New Features for version 5

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During the development of Version 5 we have concentrated on improving mSuite from the perspective of both the end users and the administrators.  We have also looked to improve the organizational value of the solution.

 

       For administrators

The following features have been added to the product to simplify installation and management.  This will result in a significant improvement to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the product.

Simplified Installation

The installation process has been simplified, allowing an administrator to carry out a clean installation and get the first device connected, loaded and operational within 30 minutes.  The standard recommended installation configuration now uses a public shared internet proxy - the CommonTime Switching Center (CSC).  This removes the need to open inbound TCP ports through firewalls.  There are two other optional proxy configurations, see Proxy Configurations.

 

The CSC is a highly resilient multi-hosted routing service provided by CommonTime.  The Connection Manager Server (CMS) and Exchange Adapter each establish and maintain outbound SSL connections to the CSC.  Full mSuite client devices open an end to end AES encrypted VPN tunnel directly to their own respective host mSuite servers.  Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) clients use SSL to secure the connections from the device to the CSC.

 

In summary, the CSC supports installations where the only firewall requirements are that the machine hosting mSuite can make an internet connection.  Once the connection is made to the CSC, this is used bi-directionally for all communications.

 

TCP only required protocol for an mSuite installation

mSuite does not use UDP ports.  This reduces firewall considerations.

 

Actionable Alerts

Actionable Alerts allow the administrator to deal with system problems that occur during installation or normal operation.  An optional tray application alerts administration if something requires their attention and launches them straight into the management console to “action” the alert and resolve the problem.  Actionable Alerts include:

Configurations Problems
Component Failures
Continuation Instructions

These alerts are also used during the installation process, where they are used to resolve any configuration problems.  There is an Installation Completion Alert that instructs the administration on how to get the first device operational, with detailed instruction of the web URL for the Provisioning Portal.

 

Simplified load balancing and failover using the CSC

Load Balancing and Failover can be simply achieved by installing multiple mSuite servers that share a resilient SQL database.  The CSC looks after all load balancing and failover scenarios between the connected mSuite servers.  Scalability and reliability can be incrementally grown through the addition of mSuite server machines connecting to the CSC.  One mSuite server can support up to 3,000 mobile users.

 

Self Generated Certificate

The server installation process now generates a self signed certificate and installs it rather than using the CommonTime evaluation certificate.  This improves security and removes the need for the mSuite administrator to provide a server certificate.  A mSuite administrator can still use their own certificate if this meets their organizations security needs better.

 

Simplified Device Management

There are subtle but significant changes to application deployment in order to simplify the process and make it easier to understand.

 

Simple Integrated on Device Security Model

On device security is now an integral part of mSuite rather than an add-on component.  This currently provides the following features for Windows Mobile and Nokia S60-3 E Series devices:

Mail and attachments can be automatically encrypted when stored on the device with AES 256
Policy management for devices enforces password/pin, device lock characteristics.
Remote wipe for lost or stolen devices
Encryption of storage card data (WM 6 and later).

 

Secure Provisioning Portal

mSuite includes a remote OTA provisioning portal capability.  This allows users with devices that do not have CommonTime mSuite software on them to install and configure their devices.  The following process takes place:

1.The user downloads and runs a 'Bootloader' program - either from http://get.commontime.com or from a corporate website.
2.The 'Bootloader' program connects to the mSuite server.
3.The user authenticates using the configured authentication method.
4.The portal determines the connected device type and mSuite builds a customized installer for the user that contains the mSuite software, the Replication policy, the Device policy, the Security policy and any deployed mForms and/or 3rd party Line of Business (LOB) applications.
5.This package is downloaded and installed onto the client.
6.The client software makes a connection and replicates to establish the base set of information.
7.The device continues normal operation in Immediate Transaction eXchange (ITX) mode.

 

Multiple Authentication Methods

mSuite supports multiple authentication methods allowing it to meet the security requirements of most organizations; these include LDAP, Active Directory, RADIUS, Domino Internet passwords and Domino ID file passwords.  Additional requirements can be fulfilled through CommonTime's Professional Services team as required.

