Sync files from server to multiple IPads?

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gsmithgcs's picture

gsmithgcs

Joined: Nov 24, 2012
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We have a server located at our facility that we store PDF, Excel, and WORD docs. We would like to automatically sync to multiple IPads. What is the best way to do this? Is it possible for designated folders on the server be "pushed" to each iPad anytime there is a change. We use the iPads for accessing service manuals and various documents. The files MUST reside on the iPad as cell service and WIFI are not always accessible from the field.

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T. Reid Lewis's picture

T. Reid Lewis

Joined: Dec 11, 2010
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mobilEcho synchs files from server & Sharepoint to iPad & iPhone

Your rating: None (1 vote)

Hi,

Can you share the use case that you want to solve by synching files to the iPad? For example, is it for sales people or airplane pilots?

With the caveat that I am a co-founder at GroupLogic, I suggest you consider mobilEcho to meet your file synching requirements on iPad, iPhone and Android device.

  • mobilEcho was created to enable iPhone and iPad users to synch and access files & folders on file servers, NAS and in Sharepoint document libraries.
  • mobilEcho can synch files from folders on the server to folders on the iOS device. Synching can be configured by each user or set for an individual or group of users by the Administrator using the mobilEcho client management functions.
  • mobilEcho includes free client software and server software that runs in your data center on Windows servers and soon Linux.
  • mobilEcho is different than cloud solutions and hybrid solutions because all data and network traffic remains in your data center under control of your IT staff.
  • mobilEcho encrypts all files stored on the iOS device with hardware accelerated Apple Data Protection and all network traffic with HTTPS.
  • mobilEcho can access any file type including your required PDF, Excel, and Word docs.
  • mobilEcho can display files just as you can with Mail using the built-in iOS preview functions. On iPad, mobilEcho allows users to annotate PDF files.
  • Edited files can be saved back to the file server or NAS and checked into Sharepoint.

You can learn more about mobilEcho on our website http://www.grouplogic.com/enterprise-file-sharing/ipad-file-system/

The best way to understand mobilEcho is to download and install the free Trial version from our website.

If you have question, please post them here or write to me directly at reidlewis AT grouplogic.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

- Reid

T. Reid Lewis
Co-Founder
GroupLogic, Inc.
1100 N. Glebe Rd, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22201 USA
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/grouplogic

Creators and publishers of:
activEcho: File Sharing and Syncing for Enterprise http://www.grouplogic.com/activecho
mobilEcho: Mobile File Management for iPhone & iPad http://www.grouplogic.com/mobilecho
ArchiveConnect: Macintosh integration for file archiving solutions http://www.grouplogic.com/archiveconnect
ExtremeZ-IP: Macintosh file & print server for Windows http://www.grouplogic.com/extremez-ip
MassTransit: automated file transfer solution for Windows & Macintosh http://www.grouplogic.com/masstransit

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fredster's picture

fredster

Joined: Sep 4, 2011

RE: Sync files from server to multiple IPads?

Your rating: None

Hi gsmithgcs,

Apple's iOS 'methodolgy' is that the owner of the device and the device itself are (in effect) sovereign identities. In effect, the iOS device does not 'belong' to a network or corporate environment; the only 'loyality' the ios device has is to the end user. (hence why traditional IT depts -typically windows environments- have problems with iOS devices on their networks). My understanding is that there is nothing in the iOS APIs that allow data to be remotely 'pushed' to a iOS device. Content can only be 'pulled' from a server - to the ios device - by either the end user's choice or via an app installed on the device (Activecho model) - by the end user. This business model is very different from the Windows environment, where effectively the desktops pc are effectively 'slaves' to the server and the server can push whatever it wants to the desktop computers. Hence if your intent is for your team to use their iOS devices in a manner similar to how a laptop might be used, then hq will not be able to remotely 'push' files, data, content to an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) in a manner similar to an AD-bound windows laptop or a blackberry server behaves.

There is one way to push content onto the iOS devices and that is to use Apple Configurator. There is a fair bit written about this and it is an Apple-centric workflow. You will require Mac computer, Apple Configurator (free software download) and the iPads connected to the Mac/Apple Configurator via USB or thunderbolt cables. When set up with this model, the iPads will become 'slaves' to the Mac computer. This is commonly used in education for class room deployment. It works but the big disadvantage is that devices are very much slaved to the Mac computer; any updates or new documentation will require that the iPads are returned to base, physically connected back to the Mac and 'refreshed' from the Mac. iOS devices deployed in this model do not fit into the BYOD model.

If your intent is for your team to use an iOS device as a (more limited) version of laptop; with remote access, their individual emails, perhaps dropbox or box.net, etc then there are a number of third party solutions that will allow your iOS devices to pull or download (and cache) content local on to the iOS device.
1) Many MDM solutions offer a level of mobile Document management. (My opinion) Worth looking at are Absolute Manage and MobileIron.
2) Mobilecho and ActivEcho (as mentioned above) are two of my favourite (and I am not associated with Grouplogic... they just make nice simply-to-implement solutions)
3) A sharepoint service you install in your environment, for example, harmon.ie (doesn't meet a 'push' model but does allow access to content at a central location)
4) A dedicated server solution like Nexus/Stratos (all singing-all dancing-monolith; not a fan but dependent apon your requirements)

As you may have gathered, your simple question does not get a simple straightforward answer because there are so many variable involved. There are so many different solutions available that the best solution for your needs is entirely dependent apon on YOUR needs; for example, how secure do you want the content on the iOS device ? If the iOS devices get lost, do you want remote erase capabilities ? Will the content be silo'ed or shared between apps on the iPad ? etc. The devil is in the details.
However, the above suggestions will give you a good running start... before you hit the details.

This information is general in nature. I am involved with MDM as a service provider/consultant and (small scale) MobileIron reseller. I have practical experience with the technologies mentioned but can not make a specific recommendation as I do not have enough information about your environment, requirements, your timeframe, your goals nor the use of how you wish to implement any solution. I hope this information is of use to you.

Thank you.

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mattvlasach's picture

mattvlasach

Joined: Jul 18, 2012
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Still a Problem?

Your rating: None

Hi @gsmithgcs,

Do you still have this need/requirement? We actually may have a perfect fit product for that specific use case. Not surprisingly, we have had several of our enterprise customers come to us with the exact same sort of needs, and although GroupLogic's stuff comes close (we really wanted to use it if we could), we built our solution to squarely address this kind of data sync + subscription challenge.

Feel free to email me if you are interested: mvlasach{at}unwiredrevolution.com.

Thanks!

Best,
Matt

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