Aileron Allows Reading Word, Excel Email Attachments

One of the key challenges faced by companies deploying Palm OS handhelds is the conversion of files from Microsoft Office formats to a form that can be read on the handheld. Together, Corsoft’s Aileron wireless e-mail application and Cutting Edge Software's Quickoffice allow users to receive spreadsheet and document attachments via e-mail. Individuals can subscribe to Corsoft’s e-mail service starting at $30 a year.

Users of Microsoft Excel on the desktop will be able to e-mail Excel attachments to Palm users with Quicksheet installed – and the files will convert to Quicksheet format on demand as users manage e-mail and attachments wirelessly. Once received by the handheld users, the attachments can be viewed and edited fully. Similar capabilities are also incorporated for conversion of Microsoft Word files to the Quickword format.

At this time, a Palm user can't email a Quickoffice file and have it converted to Microsoft Office format. This feature is in development, though, according to Chirag Patel from Corsoft.

“E-mail access is critical for today’s mobile knowledge workers, and Corsoft Aileron makes opening the most common attachments seamless and fast, especially when used with Quickoffice.” said Michael Compeau, Cutting Edge Software's VP of business development and planning.

Corporations can install an enterprise-edition of Aileron Server on their corporate network and experience end-to-end security of the information being transmitted via the handheld devices. Corsoft Aileron Enterprise Server starts at $2,500 and includes a five-user Client Access License. Additional licenses are available at $500 for a 10-set license pack.

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Aileron works on Palm VII/VIIx

bcombee @ 1/16/2002 11:45:08 AM #
One of the advantages to Aileron over other mail software is that it works over the Palm VII/VIIx's Mobitex network, something packages like Eudora or MultiMail don't handle. Those apps either use a desktop conduit or require a POP3 connection from the handheld; to do POP3, you need a full TCP/IP stack, something the VII doesn't have over its wireless connection.

The disadvantage is needing a special server, either the one at Aileron you pay $30/year to access or the one you pay much money to get for your company.

ThinAirApps's mail app also works on the Palm VII using a PQA -- it has a big disadvantage of requiring the UI to be sent over and over again and not being able to save mail on the device. It is still free however.


c_blue @ 1/16/2002 12:08:21 PM #
A lot or our customers (I work for an ISP) sends MS office attachments with password (either open and/or read only) the recipient either gets the password on a different message or a different media, or knows it in advance.

Does anybody knows if the file will de converted if it is password protected?


Documents To Go Does this too!

mrscarey @ 1/16/2002 1:23:33 PM #
Documents to Go Pro 4.0 allows the automatic opening of Word Excel and PDF files WITHOUT having to pay subscription....

Have I missed something?


palmist and visionary

RE: Documents To Go Does this too!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/16/2002 1:44:30 PM #
i am trying to understand WHY palm's dont already include support for mail attachments. down the drain palm is going, it is just now a matter of time when PPC turns on the water... ;)

RE: Documents To Go Does this too!
Coyote67 @ 1/16/2002 2:15:44 PM #
How does palm not supporting this feature natively equal the end of palm? This is the most trollian post I have ever read on this board. Thats like me saying PPC doesn't geforce3 built in, so it'll die soon enough.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.

RE: Documents To Go Does this too!
peter167 @ 1/16/2002 2:30:42 PM #
Coyote, don't get too upset with that.

Palm bashers get their life and living on PIC. This is their job. They will be unemployed if you do not allow them to BASH!

RE: Documents To Go Does this too!
Ed @ 1/16/2002 2:41:01 PM #
> Documents to Go Pro 4.0 allows the automatic opening of Word Excel and PDF files WITHOUT
> having to pay subscription....
> Have I missed something?

Yes, I'm afraid you have. Docs-to-Go does not work with regular Microsoft Office files. If someone emailed you an Excel file and you then tried to open it with Docs-to-Go, you would be stymied. The Docs-to-Go conduit on your desktop computer has to convert the Excel or Word file into a new format, Docs-to-Go format for lack of a better term, as part of the process of moving it onto your handheld.

Some PPC fan will probably point this out so I'll beat them to it. Microsoft's Pocket Word and Pocket Excel do work with native Office files. However, from all reports they do this very poorly and remove much of the formatting from the files.

News Editor

RE: Documents To Go Does this too!
bcombee @ 1/16/2002 5:48:08 PM #
The big thing about the Aileron solution is that the conversion occurs on the mail server -- only a compressed, Palm-ready document is sent on to the handheld. POP3-only solutions could pull down the attachment, but then all the conversion would need to be done on-device, which would mean more RAM usage and slower operation.

Besides, who wants to wait 30 minutes for your Palm to pull down someone's 2.2MB bloated Word file? I'd rather that attachment got turned into the 30K of text and format codes it really is and sent on. Much quicker to download and more useful.

RE: Documents To Go Does this too!
danger @ 1/16/2002 7:13:14 PM #
The latest Excel and Word documents are absolutely tiny. I find converting a Word document to PDF makes it bigger these days. They probably run a gzip layer on the file to compress it.

RE: Documents To Go Does this too!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/18/2002 5:38:52 AM #
I am wondering if something like 'antiword' can be used on a palmos device...


Sending Excel/Word files is possible

danger @ 1/16/2002 7:14:45 PM #

> At this time, a Palm user can't email a Quickoffice
> file and have it converted to Microsoft Office
> format. This feature is in development, though,
> according to Chirag Patel from Corsoft.

This statement is incorrect. If you dig deeper into the Quickoffice site you find this solution:

RE: Sending Excel/Word files is possible
Ed @ 1/16/2002 7:32:44 PM #
This appears to be a rival to the Aileron app with some nice features its competition lacks. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Now that you've reminded me of it, I vaguely remember writing an article on this when it was first introduced a long time ago but this is further proof that no one can remember everything about every app.

News Editor

Good Program Gets Better !

Syno @ 8/21/2003 8:04:42 AM #
This seems to be one of THE ONLY e-mail applications I have been able to find that does EVERYTHING I need out of a Palm e-mail application. Sending attachments, etc... is a MUST and Aileron accomplishes just that and more. I look forward to future enhancements. Check Corsoft Aileron out!!! Thanks guys!



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