 

Self registration (automatic user creation)

Domino Internet and LDAP authentication provide new support for self registration for users.  One or more groups in the Domino or LDAP directory list the users that will be supported by mSuite.  As each user authenticates for the first time, as part of the provisioning process, they are automatically imported in the mSuite system and placed in the designated group.  Administrators no longer need to manually import users into mSuite.

 

HTTP Proxy/tunneling

This Windows Mobile only facility forces all device HTTP/HTTPS traffic through the mSuite 256 bit AES encrypted Tunnel to a corporate web proxy, ensuring that employees can only connect to corporately approved sites and that corporate monitoring can be enforced.  This also improves the security of web traffic.  For more information, click here.

 

Application tunneling

This Windows Mobile only facility allows any collaborating application that uses TCP communication on a specific port to use the mSuite 256 bit AES encrypted Tunnel to provide over the air security (OTA).  For more information, click here.

 

Enhanced Reporting

Additional reporting capabilities are now available to help administrators manage their mobile devices.  These include:

Device Inventory – what software is deployed on what device?
Deployment Status – I’ve deployed this software, how is it progressing?

 

Improved Scalability

Changes to the server software have improved scalability.  mSuite now supports up to 3000 users on a suitably sized machine.  This is more than a 100% improvement over mSuite 4.3.

The change detection scan cycle has been optimized and multi-threaded to improve the scalability of the mNotes server.

The ITX protocol is much less data intensive and much more responsive - no information is sent to maintain the replication status.  It works through a 2-way transaction log recorded by both the client and server and applied according the ITX configuration rules.  As well as reduced data flows, this also reduces server overheads.

 

Symbian Series 60 3rd edition support (Nokia)

Symbian Series 60 3rd edition devices are now fully supported with an ITX based mSuite client.  This includes application provisioning and, for Nokia E-series devices, on-device security and remote wipe.

Simplified Operation

The entire management console has been re-organized and simplified.  It is now more task focused to make management easier.

Actionable Alerts allow the administrator to deal with system problems that occur during installation or normal operation.

An optional tray application will alert the administrator if something requires their attention and launch them straight into the management console to “action” the alert and resolve the problem.

Client Configuration Management

There is added granularity and control over the client software, the device policy and the security policy.  Settings can be delegated to user control or locked to stop users from reconfiguring actions.

Replication Settings Policy – this controls all aspects of the configuration of the mSuite client.
Device Settings Policy – this controls the characteristics of the device that may affect reliability, security or supportability. For example, the ability to use Infrared Connections or Bluetooth, stopping programs from executing on the device and setting back light settings to improve battery.
Security Policy – set up and enforce a password policy for the device, ensure that mail and attachments are stored encrypted.

 

Working Set preserved and restored

The Replication Setting Policy that has been applied to the device and any changes that the user has been allowed to make constitute the 'working set'.  Changes to the working set are pushed as part of ITX, this means that if an end user obtains a replacement device, when the re-provision occurs, they  receive correctly configured software.  Users will also get their working set back, restoring the device configuration to its previous state.

 

Database management

The mSuite database now automatically house keeps itself to ensure that it doesn’t create a support problem through uncontrolled growth.

 

 

       For enterprises

Support for non-wireless devices

mSuite is unique in providing support for mobile devices making connection through any form of TCP connection.  A device does not have to be wireless capable to work.  Devices that do not have cellular phone capabilities can fully participate in an mSuite solution.  These devices can be older iPaqs for example.

mSuite works just as effectively for devices that do not have cellular capabilities, but do support WiFi (includes WiMAX and LTE).  This provides secure ITX based operation from public or private locations that provide internet access.

 

Inclusion of mForms client

All Version 5 mSuite clients now include the mForms run time.  This provides unique mobile application support capabilities.  To ensure the maximum value, applications are available as follows.

