Red Oak Adds SSL, Macros to 5250 Emulator for iPad
October 15, 2013 Alex Woodie
Red Oak Software was ahead of the market last year when it shipped one of the industry’s first 5250/3270 terminal emulators for the popular Apple tablets. With last week’s deliver of Legacy Mobile 2.0, Red Oak filled in many of the functional gaps that existed in version 1, including support for SSL and macros.
The lack of SSL/TLS encryption in the first release of Legacy Mobile would not have been a deal-breaker for every organization looking for a way to access 5250 applications from an iPad. But for corporations that value security–either because of a strong culture of adopting best practices or because of regulatory requirements–the lack of support for encrypted 5250 sessions while in the field would likely have led them to some other solution in the rapidly developing market for mobile solutions.
SSL/TLS support is available in all editions of Legacy Mobile 2.0. This gives users the assurance that mobile employees will still be able to securely access IBM i applications and data while away from the office and outside of the corporate firewall.
Red Oak split Legacy Mobile into three editions with version 2.0, including Pro, Base, and Lite. The Pro version is differentiated by its support for user macros, which enable users to record repetitive tasks and then execute them on demand. Macros support is particularly important in a tablet environment, where virtual keyboards slow data entry and navigation compared to traditional computing environments that offer a mouse and a 122-key keyboard.
Red Oak says the record and playback functionality of its macro environment can span multiple screens. What’s more, it allows users to edit their inputs before executing them, so they can modify the contents of the command before executing it.
All existing Legacy Mobile users will be automatically upgraded to the new Pro version, which sells on the iTunes store for about $26. New customers that don’t require the macro support can buy a license for the Base version, which costs about $10 and can support an unlimited number of host sessions. The Lite edition is free, but offers only limited connectivity to 5250 and 3270 sessions.
The Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, company made several other enhancements with Legacy Mobile 2.0, namely an improved runtime engine, and enhanced support for BlueTooth wireless connections.
The company is still working on a SDK that will allow iPad developers to “add legacy programmatic integration as a critical ‘under the covers’ component to any native iPad application,” the company says.
It also is apparently still working on an Android version of its emulator, which the company last year said it was developing. While Android tablets have more momentum in the overall tablet market, the Apple iPad still appears to be the favorite for corporations and other organizations that value the locked-down nature of the iOS and iTunes environment, as opposed to the free-for-all that Google’s Android and Play Store environment resemble.
Paid licenses include two years of technical support. For more information, see the company’s website at www.redoaksw.com.