Axional Mobile Core

Connect mobile users to the precise
data and functionality they require

Axional Mobile is a software platform which allows IT departments to dynamically roll out business applications to mobile users with Android™ devices, from a centralized system. Companies can in this way mobilize its applications with unprecedented flexibility.

Faced with the conventional developments of mobility applications whereby each new development requires a new application Axional Mobile provides a global infrastructure through which the device can execute applications built on the server while you use all of the features of the device.

Consists of:

  1. The server system for SOA architecture applications, with horizontal scalability, available for Linux OS. It provides infrastructure services: connection to database systems, load balancing, application dictionaries, data transport, etc.
  2. The operating system is designed to operate in the “cloud” which permits administrators to define security policies and the rights of users while providing a wide range of system services that go from access to the corporative disk to the management of the Wifi printers.
  3. The layer of transport and communications that allow corporate servers to process the requests of multiple mobile users through the SOAP services balanced in the “cloud”
  4. A framework for the design of applications that allow putting at the disposal of the mobile users’ complex forms, key transactions as well as operational reports and OLTP reports.
  5. A framework to develop the “business intelligence reporting” units which lets programmers to provide end users high-quality reports with dynamic graphics
  6. A system of high-quality, on-demand PDF document generation as much for reporting systems as
    for formatted documents (orders, delivery notes, invoices).
  7. A geographical module for geospatial data processing with data projections onto maps, to managing requests for points of interest near to the device.
  8. A GPS tracking module and real-time localization which allow receiving and sending of orders to the devices according to their position.
  9. The replication module which allows maintaining the synchronization of data from central systems to the mobile devices and vice versa in automatic way.
  10. The local printer management module with “printer discovery” capabilities allowing the mobile users to use the printers available in their environment.

Architecture

Given that the scalability, the reliability and the transactional integrity are even more important in a mobile environment, and as interruptions of communications are frequent in mobile devices, Axional Mobile incorporates capabilities for the recovery of errors and the handling of emergency situations.

In a traditional scenario, if the communication between the customer and the server stops, the process simply ceases to function. On a mobility level, the ‘without’ connection mode can happens very often. Therefore, a process has to be available as much as possible and resume as soon as the communications become available again.

Based on these needs, the system provides the infrastructure necessary for the deployment of enterprise applications on mobile devices.

SOAP


The dialog between the central systems and mobile users takes place using a combination of services based on the SOAP protocol.

SOAP is a protocol for the interchange of information structures using WEB services on the HTTP transport network which is maintained in XML.

The core server of the system gives mobile customers multiple SOAP services grouped into four categories:

  1. Operating system and application control services, which supply the infrastructure about these so that the users receive access to resources such as desks, intelligent data channels, menus and access to data sources and applications. It also includes the important data-replication system.
  2. The SQL operation service, which allows the customer applications to conduct operations in both directions of the security controls.
  3. An application operations service, which allows that the transactions, reports and queries defined in the central systems can be used by the mobile terminals.
  4. Groups of transactions service, which permits the processing of complex operations grouped by atomic operations.

To solve the problems of interruption of coverage and to maintain the operation of the system, Axional Mobile uses a serialization mechanism from the SOAP messages on the SDCARD memory of the mobile device.

The reading cache


The SOAP dialog received on the servers is kept in a local cache. In this way all requests made during the last few hours are still available whenever there is no coverage.

When a user requires data and doesn’t have a connection, the system reviews if there is an available copy in the cache. This copy is treated as an original message of the system and offers the same performance. The user doesn’t notice the difference in being disconnected except for an indicator on the control bar and slight vibrations of the device.

The transaction cache


If the data that the user is seeing can be modified and at the moment of the confirmation there is no connection, the transaction is stored automatically so that it can be transmitted as soon as a signal becomes available.

Multi-tenant: Scalability in mind

Axional Mobile is designed according to a scalable multi-tenant architecture. A multi-service architecture means that it is prepared to attend to distinct environments at the same time (whether they may be departments within one organization or distinct organizations).

The ‘tenants’ with a multi-user service function in virtual isolation between themselves:

The organizations can use and customize an application, as if each one had a separate request. Notwithstanding, your data and personalizations remain completely isolated from the activities of all the other ‘tenants’ of the service. The instance of a single application effectively transforms itself into time for execution of the particular needs of the ‘tenant’ at a given moment.

Scalability

The system features mechanisms to take advantage of the benefits of the corporate systems in terms of scale through options such as:

  • “Round robin” balancing of SOAP requests to clusters of application servers.
  • Intelligent redirection of the requests for access on the basis of data by the mobile devices to primary or secondary servers according to the nature of the request.
  • Charge thresholds for groups of users being able to determine the number of active requests in the ‘connection pool’.
  • Spread of the operational performance which allows one to obtain usage statistics and detect bottle-necks.

