient way to implement an Open Mobile Alliance-Device Management (OMA-DM) compliant registry.
  • Open Binder: A component object framework, similar in general concept to DCOM and CORBA, but better scaled for use on small devices. Open Binder provides a unique inter-process communication (IPC) paradigm implemented as a kernel-loadable driver, and incorporates a broad range of programmatic utility classes and frameworks. ACCESS has released the Binder driver and its associated frameworks to the open source community.

Please visit for more information about ACCESS and the open source community.

About the ACCESS Linux Platform
The ACCESS Linux Platform is a fully integrated, open, flexible and commercial grade Linux-based platform designed for smartphones and mobile devices. The ACCESS Linux Platform combines the best-in-class open source Linux components with proven mobile technologies from the portfolios of PalmSource, Inc. and ACCESS.

The ACCESS Linux Platform will include a Palm OS® compatibility layer, currently known as GHost (GarnetHost). It is expected that properly written 68K Palm OS applications will run on ACCESS Linux Platform-based devices with little or no modification.

ACCESS CO., LTD., is a global company providing leading technology, software products and platforms for web browsing, mobile phones, wireless handhelds and other networked devices. ACCESS’ product portfolio, including its NetFront browser, Palm OS® and the ACCESS Linux Platform provide customers with solutions that enable faster time-to-market, flexibility and customizability. The Company, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, operates 11 subsidiaries and affiliates within Asia, Europe and the United States, including PalmSource, Inc. ACCESS is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index under the number 4813. ACCESS recently announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, PalmSource, Inc., has begun the process to transition its name to ACCESS.

For more information about ACCESS, please visit:

ACCESS Application Framework Services Description

The Application Framework from ACCESS consists of several services or “managers” designed to install and manage applications and enable applications to interact with each other and the user. These include:

  • Bundle Manager: provides a unified view of all applications on the system, whether these applications are in main memory or on an extension card. The bundle manager makes it possible to manage and launch different types of applications (Java, native Linux®, Palm OS®) in an intuitive, easy to use way.  Bundle Manager hides the complexity and differences of these types of applications and presents the user an easy to use interface, common for all types.
  • Security Policy Framework (SPF): The Security Policy Framework (SPF) controls the security policy for the device. The policy used by the framework is created by a licensee and is flexible, updateable and separate from the mechanisms used to enforce it. The Policy Framework works in conjunction with a kernel level enforcement component that works in concert with the Policy Framework.
  • Exchange Manager: handles the exchange of data between applications and between devices. Developers can readily add new transport protocols simply by writing a new plug-in. Once the plug-in is installed, Exchange Manager makes the new transport available to all applications.
  • Notification Manager: informs applications of unsolicited events, including incoming calls, messaging, system sleep and network signaling. Because messages are not “hard wired” to specific applications, developers can substitute and add new applications at any time simply by registering their application to the required notifications.
  • Application Server: manages an applications’ lifecycle—installation, launch, suspension, resumption and termination.
  • Attention Manager: provides a central clearing house for application-generated events that are displayed to the user. Alerts include incoming calls, SMS, MMS, appointment, incoming email market urgent, user-set target stock price alarms and low battery. Developers can easily customize these notifications for specific hardware, services and applications.
  • Alarm Manager: notifies both active and inactive applications of real-time alarm events (managed by the Attention Manager). This service provides developers a consistent way to request that an alarm be triggered at a particular time.
  • Global Settings Services: provides a common API for all applications and services to access user preferences, including fonts and font sizes and system themes.

© ACCESS CO., LTD., and PalmSource, Inc.
ACCESS and NetFront are trademarks or registered trademarks of ACCESS CO., LTD. in Japan and other countries.

PalmSource, Palm OS, Palm Powered and certain other trade names, trademarks and logos are trademarks which may be registered in the United States, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and other countries and are either owned by PalmSource, Inc. or its affiliates, or are licensed by PalmSource, Inc. from Palm Trademark Holding Company, LLC. These marks may not be used in connection with any product or service that does not belong to PalmSource, Inc. (except as expressly permitted by a license with PalmSource, Inc.), in any manner that is likely to cause confusion among customers, or in any manner that disparages or discredits PalmSource, Inc., its licensor, its subsidiaries or affiliates.

The registered trademark LINUX® is owned by Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark in the U.S. and other countries, and licensed exclusively to the Linux Mark Institute.

Mozilla is a registered trademark of the Mozilla Foundation.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

ACCESS Linux Platform and GHost are codenames subject to change upon release of the final product without prior notice, in the sole discretion of ACCESS CO., LTD., PalmSource, Inc., or the applicable third party.