ClairMail makes mobile app access easy as e-mail
ClairAccess provides one-click remote entry into enterprise systems -- without recoding
Currently, you must rely on ClairMail to do all setup, implementation, and customization under a professional services contract. ClairAccess officials note that most customers don’t want to bother with implementation processes, which is a valid argument. But knowing the IT shops in large companies, I think they would like to have more control over the system, and I’m glad to see that a developer’s edition will be available later this year. This version will let your workers (with common Perl or Java experience) tweak scripts and integrate ClairAccess to custom applications.
Although I couldn’t try any hands-on development with ClairAccess 2.2, I did examine the system’s architecture and determined that there is scriptable access to practically any application. A WSDL Connector handles Web services; the HTML Connector forms the conduit to Web applications; ClairMail’s UI Connector is available for custom client applications; and the API Connector processes requests to application servers. With this flexibility -- and after speaking with several large ClairMail customers -- I see ClairMail being able to satisfy SLAs quickly and at a reasonable cost.
The system’s modular architecture appears secure and solid. For example, the appliance has a standard Service Guard module to protect against intrusion attempts and denial-of-service attacks, and it has anti-spam protection. As such, ClairMail becomes a front-line malware defense before requests even get to your Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, or Novell Groupware server.
A big part of the system’s usability stems from a single sign-on approach. Each user profile holds encrypted credentials for accessing various enterprise apps. When an e-mail request is received, ClairAccess verifies the requester’s identity, handles all the offstage application communications, and responds to the e-mail of record.
Moreover, actual messages are encrypted with either 3DES or AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). I was also pleased to see additional security options, such as second-factor authentication, that are useful when you need to authorize text banking or other sensitive transactions.
Today’s mobile devices are still relatively limited in terms of applications, but wireless e-mail is the one exception -- it’s an app that is well-suited to a mobile workforce. By taking advantage of this, ClairMail ClairAccess does a good job of improving app access; it should help a company with a lot of mobile workers quickly solve several business problems, from boosting sales efficiency to giving on-the-go customers access to help desk and financial applications.
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