Cloud Computing Use Case: Annotating PDF files on Amazon S3 (and other clouds) from an iPad with audit tracking

One of the legal companies that use the Storage Made Easy on-premise Cloud File Server Appliance had a recent request that we felt was worth exposing as we can see it could be a common use case.

The company has legal and para-legal resources that had the need to be able to annotate PDF’s whilst away from the office using their iPad’s.  The legal data is stored on an EU Amazon S3 instance  and the SME Cloud File Server Appliance is used to provide  single sign on with the internal Active Directory Server whilst also providing granular permissions and auditing services for full document tracking.

A key point for the company was that any PDF document editing would be able to be done on the move from an iPad, saved back to the S3 Cloud from the iPad, and also that any changes were audit trackable. and users were instantly notified of changes. The SME Cloud on-premise Cloud Appliance, which unifies public and private data sources, as well as providing a full audit trail for all file interactions was used to satisfy this requirement in the following way:

– SME Cloud Appliance was already installed on-premise behind the corporate firewall
– The companies own EU S3 Account had been added as a Cloud to be monitored from the Appliance
– Auditing of any file events was set
– Access to the S3 files was available via the WebDav protocol using the users Active Directory username / password as Active Directory SSO was enabled via the Appliance
– As S3 files were available via WebDav the iAnnotate iPad App could be used to login and annotate files as outlined below.

Setting up access to Storage Made Easy from the cloud appliance is done as follows:

1. First setup a new WebDav cloud connection

2. Enter the SME WebDav Details

3. Connect

4. After Annotating the document then simply save it.

5. On completion the annotated document is saved back to Amazon S3 (or any other WebDav Cloud it was access from).

All interactions that occur are also fully audited with the remote IP Address, username, and document details and these are available as part of the Audit logs provided by the SME Appliance that can be exported as a .cvs or excel and / or can be archived.

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