Computer Keyes Takes IFS Files Mobile
May 14, 2013 Alex Woodie
Computer Keyes last week unveiled a new IBM i software product that will allow users to access IFS files from any Web browser, including those running on mobile devices. The product, called kLink, includes two separate mobile application servers, including one for the employees of an organization, and another one for its customers.
The Internet is increasingly looking mobile. According to On Device Research, one in four Americans use mobile devices as their sole source of Internet access, and by 2015, more users will access the Internet from mobile devices than from PCs or other wireline channels, IDC says.
With so many Web-connected devices driving demand, it makes sense that IBM i shops would want to offer business documents through this rapidly evolving channel. Organizations have many options available to them when it comes to tools for building or modifying IBM i applications to support smartphone and tablet interfaces (see “The Sweet 16 Of Mobile App Dev Tools for IBM i” in yesterday’s The Four Hundred).
However, when an IBM i shop just wants to expose documents–such as orders, invoices, and receipts–developing a full mobile application may be overkill. In these cases, a product like Computer Keyes new kLink may satisfy the document and content delivery needs.
kLink was designed to allow IBM i shops to provide workers and employees with secure access to portions of their IBM i server’s Integrated File System (IFS), which is designed to store PC-type files, such as PDFs, Word docs, and image files. After the initial product setup, mobile users can access documents in their specific IFS directories without assistance from the IT department.
kLink uses its own built-in security system to deliver public and private content to the correct users, Computer Keyes says. An administrator gets started by defining a list of public directories in kLink that are available for anybody to access. Any directory that is not in that public list can only be accessed by a user who has been given a specific link to that private directory. (Hence the product’s name, Keyes Link.)
kLink includes two mobile content servers: one for external users, such as customers, and a second for internal users, including employees. Both servers can use SSL encryption for added security.
During the registration process, external customers are asked to provide an email address and a password that will be used for authentication. The customers are also asked to create security questions. Only after entering this information and authenticating themselves can the customers set up their links.
The second kLink server (for internal employees) uses the workers’ IBM i user names and passwords to authenticate the users. A series of challenge questions is also used for internal employees.
The Woodway, Washington, software company sells several products that can automatically place PDF versions of IBM i spooled files into the IFS, including KeyesPDF, KeyesMail, and KeyesArchive. Once the various Computer Keyes products have been set up, users will be able to access the documents from their mobile devices in a self-service manner.
kLink is available now. Licenses start at $3,750 per logical partition. For more information, see www.computerkeyes.com.