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Azurati aims to improve SharePoint use for iPad and smartphone users

29 May 2012
Azurati SharePoint2Go on iPad

Mobile developer Azurati is launching a new service designed to make it easier for mobile users to access content on their corporate SharePoint portal from a smartphone or tablet while on the move.

Available immediately, SharePoint2Go is a cloud-based service that provides secure access to SharePoint and supports Apple's iPad and iPhone, BlackBerry smartphones, Windows Phones and Android devices.

The application has been created using web technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3 and runs in a browser, but looks and behaves just like a native app. It is launched via an icon from the home screen and offers a user experience optimised for mobile working, according to the firm.

"What we're trying to do is to make SharePoint much more usable and engaging for users that are working with tablets and smartphones. As it stands, SharePoint on mobile devices is a very difficult user experience that isn't very finger friendly," Azurati chief executive Ronan Lavelle told V3.

SharePoint2Go is actually hosted and delivered from Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform, but no customer data is stored there or on the endpoint devices, as SharePoint2Go just serves content from SharePoint portals operated by the customer.

This makes mobile access to SharePoint as secure as possible, according to Azurati.

Users can sign in to SharePoint2Go using credentials from "trusted domains", such as a Google Mail or a Windows Live ID, to avoid exposing their corporate Active Directory credentials outside the company firewall.

These credentials, supplied by the user, are linked to their Active Directory credentials at the back-end via Microsoft's Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS).

However, customers unhappy with this arrangement can opt for two-factor authentication using hardware such as smartcards instead.

There is also a server version of the platform that can be deployed behind an organisation's firewall, for customers that prefer this option.

Pricing for SharePoint2Go starts at £4 per user per month for a shared service, with a dedicated option costing £5 per user per month. A 30-day free trial of the technology is also available.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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