Linoma Bolsters Security of iSeries Database Tool
September 27, 2005 Alex Woodie
In the past, the primary users of Linoma Software‘s Surveyor/400 were programmers and administrators who required fast and powerful DB2/400 access from a graphical interface. But that user profile is changing as customer service representatives and other workers find the tool fits the bill for a variety of everyday tasks. Last week at the COMMON conference, Linoma unveiled a new version of Surveyor/400 that enables admins to restrict user access to sensitive information, and track people’s use of the tool.
Surveyor/400 is a versatile Java-based client-server program that enables users to accomplish a range of tasks on the iSeries server, such as viewing and editing DB2/400 files, accessing the IFS, creating stored procedures, running SQL statements, and converting spool files to PDF. In recent years, Linoma has added new features, such as the capability to distribute objects via FTP, to schedule file transfers, and to perform DB2/400-to-Excel transformations, which have broadened its appeal and usefulness to a wider audience beyond just IT professionals.
The increasing use (and usefulness) of Surveyor/400 has, no doubt, contributed to Linoma Software’s success over the past few years. However, concerns have been expressed that perhaps Surveyor/400, which combines an intuitive graphical user interface with the capability to view, add, change, and delete database records–a potentially dangerous mix–was perhaps too powerful for some users, particularly employees whom a business would not typically entrust with the keys to the company safe.
Linoma Software responded to these concerns with new security features in Surveyor/400 version 3.0 that enable administrators to restrict access to specific data and objects on an iSeries. Administrators accomplish this by creating custom “layouts” over the files, fields, or individual records they want to protect. Filters can also be created to restrict users to specific subrecords within a file, and to entire libraries, Linoma says.
Administrators can create these layouts and filters and apply them to specific users or to groups of users with a few clicks of the mouse. After applying the filters, a user viewing DB2/400 database records through a spreadsheet will not even be aware of what they are missing. In prior releases of the product, it was not easy to restrict access for certain groups of users, company officials say.
In addition to restricting access to certain data and objects, Surveyor/400 gains new audit trail capabilities for tracking file transfer activities by user ID. Administrators can access the logs through a combination of user ID, file names, and data and time ranges. The new audit trail function is important for companies that need to comply with new laws, such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, the company says.
The new security features will be welcomed by new customers who have moved to Surveyor/400 from other products, says Bob Luebbe, president of Linoma Software. “Our customers were worried about the lack of controls and the security exposures they had with traditional query/transfer tools such as Client Access File Transfer, ODBC and Query/400,” he says. “With Surveyor/400 [version 3.0], these customers can now authorize their users to query and transfer data without compromising access to sensitive data.”
Surveyor/400 version 3.0 is available now. Pricing is tier-based and ranges from $995 to $3,495. For more information, visit www.linomasoftware.com.