IBM Connect Session: Why We Selected GoodReader

As we work through the details behind our presentation at IBM Connect 2016 this post is about our choice to select GoodReader as the app for our users. As we detailed in the presentation, our challenge was to replace three full large binders of paper with an app on a tablet. The material in the binders was being made available in advance of a series of strategy planning meetings that included 18 people over 23 days. The expectation is that all of the participants would have the ability to review the material and make notes to be able to speak to the content in the meetings. Did we mention this were senior managers and executives?

Our Change Agent, Terry, came to us with the request to figure out how to put the material on his iPad and give him the ability to annotate it with his notes using a stylus and eliminate all that paper. It also needed to be secure. He uses an app called Notes Plus and asked us to start there.

By this time I had an iPad so I purchased the app and started to learn how to use it. Notes Plus is a very useful tool that I am only scratching the surface on how to use. I use it primarily to scribble my notes and comments when in meetings. You start with a blank canvas and use your stylus to write notes. Pretty simple. It can also edit PDF files, so it seemed like a good fit for what we wanted. The trick was getting the material into the app. For that we looked to use the Connections app to transfer the files to the iPad.

The Connections app is great, and we have several users who are using it regularly, and a larger number of people using it off and on. For my test I built a Community and put some sample PDF files into it. I synched those files to my iPad using the app and then set about trying to figure out how to open those files in the Notes Plus app. It’s worth stating at this point that the Connections app doesn’t provide the ability to annotate files, so in terms of meeting our needs, despite the security in the app, it wasn’t going to be able to do what we needed it to.

While I was able to select a file in the Connections app and go through the process of opening that file in the Notes Plus app, editing the file, saving it and getting back to it, and keeping everything secure was going to be a challenge in terms of user experience. We wanted to give our users a seamless experience or it wasn’t going to work. I’ve already posted about the challenge we faced with the negative perception of Connections, so for this to work it needed to be easy and intuitive. So our search continued.

The next thing that happened was that I found this blog post from Luis Benitez. It pointed to the exact solution we were looking for. It specifically named GoodReader as an app that can be used with Connections to synch files, annotate them, and keep everything secure. It required that we install FileJockey on our Connections server to enable the WebDav protocol that GoodReader uses as one method to synch files, and after that we were off to the races.

My next posts will include how we set up GoodReader, including its fabulous security, and how we set up FileJockey.


I am an IT professional with over 20 years of experience. For much of that time I have worked with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino, helping organizations take full advantage of the tool for building workflow collaboration solutions. I have ITIL certification and a background in project management as well. Recently I have invested in how mobile devices may be used to extend business applications outside the office, and have also been learning how to add social components to traditional business applications. Away from work, I have three daughters and recently celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary with my wife in Hawaii. I coach hockey, cycle, and love growing garlic and then finding new ways to use it. I added a section of herbs to my garden last year and was very happy with the result. I ride my bike each year with my wife in the Ride to Conquer Cancer to raise money for research in childhood cancers, particularly brain tumours. Our youngest daughter lost her battle with a brain tumour in 2008 and through this ride we hope to help find a way to prevent other families from experiencing what we went through and continue to live with. If I have any spare time, I like to travel, so you may see the odd photo from our family adventures here too.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Collaboration

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: