DB2/400 Queries Go Mobile with New SystemObjects Tool
July 27, 2010 Alex Woodie
SystemObjects, a French company that makes development tools for the IBM i platform, recently announced Business4Mobile, a collection of new development tools for creating applications that run on the new generation of smart mobile devices and access data residing on the System i, among other database servers.
Business4Mobile provides a pre-built framework for accessing pre-defined queries from a database. Upon logging into the Business4Mobile application from a smartphone, a user is prompted to choose from a list of available folders, which contain links to the queries. Depending on the users’ needs, the administrator can make queries available that relate to sales, customers, suppliers, or other statistics.
When selected, Business4Mobile will execute the chosen query, and return the results in a sortable grid. Users can view results in a chart for some types of queries, such as sales by region. The software includes a couple of navigation buttons, as well as a drop-down box that allows users to quickly jump to other queries within the same library.
The new product does not require anything to be installed on the smartphone; data is delivered via the Web browser installed on the smartphone. The Business4Mobile suite is composed of two parts: a Windows-based administration module and a PHP server component that installs next to the Apache Web server on a Windows, Linux, Unix, or System i server. The administration module includes a graphical query builder that administrators can use to build new queries or to import existing queries. It’s also used to manage users and define what queries they can access.
“It’s crucial that ‘C level’ execs can have access, regardless of their database or their cell phones, to their dashboards,” says SystemsObjects CEO Serge Charbit.
One customer already making use of Business4Mobile is the SoDExi, a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group that provides express freight services from its quarter-million-square-foot hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. SoDExi uses Business4Mobile to give decision makers quick access to information.
“With Business4Mobile, we were able to easily create dashboards to measure the real-time freight volumes treated and the main discrepancies,” says Fabrice Noël, CIO of SoDExi.
Business4Mobile supports the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, and Nokia mobile platforms. PCs running Windows, Mac OS/X, and Linux are also supported, as are the Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari Web browsers. On the backend, the software supports the DB2/400, SQL Server, Oracle, and Informix databases.
Business4Mobile is available in several languages, including English, French, and other languages. Pricing starts at $500 for a license for five users. For more information, see www.business4mobile.com.