Attachmate Emulators Run Natively on iOS and Android
November 4, 2014 Alex Woodie
Attachmate yesterday unveiled a new release of its Reflection terminal emulation software that allows users to access servers from mobile devices using an SSH client that runs natively on the Android and iOS operating systems.
The new iOS and Android editions of the Attachmate Reflection for UNIX suite are targeted at IT administrators who need to access to Unix and Linux servers from smartphones and tablets. The apps, which are available on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, provide VT emulation and uses SSH to secure sessions.
According to Attachmate product manager Kris Lall, the apps have several features that make them easy and intuitive to use, such as an augmented keyboard that includes all the function keys that administrators are accustomed to using on full Telnet clients, as well as the ConnectBox and Keybar functions.
“What the Keybar allows you to do is to choose which keys you want to have access to,” Lall says. “You’re able to bring up the keyboard and tap on that specific key. So if you run pretty complicated Linux or Unix commands on the command line, it’s easy to fill those commands.”
The Connect Box feature, meanwhile, allows users to type in the name of a server and see a list of servers that the user has recently connected to. The user can then start a new VT session by tapping it on the screen.
Lall says Attachmate’s plan is to deliver similar native iOS and Android apps next year for its Reflection for IBM emulation suite, which offers TN5250 and TN3270 connectivity for IBM i and z/OS servers.
“We did some market research and what we found was that the Unix and Linux market, it seems like there’s a bit more demand in the iPad and Android space for connecting Unix and Linux servers than connecting the mainframe or the AS/400,” he says.
Attachmate does offer 5250 and 3270 emulators for mobile clients, but they’re not native. The Reflection for IBM 2014 suite, which it released earlier this year, bundles the host client components inside the Citrix Xen Receiver, which is a Windows emulator that runs on iOS and Android.
While this setup works, the prospect of running an emulator inside of an emulator across the ICA protocol does add a bit of complexity and bulk to the network. Native mobile apps for iOS and Android offer a cleaner approach.