Replication

However, not all operations can be dealt through a read-write cache. While the cache can be perfectly viable for consulting reports or carry out simple transactions, more complex operations are not capable of being supported in an efficient way.

To overcome this gap, the system incorporates a data-replication system which allows mobile devices with common database structures with corporate systems to remain synchronized.

Synchronization Policy

Replication is defined in a synchronization policy. This policy allows the definition of:

  • Which tables of the system are replicated.
  • The direction of the replication (upload, download, neutral, merge).
  • The synchronization intervals (each hour, at 20:30 on Saturdays, the first day of the month).
  • The operations to delete obsolete data in the terminals (discontinued items, expired pricelists, nowformer clients).

Changes to the data model

Replication supports structural changes to the server’s data model which are detected by clients who will adapt the local tables to these changes without the need of user adjustments. Adding a new column or even a new table requires no effort.

Remote administration

The replicated information is stored in a local database managed through SQLite. The database can be analyzed remotely by the IT department by means of sending SMS commands.

The IT administrator can define in the server a series of SQL operations to execute (a batch of commands). Thereafter a SMS message can be sent to a specific mobile indicating: “process batch N”.

The device, without the user’s intervention, requests from the server the batch of operations, executes them and then sends the results to the central server.

The administrator will not only get a SMS confirming the receipt of the operation but the whole result of the process.

Content provider

The data replication system is available to other applications via a content provider. The provider of the content is a mechanism of the Android™ operating system which allows the applications to interact with data that is not its property.

For example, a sales force application like Axional Sales Force or a maintenance function as Axional Mobile CMMS doesn’t need to implement complex synchronization mechanisms nor transactions transport. It simply operates with local data structures. Axional Mobile does the rest.

Deployment of applications

One of the problems with the conventional development environments is that they are not prepared for the design of mobility applications.

Axional Mobile uses an architecture based on metadata which provides ultimate flexibility and scalability in the design of mobile applications.

In Axional Mobile all the components which the programmers use and that the users see are representations of metadata stored in a relational structure which is called the dictionary.

The data entry forms, the reports, the access privileges, the individual business rules, including the definitions of the tables and indices are abstract constructions which exist in the metadata and define the application.

Initial system download

The emergency systems such as Apple in the first place or Android™ later on have revolutionized the application deployment mechanisms. Axional Mobile is distributed as an “apk” which can be sent by e-mail so that it is auto-installable or can be downloaded from the Android™ market.

Resource administration

UA mobile user identifies themselves to the corporate system with an identifier and a password. The administrators can manage from a web interface:

  1. Available database resources. This means: which systems or data sources are going to be able to access the user’s applications (real, tests, a certain company).
  2. System resources such as the shared remote disk, the “quota” of CPU, etc.
  3. Desktops and access menus for applications allowing a user to have multiple desktops in the mobile to organize different tasks
  4. Information channels of the system applications.

Publication of new applications

Once the core of the Axional Mobile has been installed the organization is in a position to provide access to its corporate portals in dynamic way.

It is no longer necessary to re-install applications in the mobile to have at your disposal all the new features. All the devices are administered from a single point.

Security

Security is more important than ever in mobile environments. Axional Mobile provides the security infrastructure necessary to manage the scenario of distributed applications which includes:

  1. The system of assignation and control of the databases, which lets define which users are granted and under which conditions they get access.
  2. A system of “entity rules” which define the access to data patterns and allow independent definition of the applications whose subsets are accessible.
  3. The system of assignation of “entity rules” to users.
  4. A protection system for SOAP operations, so that not all of the services are available to all users.
  5. The log system which allows anytime the drawing up of query operations also including transaction operations while being able to track and trace what has been consulted by a determined person or what changes have been performed in a register of an specific table.
  6. Data transport security using SSL protocol.
  7.  256-bit AES encryption of SQLite database files to protect illegal access to device data.

Furthermoe, in case of loss or theft of the mobile, exists the possibility of, as well as blocking access, sending a SMS message to destroy the locally stored data.

Desktops

The application offers the IT department the possibility to organize the mobile systems on desktops.

  • Each desktop can wear each own style configuration with certain background image.
  • Each desktop can provide distinct menu options. For example, a desktop which groups together the sales area, can show specific options , distinct from the CRM desktops.
  • Each desktop has a determined collection of data channels which rely upon the access to business intelligence resources..

The desktops allows the grouping of options and to improve the use of the application in small devices.

