Business intelligence giant SAS is entering the mobile software field.
The company's SAS Mobile application is planned for September. It will initially support Apple iPhone, Microsoft Windows Mobile, and Research In Motion BlackBerry devices.
Companies will get a desktop program used for customizing mobile dashboards. The program will then create the selected platform version which can do anything the desktop version can, although limited by smaller screens, SAS spokesman Steve Polilli explained.
"What took so long was demand... we weren't seeing demand until recently," Polilli said. SAS will consider versions for other mobile platforms but does not have firm plans, he added.
The new program is cost-free for existing customers.
Dr. Jimmy Efird, chairman of the Bay Area SAS Users Group, said he intends to try SAS Mobile for his iPhone and hopes for an iPad version.
"I think it's a good idea. An entry into this marketplace, i think, is going to benefit customers," Efird said.
Other companies already make mobile products for SAS, which is traditionally conservative in trying new things, he added.