Arpeggio Creates an IBM i Client for Dropbox
October 15, 2013 Alex Woodie
If you’ve ever wondered how the file sharing capabilities of Dropbox could be worked into an IBM i environment, wonder no more. Last week, Arpeggio Software announced ARP-DROP, a new, Dropbox-certified IBM i client that enables users to move files back and forth between their IBM i servers and the big Dropbox in the sky.
ARP-DROP which is free, gives organizations another way to automate and manage the sending, receiving, and synchronization of IBM i files, objects, and backups. After installing and configuring ARP-DROP on the IBM i server, a user can pull up the green-screen ARP-DROP interface to move database files, IFS files, and even backups to the Dropbox server, where they can be accessed by other authorized users.
Arpeggio has come up with a few use cases for the new software, including sharing excess inventory reports with customers and collecting work order updates from field technicians. The fact that the new software can leverage the native iOS and Android clients that Dropbox has developed also weighs heavily in Arpeggio’s favor.
Many file transfer activities that currently run on FTP could be replaced with Dropbox. It can also replace report distribution processes that currently rely on email. Online backup solutions and tape movement services (i.e. “the sneakernet”) are also potential road kill in the brave new Dropbox world.
Arpeggio worked with Dropbox to make ARP-DROP a certified product. According to Arpeggio CEO Richard Brown, it’s the only IBM i Dropbox product that is certified by Dropbox. The creation of ARP-DROP gives IBM i shops an easy way to participate in the movement toward cloud-based file sharing.
“Clearly Dropbox is the most popular solution in this market especially as it relates to mobile devices and tablets,” Brown states in a press release. “With ARP-DROP, IBM i users now have easy access to a whole new way of securely managing and sharing data.”
Brown also says that ARP-DROP is the only IBM i Dropbox product that doesn’t rely on PASE (although this may be a bit misleading, because it’s unclear if there even are any PASE-based Dropbox integration solutions designed for IBM i shops). Arpeggio could have taken the PASE route, but it would have been a cop out, Brown says.
“If someone were to port open source tools, they most likely would require PASE, because that is less work for the vendor to get the product out, but far more work for the customer,” Brown tells IT Jungle via email. “However, we believe that customers shouldn’t have to become familiar with PASE. So we went the extra mile to make sure that the components needed for Web services–things like JSON, OAuth, etc.–will work with the native IBM i environment so reliable automation is possible.”
Arpeggio is making ARP-DROP available as a free product, which is the same tact that the company (created by the founders of TrailBlazer Systems) has taken with its other products, including ARP-SFTP, ARP-ZIP, ARP-SAVE, ARP-MAIL, and SIFT-IT. The company primarily makes money by charging for maintenance and technical support.
Atlanta, Georgia-based Arpeggio tested a beta version of ARP-DROP with a handful of clients prior to the launch. Word somehow got out, though, and the product is now in production at dozens of IBM i shops, Brown says. “It appears to be something that was very needed and welcomed by the IBM i community,” he says.
To download ARP-DROP, go to Arpeggio’s website at www.arpeggiosoftware.com.