 

1.Standard Applications
These are standard applications provided by CommonTime and included as part of the mSuite license.  mSuite is supplied with 2 applications; Timesheets and Expenses.  Additional applications will be available as developed.
2.Subscription Applications
These function in areas such as CRM, FSA, Merchandising, Surveys and SFA.  They are standard applications that are available from CommonTime on a ‘per user’ subscription basis. PSO services will be available to help customers with integration and customization.
3.Custom Applications
Organizations can apply their own Notes/Domino skills to mobilize any Lotus Notes application using the capabilities of mForms.  PSO services are available from CommonTime to help customers meet the own specific mobile application needs.

 

Opening the path to your mobile future - the mForms roadmap lays out an exciting path into a world where the creation and implementation of mobile Line of Business applications is in the hands of business professionals.  In the same way that users can construct Excel spread sheets to solve their own problems quickly and efficiently, the mForms roadmap ends with a similar empowerment, ensuring that every organization has no internal constraints on maximizing the returns from mobility.

 

Cost Control

Clients can be optionally configured to detect that roaming tariffs apply and to switch into a more cost effective mode of operation.  These operational modes include:

Manual – don’t do anything unless I tell you to.
Send Immediate – if I write/do something on the device that needs to be sent to Domino, send them and see if there are any changes for me to collect at the same time.
Scheduled – check for changes on a schedule that I’ve selected.
ITX – receive and send all changes in real time.

 

 

       For end users

Remote Free Text Search

Users can remotely search their entire mail database, review the results and transfer any required email documents to their mobile device.  This ensures that their mail is always available.

 

Enhanced Directory lookup

On the Symbian client, remote directory lookup is tightly integrated with the mail client and the type ahead feature.  Tighter remote directory lookup integration with the email client is now a roadmap item for Windows Mobile.

 

Support for Notes Encrypted Mail

You can now both send and receive Lotus Notes encrypted mail from the mobile device.

 

ITX Experience

ITX is CommonTime’s new 2-way push model introduced with mSuite.  This provides the most functionally complete 2-way push solution available in the world of Notes/Domino.

All of the following items are pushed in either direction when a change occurs:

   Mail

Sent and Received Mail
Unread Marks - To minimize server load unread marks are only pushed from the server when some other document or folder change occurs in the mail database.  They are always send immediately from the client.
Folder Filing Operations
Any folder creation, deletion or rename
Mail can be pushed from any folder
Mail can be pushed from any of the multiple mail files (up to 4 supported)

 

 

   Calendar

Calendar changes
Meeting Notices
Calendar entries can be pushed from any of the multiple calendars (up to 4 supported).  This allows groups to share group calendars effectively.

 

 

   Tasks contacts and journal

Changes to appropriate documents are immediately sent both ways by ITX

 

Improved Calendaring and Scheduling support

mSuite offers the most functionally rich and reliable mobile device implementation of Lotus Notes Calendaring and Scheduling available, this includes:

Free Time Search
Accept, Tentative, Decline, Counter Propose or Delegate meeting invitations
Full support for repeating and custom meetings and their associated notices
Meeting status review and Chair actions.

 

Expenses application

mSuite includes a simple to use application to help you easily and accurately record expense information and then prepare and submit an expense claim.  Completed expense reports are created as Excel attachments or XML files and placed in the email outbox for submission or saved to storage. This can be sent to the associated work-flow/approval/integration application made available to mSuite customers. Currently only available for Windows Mobile.

 

Time recording application

A simple to use time recording application that allows the user to track time spent against any categorization such as clients and functional areas projects.  Completed time sheets are created as Excel or XML and placed in the email outbox for submission to any email address or saved to storage.  This can be sent to the associated work-flow/approval/integration application made available to mSuite customers.  Currently only available for Windows Mobile.

 

General Usability

The mSuite client is designed to be unobtrusive allowing the user to focus on applications such as email and calendar with full confidence that information is flowing using the ITX model.  ITX also maximizes battery life and minimizes voice/data interaction problems to greatly enhance the overall end user experience.

Use the Prime Time Schedule to ensure that you are not interrupted needlessly by incoming data and information 24 hours per day.

Easier to get help

We have added a number of features to improve our effectiveness in supporting our customers.  The objective is to get to the right answer more quickly.  We have added support wizards to the clients and console to ensure that we get accurate information and supporting logs when the case is raised, this ensures that we can respond accurately and quickly.

 


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