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With the proliferation of mobile devices we witness an increasing demand for supporting collaboration among users working in the field and in the office. A key component for collaboration in this domain is sharing and manipulation of information using very different display capabilities on the diverse devices. We present a system based on a distributed repository of shared data objects and a client-server based infrastructure. The system is robust to intermittent connections, and a mixture of slow and fast links. To preserve bandwidth, application-specific data distribution agents decide what data to send to the clients. We also present a framework for building collaborative applications for clients with different display and processing capabilities. We describe example applications implemented both as Java applets to run in Web browsers and as Java spotlets to run on Palm OS based handheld computers. Using these applications we evaluated the framework and the results show that the framework is scaleable, offers good performance and has a high degree of code reusability.
Date of Conference: 6-9 Jan. 2003