Conquer tough B2E requirements with Worklight
Christian Karasiewicz 270005XS4E Visits (3165)
This blog post is contributed by Thomas Skill, the Chief Architect for IBM's Global System Integrator Business Partners.
With the increasing demand for B2E type mobile solutions, I’d like to take a look at a two key functional areas of IBM Worklight that fit well into a B2E mobile solution. I find myself lately working with clients that, when it comes to a B2E mobile solution, all have a few similar requirements. The offline access requirements as well as certificate-based authentication are two great use cases that are often common among B2E mobile solutions.
First lets take a look at one of the common requirements for B2E that I have seen lately, offline access. Think of a field maintenance worker. The field technician may come into a central office to start their day, receive a work list for the day, then go and work through the list completing the tasks as the day progresses. This is a great use case for a mobile B2E solution. The field maintenance worker can now receive their work lists on a mobile device, updated in real time if necessary by a dispatch office throughout the day.
As they complete their tasks, it is common that the field technician has to make notes on various items related to the task, may want to take pictures with their mobile device that are related to the task, or may just need to close the work item when completed. Unfortunately, connectivity isn’t always available. Workers may have to work in tunnels or remote areas that aren’t always served with reliable connections.
Finally, another common requirement most people see but can be a challenge to implement is authentication. Think of the previous example of the field maintenance worker. This person may also be a manager or team leader and have a separate app for assigning tasks, approving work, or ordering supplies. We wouldn’t want this person to have to repeatedly sign on to each maintenance app they need to use, this would be a bad and frustrating user experience.
Worklight now offers certificate-based authentication. When this feature is enabled, a configuration option is provided to issue a certificate to the user for all apps or for a particular app on a device during the automatic X.509 certificate enrollment. Then users can authenticate to the enterprise using the issued certificate. Worklight apps can be enabled to require certificate-based authentication, which will then automatically use the enrolled certificate.
There are some great samples and exercises in the Worklight Infocenter, and I would encourage anyone interested in either of these to take a look. There are modules that cover both topics here, working offline as well as X.509 certificate authentication, not to mention several other Worklight functions.
The tutorials and samples can be found here: http