tablets and asking for mobile access, but a lot of corporations
see mobile devices as less secure. The solution to both of these
problems is to build the mobile software people are asking
for, but also include the security rules and features that today’s
information-security-conscious businesses demand.”
For Xerox and Daegis, security was another reason for tak-
ing the Citrix approach to mobile access instead of designing a
stand-alone app. “From the feedback we got, people were con-
cerned about lockdowns,” says Daegis’ Stewart.
By implementing Citrix, a lockdown created on the core
desktop application — restricting access to discovery materi-
als, whether by reviewer, time frame, IP address, and so on —
remains in place when users access the platform via mobile.
“It doesn’t circumvent a lockdown a user has put on . . . every-
thing carries through.”
Matthews adds that it is crucial to let customers make the
decision whether to allow mobile access. So to that end, Xerox
makes it an opt-in feature; customers can turn it on and allow
mobile users to log on to the discovery platform — if they want
their mobile users to do so.
Yet Citrix isn’t the only approach vendors have hit on to mitigate security fears. Since those fears revolve largely around
information that resides on the mobile device, the key is to
keep that information off the device. A web-based platform,
when carefully designed, can do just that, say vendors including iConect Development ( www.iconect.com), whose case
assessment and document review system, Xera, has been
accessible via mobile devices since 2011.
With Xera, mobile users are not accessing the platform via
One advantage of HTML5, if you
Citrix but from the web browser on their mobile device. That
enables iConect to perform all of the actual processing on its
own servers, with the mobile device used simply as a display
and input device. “No information is cached on the device,”
says Ian Campbell, the chief business development officer at
iConect, which is based in Washington, D.C., “When you log
off, there is nothing left on your tablet. From a security [per-
spective], that is a huge thing.”
The web-based design also means that access restrictions
are stored centrally, so they remain in place no matter what
particular browser — mobile or desktop — the user is coming
do it right, is that user experience
is the same on all browsers.
in through, he explains. “If you have an expert and you subsection a few thousand records they can look at but can’t edit
or redact, that is fully respected when accessing through an
iPad,” says Campbell.
HEIGHTENED CONCERN. A27-inch monitor can be a lot
like a mirror in a darkened room: flaws get overlooked. But
mobile devices, with their far smaller screens, can be far more
revealing — and troublesome. An icon that is clearly readable
on a large laptop display may be painfully small to read on a
tablet. Menus may be hard to navigate; things may just look off.
it can be designed to look just right on the device that runs it.
Whereas Citrix is sending screen shots of non-mobile soft ware
— leaving no room to tweak formatting for smaller screens
— an app, when designed well, will have a far more device-friendly interface, typically with larger buttons and menus better suited for touch instead of a mouse.
But so far, most of the vendors interviewed for this story
have shied away from mobile apps, for issues that go beyond
training and reach. Different apps for different devices mean
more products to support and update. It means approval processes to go through with the companies that run the various app ecosystems, notably Apple (for i Pad and iPhone) and
Google Inc. (for Android). Using a browser-based interface,
some vendors say, helps them strike a balance between usability and hassle.
Thus, a number of vendors, including iConect and Orca Tec
( www.orcatec.com), have designed mobile interfaces to their
EDD systems in H TML5, the latest revision to the markup language for presenting web-based content.
HTML5 was designed with devices like smartphones and
tablets in mind — requiring less processing power to run
smoothly, handling multimedia content without needing
plug-ins, and facilitating cross-platform execution.
LexisNexis is taking the H TML5 approach for the upcoming
web interface for its Early Data Analyzer platform. LexisNexis
plans to preview the interface to clients during Legal Tech New
York. Expected to be released in Q1 2013, it will support any
hardware (including iPad tablets) with an HTML5 browser.
One of the advantages of HTML5 is, if you do it right, the
user experience is no different regardless of which browser
you come in through, says Campbell.
Still, browsers can be quirky beasts and between the big
four — Apple’s Safari browser, Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s
Internet Explorer, and Mozilla’s Firefox — there will occasionally be minor differences in how a page renders. So to maintain consistency and iron out any kinks, iConect takes several
steps. First, the company’s quality assurance staff tests the
software with each of the major browsers and anything that
looks off — a font that doesn’t look quite right, for example —
is fixed by t weaking the underlying code.
“It happens,” says Campbell, “but I would rather
make a one-line change to the HTML than write an
app from scratch.”
Second, iConect will automatically detect which
browser is being used when someone accesses its
service, and direct them to the appropriate version.
“If we detect that you are coming in from the iPad ver-
sion of Safari,” says Campbell, “you get a version of
the H TML that has been optimized for that.”
The bigger issue, perhaps, is just how far to go with optimi-
zation for mobile. Fixing quirks in the way a browser renders a
page is one thing, but should entire feature sets be re-format-
ted for mobile use? That goes back to the issue of which e-dis-
covery tasks, exactly, mobile users will actually use. While the
jury may still be out, vendors have strong inklings of what will,
and won’t, cut it.
From the onset, Atlanta-based Orcatec set up its soft ware to
run on tablets. because people like the convenience of being
able to do some work “on what might other wise be dead time,”
says Herb Roitblat, chief scientist and CTO. The company’s