Android Devices Tap into the Mainframe
IBM Maximo Everyplace
IBM Maximo Everyplace allows applications that access Maximo Asset Management to be configured for Android devices without installing any code on them. As a result, programs can be configured to use smaller screens without affecting functionality. This allows data to be collected and updated in the field, avoiding delays and possible errors, thus making mobile devices an excellent source of real-time data acquisition. This feature applies to IBM Maximo query data as well.
IBM Lotus Notes
IBM Lotus Notes Traveler for Android provides access to data from e-mails and calendars hosted in the Lotus Domino server on the mainframe. The Notes Traveler can be installed through the Lotus Application Installer, available for download from Lotus. Once you run the installer, it will request information regarding the email account and data connectivity to access the Domino server, which must be configured to allow access. During installation, the Android device must have wireless access—via Wi-Fi or 3G networks—to download and install the remaining components. Some of the new features of Lotus Notes Traveler 8.5.3 for Android include:
- Support for Android 3.X tablets
- The ability to send and read Domino-encrypted email
- Signatures for email messages can be multiple lines
- The maximum size of email attachments that can be auto-downloaded is increased to 10MB
- Users can be notified when an email is being sent outside the organization
- The ability to dial individuals by tapping contact information in calendar appointment entries
IBM Cognos BI is designed to help executives and front-line workers make quick, effective decisions. It utilizes both historical and real-time data to produce reports and graphs to illustrate trends and predict developments. Data can be stored in DB2 on the mainframe running with Cognos BI, which can be hosted in both z/OS or z/VM using Linux. Usually accessed at a workstation, this data is also useful to mobile workers who need to make decisions in remote locations such as customer sites. IBM Cognos Mobile and Active Report allow these mobile users to interact with dashboards, reports and data analysis via Android devices both online and offline. (Offline mode uses data previously downloaded to the device.)
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer allows users to analyze business data on their Android device by enabling enterprise data to be searched and analyzed graphically, regardless of where the user is. This allows the decision-makers to act based on up-to-date data.
SAP CRM, ERP and Workflow
Android access to SAP CRM, ERP and Workflow can be tested through a demo that’s available in the Android Market. This Java native app, called Mobility for SAP, was jointly developed by SAP and ISEC7. It allows direct access to a demo system hosted by SAP and requires no middleware components. This allows mobile access and even data cache for offline access.
Many ISV applications already allow users to perform transactions on Android devices that, in turn, are completed on the mainframe. These include home-banking apps provided by many financial institutions.
Room to Grow
A large number of ISVs are creating or porting their software to Android devices. Every day, thousands of new apps are made available via the Android Market. The advent of Android 4, which promises interface consistency between smartphones and tablets, should only accelerate the adoption of the Android platform by the enterprises, who seek to access data and interact with applications on the System z platform.