Linoma Delivers Android App for MFT Server
July 9, 2013 Alex Woodie
Linoma Software last month officially unveiled a new Android app that allows mobile users to upload and download files to and from the IBM i server (or any other supported server). The new client, called GoAnywhere File Transfer, works much like Linoma’s Web client. It supports encryption, and even features the capability to insert download file links into emails.
The folks at Linoma have been working on the Android app for at least the past six months. The Android app has been available on the Google Play Store since late May, but Linoma waited until two weeks ago to make the big announcement.
Demand for the product was high, Linoma chief architect Bob Luebbe says. While any device that supports a full Web browser could theoretically run the GoAnywhere Web client, customers demanded a better experience that was tailored for smartphones and tablets.
“We know our customers are increasingly using smartphones to interact with their workplace,” Luebbe says in a press release. “As employees become more mobile, we wanted to make it easier for them to connect with their corporate servers to pull the authorized files they needed, or to upload information from wherever they were.”
The new app is delivered for free as part of GoAnywhere Services, the secure FTP software that customers install on-premise, usually to set up portals that allow them to communicate with customers and vendors via Web apps. (The full-featured GoAnywhere Director product, on the other hand, is aimed primarily at customers who will mostly use it internally, often with the full Windows client.)
Just like the Web client, the new Android app allows authorized users to only access designated folders on the corporate network, Linoma says. These folders can be restricted with certain access rights, such as read-only or upload permissions, the company says. No special training is required, and file transfers can be initiated with a few taps on the screen.
The Android app works with all the same protocols supported by GoAnywhere Services, including FTPS, SFTP, AS2, HTTPS, and more. The software also offers a secure mail feature that allows users to send documents as attachments to email. Instead of actually attaching the document, the software replaces the attachment with a unique hyperlink, enabling the recipient to securely download the document directly from the GoAnywhere Services server. This bypasses the need to send files as email attachments, which is not a best business practice due to security risks and the fact that large files are often bounced back.
Linoma plans to add an iOS app to the GoAnywhere Services suite this fall, Luebbe says. Neither Blackberry nor Windows 8 are on the Nebraska company’s mobile radar screen at the moment. However, the Web client already runs quite nicely on Windows 8 devices, he says, so there’s no need for extra development work. The company is targeting its GoAnywhere Services product with mobile apps because it’s the MFT product most often used for ad hoc MFT, he adds.
“We’re always listening to our customers and this new Android app was something they were asking for,” Luebbe says. “Our customers’ trading partners and vendors can also use this app to exchange files with our customers’ systems. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Linoma’s GoAnywhere products (including GoAnywhere Services, GoAnywhere Director, and GoAnywhere Gateway) run natively on a number of platforms, including IBM i, Unix, Windows, Linux, and Linux for z/OS. The products support an array of protocols (FTP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, POP3, and IMAP); support encryption capabilities; queue jobs for execution on servers; and keep an audit trail of all activities. GoAnywhere Director is the most feature-rich product, and offers some additional capabilities not found in GoAnywhere Services, including support for PGP and AES encryption, file conversion capabilities, and the capability to do direct database connections.