Linoma Refines Data Distribution Tasks with GoAnywhere 2.0
February 10, 2009 Alex Woodie
Linoma Software recently announced and shipped a new version of its data distribution tool for i5/OS, Windows, Linux, and Unix servers. With GoAnywhere 2.0, Linoma has bolstered the browser-based product’s capability to integrate into Windows and open systems environments. It also buoyed the interface with Web 2.0-style attributes, added more automation, and generally refined the product to give customers more control over their data distribution tasks.
Linoma has been in the secure data distribution business for some time. Its first product, the Java-based Transfer Anywhere tool, which debuted in 2002, found success with companies looking to automate the movement of encrypted data among different platforms and databases. Then, about a year ago, Linoma launched the Web browser-based follow-on to Transfer Anywhere, called GoAnywhere.
Like Transfer Anywhere, GoAnywhere sports an impressive array of data distribution attributes. On the data transfer protocol front, it supports FTP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and JDBC. Multiple encryption methods, including Open PGP, SSL, AES, are on the list, as are multiple compression methods (ZIP, GZIP, and TAR). Connecting to databases is no problem for GoAnywhere–it supports DB2/400, DB2 UDB, Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, and Informix. And the list goes on. If you’re wondering what’s different between GoAnywhere and Transfer Anywhere, it’s that GoAnywhere has a Web interface (TransferAnywhere, just Windows and 5250), and the GoAnywhere engine runs on any supported platform, not just i OS and Windows.
With GoAnywhere version 2.0, Linoma has continued the product’s evolution into a secure, enterprise-level data distribution tool. Many of these enhancements target Windows and Unix/Linux environments, which is an area of the market where the product is getting better traction these days.
For starters, version 2.0 brings support for the Unix/Linux TAR and UNTAR compression commands, which expands GoAnywhere’s usefulness to open systems-type environments. Meanwhile, support for Microsoft‘s Active Directory and industry standard LDAP servers enables easier authentication; previously, the product supported its own authentication method and i5/OS sign-on.
“Now that we’re getting more and more Windows and Unix and Linux folks using this product, we’re letting them authenticate those user names and passwords against other kinds of servers,” says Linoma president Bob Luebbe. “Our core is the iSeries. Ninety-nine percent of our customers are around that platform. [But] we are starting to get some customers now who don’t have an iSeries, and so they just want us to run against a Windows box.”
Another major enhancement is better conditional support for data transfer tasks. With the first release, users could configure GoAnywhere to automatically accomplish tasks, such as accessing a DB2/400 file, pulling out specific data, reformatting it in Excel or CSV format, compressing it with ZIP, encrypting it with PGP, and then sending it via FTP. All this could be configured from GoAnywhere’s browser-based interface to happen on a regular basis.
With version 2.0, GoAnywhere now goes farther to accomplish these tasks, even if there are problems along the way. For example, if an FTP server is down, GoAnywhere can now be configured to automatically check another FTP server to finish the task. If that server is down, it could look to e-mail to deliver the data. “So you can have more intelligence in your projects–you have a lot more control,” Luebbe says. “And there’s no limit to the number of steps you can perform in the project.”
Linoma enhanced GoAnywhere’s interface with Web 2.0-style techniques that make the product easier to user. For example, the ability to pull up menus with a right-click of the mouse makes the product behave more like a traditional Windows program than a Web app. Other improvements should help users to monitor data transfer tasks.
GoAnywhere 2.0 also gets smarter in how it deals with files, directories, and databases. For example, when using the product’s filters to find certain files in remote databases, the user can now add or subtract values from dates and times. Similarly, users can search and replace strings within files, which could be handy for stripping out odd characters in a file that GoAnywhere is preparing for somebody. Also, the product gains the capability to rename groups of files in a directory with user-defined prefixes and suffixes, which could be useful for organizing files and data.
Since it launched last year, GoAnywhere has found a comfortable spot in the operations of hundreds of System i shops. Many of these companies are in the financial services and healthcare industries, Luebbe says, and they’re using the product to securely send data to business partners, or to other branches.
In many cases, the product is replacing labor-intensive FTP mechanisms. “A lot of shops were just using FTP scripts on the iSeries to transfer data,” Luebbe says. “Every time they needed to exchange data with another company, they’d have to get a programmer involved to write a script, or a program, that would connect up to that partner and send that data.
“With GoAnywhere, you don’t have to do any programming. You just set it all up through our graphical interface. The product is being used by business analysts and project managers, and those types of folks that don’t have any programming knowledge. They really like the fact that they don’t have to get a programmer involved.”
GoAnywhere 2.0 is available now. Pricing on System i ranges from $3,995 for a P05 box to $13,995 for a P50 box. Pricing on Windows, Unix, and Linux servers is a flat $9,995 per box. For more information, visit www.linoma.com.