LANSA Launches LongReach, a Free iOS Client for the IBM i Server
December 6, 2011 Alex Woodie
LANSA this week unveiled LongReach, an iOS client that allows users to securely share files, folders, and data between an Apple device and an IBM i server. The iOS client is a free download available now on the iTunes app store, and LANSA is also giving away the IBM i server component to the first 1,000 people to download it.
LongReach can be used as a standalone iOS client, where it enables users to store files on the iOS device; create, copy, paste, rename, and delete files and folders; share files with other apps; and manage email attachments.
But in its strongest configuration, LongReach is coupled with an IBM i server, enabling encrypted file transfers, folder sharing, and data synchronization between the Apple device and the IFS component of the corporate i server.
In this way, LongReach can be used to remotely capture and upload data to the IBM i server, including documents, presentations, spreadsheets, photographs, audio recordings, video, and text files. Upon completion of the upload, the iOS client can optionally send a notification to a message queue, triggering additional actions and processing on the IBM i server or business application.
One of the most obvious applications of LongReach is collecting data from the field. LANSA gives the example of the insurance adjuster taking photos of an accident scene, making notes, and then sending the photos and notes back to an IBM i-based claims processing system, which triggers the next step in the claims process. LongReach could also be used to streamline the expense claim system, including taking pictures of invoices and filling out forms. Installed in a private cloud environment, it could foster collaboration by facilitating the sharing of spreadsheets, reports, and other files.
LANSA says LongReach’s asynchronous messaging architecture makes it simple to transfer a file from an Apple device and then trigger a business process on the IBM i server. This enables LongReach to communicate with the business process without requiring tight coupling or writing specific data collection routines, the vendor says.
Access to LongReach files and folders is password protected, on both the iOS device and the IBM i server. On the Apple device, access is governed through iOS data protection services.
When LongReach is used with the LongReach server, each user gets a private folder that contains his own files and sub-folders. A user can choose to share his private folder with other users, and can also use the public ShareBox folder that’s accessible to all users.
LANSA has also included a “refresh” feature that makes it easy for users to see what’s on the IBM i server, without having to download anything. The user can choose to download the files or folders after refreshing the view.
LANSA product marketing manager David Brault says LongReach is the first of several mobile solutions that LANSA will roll out in 2012. “The impetus is to support the IBM i community with new technology and establish ourselves as leaders in mobile technology for IBM i customers,” he says via email.
The LongReach client is currently available in the Apple iTunes store. For more information on LongReach or to download the server software, see www.lansa.com/longreach.