Application service

So how does one publish applications in the mobile without the need for specific development for each new application? The server incorporates a web development environment which enables the design of menus, sophisticated consultation screens, forms, work reports, transactions, PDF documents, etc.

These applications are assigned to the users by means of the profiles on the databases, or at least, the databases that it has access to.

Menus


The system provides administrators with the possibility to construct hierarchical menus and rapid access to the application system. Similarly, the client application stores an up-dated list in a permanent way with the most frequent operations.

The user therefore has three mechanisms by which they can rapidly access operations.

Consultation system


The database searches can require data filters and guided questions. For example: to request client sales in a determined period or to ascertain the stock of a given product in a warehouse.

With Axional Mobile it is very easy to place at the disposition of the users’ complex reports and to bestow them with search facilities which can include:

  • Operators which are equal, larger, larger than, smaller, smaller than, in-between.
  • Data lists of a single selection.
  • Lists of data from a multiple selection.
  • Logical operators “O” (Operador OR (O) in comparison to AND (Y))

Operational reports


The outcome of a consultation is a real-time operational report whose result has been obtained from the database assigned to the mobile user. This report may contain aggregated data, totals and that which is most relevant: links to navigate to be able navigate through to the detail via other related reports.

Hence, by way of a simple “click” on a piece of data the user will be able to navigate to another report which will reveal to the user the related detail or information.

Transactions


The consultations may be carried out to obtain results on which to operate; such as for example, to consult the client’s conditions. With the due permissions, the mobile user will be able to make changes to the visualized data which will be processed by the server within a transaction. This transaction could trigger such processes as for example: To request the approval of the new customer conditions.

The capture of rapid data or lightweight transactions allow for the design of forms of great operational richness but with much simplicity. These data captures can include conditional questions based on the answers to earlier data allowing the equipping of intelligence to the terminal. Just as the remainder of the transactions operate in line against the of central database system.

Document Generation

If the mobile user needs to print this data, an equivalent PDF document can be requested at any time. The server will generate on-the-spot a high quality PDF which can be printed locally through the Wifiintegrated print manager.

These documents can be not only reports but complex documents such as incidence notes, invoices, delivery notes, offers or purchase orders.

  • Business operational reports, which allow the production of work reports including break-out groups, totals, etc. with automatic “layout” adjustment and letter font.
  • Pixel perfect reports, which allow sending documents such as templates o information slips with adjustment of automatic “layout” and letter font.
  • Page perfect reports, which allows the generation of documents with format adjusted to pre-defined measurements such as invoices, delivery notes, dispatch notes, etc.

Analytics

Axional Mobile Analytics is a fully integrated Web and Mobile access tool that provides business users the OLAP analysis and reporting capabilities they can rely on for information and analysis requirements. It gives business users the tools and flexibility to dynamically obtain reports and graphics on a highly interactive and easy to use mobile interface. It provides users with instant access to business information making it meaningful and relevant according to business demands.

Characteristics

  • Reporting
    • Intuitive reporting by simple use of drag and drop of dimensions and measures
    • Output in most extended formats: HTML, Excel, CSV, etc.
  • Data analysis
    • Drill down capabilities for richer data analysis
    • Graphical visualization of results
  • Integration
    • Security and authentication with user and role-based access control to data and analytic content
    • Use of XML for Analysis (XMLA) standard language for data access in analytical systems.
    • Use of an XML SQL grammar that the system automatically translates to the native syntax during execution.
    • Built-in schemas integrated with Axional ERP data model
    • Integration with Informix Warehouse Accelerator

Benefits

  • Increase in productivity through faster and analytics enabled access to relevant business data
  • Ease of application development through the use of XMLA standard language and access.
  • Consistent security and authentication roles thanks to its integration with Axional Webstudio.
  • Savings of time and resources through multidatabase interaction, which allows not having to develop interfases to obtain data from diferent engines

Business Intelligence

One of the principal functions of a mobility application will be to supply key data to users who find themselves away from their work centers. To attain this objective Axional Mobile incorporates a potent system of design and publication of high quality reports which go much further than classical operational reports.

Equally as in the applications module, the IT department has web tool for the design and the publication of BI (Business Intelligence) resources. These resources are assigned to an individual or collectively to the users who will be able to access them through the channels system on the desktop.

BI components

BI system allows users of the mobile devices to have potent data viewers such as:

Lists (read more)

The list viewer permits operating with lists of data which could include alpha-numeric values and performance indicators. It includes capabilities such as:

  • Navigation across data in tabular form.
  • Horizontal and vertical scrolling.
  • Column aggregators.
  • Break-out groups.
  • Search and sorting.
  • Percentage columns.
  • Cell formatting.
  • Hyperlinks to other reports in a cell.

