New apps are constantly being released, which makes it difficult to keep up with what is actually worth checking out. Here is an overview of seven relatively new business-related apps that are useful.
The Spiceworks app is the mobile complement to the free Spiceworks IT management platform. The reviews for the Android version of the app (which was not developed by Spiceworks) are less than stellar, so I'll focus on the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch version (which requires iOS 4.0 or later).
The Spiceworks app provides IT staff with on-the-go access to work orders, network inventory, and much more. Best of all, like the server, the Spiceworks mobile app is free.Figure A shows a list of open work orders. Figure A
The Spiceworks app offers mobile access to work orders.Figure B shows more inventory information that is available at your fingertips. Figure B
Your Spiceworks inventory.
If you are an IT consultant or systems engineer that needs to keep track of what you did where or what questions customers asked while you were onsite, you'll want to take a look at NoteWhere. The app is available for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch (it requires iOS 4.0 or later), and it costs $1.99. (There is no Android version of this app.)
NoteWhere provides a way to record notes that are tagged with your current location. As you visit various client locations, you can organize your notes into individual notebooks and show maps of the locations where you took notes. You can also attach photos to a note.Figure C shows a map view of the locations where notes were taken. Figure C
NoteWhere's map view shows the locations where notes were taken.Figure D shows a notebook view. Figure D
NoteWhere's notebook view
iDB2Prog, iOracleProg, iMySQLProg, iSqlWebProg
The iDB2Prog app, when coupled with the DB2 Prog Server component, provides DB2 database administrators with the ability to visualize and administer DB2 databases from their iPhone. From your iPhone, you can perform a number of operations, including scripting new database objects, emailing script results to people, search DB2 databases, and more.
iDB2Prog is available for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch (it requires iOS 4.2 or later), and it costs $0.99. (There is no Android version of this app.)Figure E gives you a look at some of what's possible with iDB2Prog. Figure E
A number of functions are available from iDB2Prog.The same group that brings you iDB2Prog also brings you similar functionality for other database products such as Oracle. iOracleProg ($0.99) manages Oracle database systems, iMySQLProg ($0.99) manages MySQL-based databases, and iSqlWebProg ($9.99) manages Microsoft SQL Server databases (Figure F). Figure F
Manage SQL Server systems from your iPhone.
Time Tracker Pro
Time Tracker Pro is a great app for any IT pro who wants to track how much time they're spending on an activity; I think it would be especially useful for an IT consultant who needs to track how much time they're spending on a particular client.
Time Tracker Pro is available for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch (it requires iOS 4.2 or later), and it costs $0.99. The Time Tracker Pro Android version costs $4.22.
With iPhone version of the Time Track Pro app, you can create granular tracking logs that are then saved to a CSV file that you can send to Microsoft Excel on your PC for further analysis at a later date. (The Android version is very, very basic.)
For example, say you're a remote engineer, and you're working for five clients during the span of several days. Between project changes, you stop and start recording and, at the end of the third day, move your logs over to Excel, work a little sorting and grouping magic, and you have a complete time log that you can show to the client and have a record from which you can bill the client.Figure G shows what it looks like to start a new task in Time Tracker Pro. Figure G
Start a new task in Time Tracker ProFigure H shows a number of tasks that were previously saved in Time Tracker Pro. Figure H
Tasks that were previously saved in Time Tracker Pro
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Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive with CampusWorks, Inc. Scott is available for consulting, writing, and speaking engagements and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.