Super-list (read more)

The super-list is a powerful tool which allows the visualization of data in tabular form via a very strong software library allowing:

  • Blending alphanumeric data and graphical columns.
  • Defining alerts and tendency indicators.
  • Defining graphics of the lines, toolbars, areas, columns, superimposed columns, combined graphics, pie charts and tables.
  • Analyzing the detail extended by a row by means of a simple “click”.

Catalogs (read more)

The catalog’s viewer is designed for navigation via hierarchical information and is especially useful to manage collections of data structured in small devices.

The catalog permits navigation across hierarchical information down to the detail in which data and graphics of the metrics that they are analyzing can be shown.

Pieview (read more)

The pieview is a method of visualization of proportions in which the percentages of a metric are represented by pieces of a pie. Each portion of the pie is represented by a different color indicating an element analyzed. The component supports:

  • Tactile animated rotation in roulette fashion to allow traveling across the elements of the pie.
  • Defining the number of elements of the pie and the colors of the series.
  • Operating with series of multiple values allowing the focusing on the more significant N’s while at the same time allowing them to be all analyzing them all in tabular form.
  • Operating with multiple series (for example: sales from different exercises) being able to carry out the horizontal movement for the change of the series.
  • Drilling-down to manage auxiliary data (alphanumerical, geographical, etc).

Funnel

The graphic of the funnel shows values such as progressively decreasing proportions. The size of the area comes determined by the value of the series like a percentage of the total value of the sum of the values.

The funnel graphic shows a process which begins with a full 100% and ends with a lower percentage in which the stages of the decrease and their magnitude are warned.

If the graphic is combined with control data, that is to say, with measurements that quantify how many elements are lost in each step of a process, then the funnel graphic permits allows showing bottle-necks in the process.

Radar

A radial graphic is a graphic method of visualization of multivariate data in the shape of a two-dimensional graphic with three or more quantifiable variables represented in the axes as from the same point.

The radial graphics are a useful way to show multivariate observations with an arbitrary number of variables, where each “star” represents an observation.

Series (read more)

The series analysis gives an optimum system to analyze and drill-down the ratings (sales, benefits, subscriptions, television audiences) of points organized in time sequences spaced into uniform intervals (minutes, days, months, years).

The series viewer allows:

  • Time axis coarsening.
  • Performance indicators and alerts for each period.
  • For each measure the system indicates three values: the last value observed, complete change and the percentage of variation.
  • Floating labels on the series.
  • The comparison of two points at the same time by touching the screen in a way that positive and negative differentials between the selected intervals can be observed.
  • Navigation to the last detail.
  • Associating an external link to each point in time to, for example, see the details of the event (a collection of data, some news, a video).
  • Series comparison.
  • The adjustment of the level of increase.
  • Utilizing changes in tendencies and ascertaining the determination coefficient . The following types of adjustments can be chosen: linear, polynomial, logarithmical, moving average.

Treemaps (read more)

The treemap is a powerful visualization model that can be used to represent a hierarchical relation between quantative data. Each element of data of the group is represented by a
rectangle. The rectangles all have different sizes so that their area is proportional to a determined attribute.

When the color and size are related in some way with the structure of the tree map , often it is easy to see the patterns which would be difficult to detect by other means, for example, if a determined color is particularly relevant. A second advantage of the
treemaps is that, by construction, they make an efficient use of the space. As a result, thousands of elements can show on screen simultaneously in a legible manner.

The system allows, among other options:

  • Changing the units of measurement.
  • Different series of colors to indicate different attributes.
  • Drilling down into the hierarchy.

Gauges

The gauges are instrumental indicators such as thermometers and speedometers. The system of gauges gives to designers the possibility to represent meters through easily-interpretable visual indicators.

Geospatial analysis

This helps with the taking of decisions of your organization providing the wealth of data that its users need. Using the powerful and detailed layer of images from Google Maps as a layer of visualization you can show your data in a way that may significant for the taking of decisions.

Much data has a component which makes references to a place: an address, a post code, a census, a region, a country, a GPS coordinate, etc. The geospatial maps allow the visualization, analysis and management of data with a geographical component. With Axional Mobile you can create maps which will help you to visualize patterns, tendencies or exceptions in its data (read more).

Multi-layer map


The system allows combining multiple layers of data, whether from internal sources or from external ones. Combine the geo-referenced information of your company with demographic and geographical data. For example, crossing distinct data on a map, such as the localization of your customers and socio-demographic data (age, average income, number of computers) by
area (region, district, postal code).

Thematic map


Permiten mostrar datos estadísticos agregados sobre regiones predefinidas, como municipios o regiones, coloreando o sombreando estas regiones.

Heat-maps


Heat maps are one of the most potent tools for the analysis of data in BI systems. The heat maps illustrate the density and

distribution of a piece of data on a map. The influence of the point and the levels of colors can be configured to make visible the most relevant data.

Points of interest


Using the powerful capabilities of the geospatial consultations, localize points of interest around your current position, such as banks and see these data on a map.

Clustering


Some applications require showing large sets of positions and markers on a map. By means of a process called “clustering” the positions near-by are grouped and represented by a single indicator.

Adjusting the zoom level of the map, the system automatically will remove or add the data according to needs for its correct visualization.

Geopositioning

In a mobility application, the GPS of the devices’ localization at any moment is highly relevant. For example, it can be of use making adjustments to the route of product delivery if we know the position of the vehicles.

GPS Tracking

Axional Mobile incorporates mechanisms so that the IT administrators decide for each user which information they would like to know (position, speed, altitude) and to what degree of precision (meters, time intervals). At any time these parameters can be changed and order the telephone to take it into consideration through the sending of a SMS message.

The data is received in real-time and stored in the corporate database and can be analyzed immediately via the geospatial modules which permit, for example, visualizing the devices on the map, tracing the paths they cover, determine the distance covered or calculate
the approximate time of arrival to a determined point.

GPS events

Upon receiving the data on-line from the positions of the mobile users, the system allows events in terms of geometric conditions to be launched. For example, we can send a SMS to a customer as soon as the merchandise transport vehicle is about 10 minutes away from your location.

The geopositonal system of Axional Mobile allows organizations to improve in an efficient manner and at low-cost (via the use of simple new-generation telephones) the management of your personal itinerary.

Benefits

Axional Mobile is an optimum platform to rapidly deploy business applications to mobile device networks.

  • It allows organizations to have a centralized infrastructure to mobilize its applications.
  • It allows the design in minutes of consultation forms and the corresponding reports and to publish them in real time operating with data directly from the corporate databases.
  • It offers an enormous variety of components of vast visual wealth to provide the users with the detailed information that they specify.
  • It operates in real time at the same time against the corporate systems so that information can be carried on being provided when the system doesn’t have a connection.
  • It reduces drastically the application deployment costs. It is installed once and the applications are designed in the server.

Technical Specifications

Mobile Client

  • The system is designed to run on Android™ devices regardless of the display.
  • Available on mobile devices Android™ 2.3 or higher (smartphones, tablets, etc.)
  • Automatic synchronization and intelligent power systems using SOAP protocol and transport using HTTP or HTTPS.
  • Support for 256-bit AES encryption of SQLlite databases.
  • Support for corporate databases IBM Informix, IBM DB2 UDB, IBM DB2 400, IBM DB2 Z/OS, Oracle, PostgreSQL.
  • The central network connection can be via WiFi, 3G or GPRS.

Server

The Axional Mobile Server acts as a bridge between the demilitarized zone (aka DMZ, or Internet) and the corporate databases offering SOAP services to mobile devices and transforming its requests for SQL processes on the database systems.

It consists of a Java J2EE system prepared for use in Linux machines.

  • The server incorporates a web interface for the administration of the users and applications.
  • It includes the SOAP (over HTTP/HTTPS) transport mechanisms and authentication.
  • Two databases (schemes) are used so that, at the request of the system of the main database or by a dedicated one they can be accommodated. These databases are:
    • The configuration and start-up databases that the architecture of the guest system describes (net addresses, database servers, databases, connection groups and permissions), the users’ definitions (permissions, available applications, synchronization rules) as well as the tracking systems (consultations, transactions, processes, SOAP messages).
    • The database of the metadata of the applications in which are defined the methods of access to the data and the way in which these are represented (the entries and departures of the same) to the users of mobile devices.
  • The system can operate simultaneously against a heterogeneous collection of data sources in a way equally transparent to the administrator as to the user.
  • The server analyzes the SOAP requests from the mobile devices, interacts with the databases via the JDBC protocol and produces a metadata as a response both for the entry (question) and for the departure (reply).
  • Each request is treated in atomic form without the need to remain in of none of the three points (mobile, server, database). Thanks to this service without status architecture, groups of servers can configure themselves like a cluster using charge moderators in the “Round Robin” mode.
  • Physically, the Axional Mobile Server requires at least two networks, one to connect to the secure zone (the corporate database systems) and another to attend to the DMZ (Internet).

Axional Mobile Server Architecture diagram