Everything You Need To Build Secure .NET Apps For IBM i

Published On: 04-02-2022 06:02

How You Can Build .NET Apps For IBM i

IBM i is a robust operating system that can handle hardware and software resources and offer you an interface for interacting with the system. Many firms still use it today, particularly for data-heavy applications. Throughout the years, businesses have substantially customized IBM i apps to suit their business operations. The majority of these applications are written in RPG code format; and while running, the output is displayed to monolithic 5250 green screens. These displays are in stark contrast to what modern software users expect.

Although 5250 green screens are functional, they lack the full UX-based experience that current software applications demand. Furthermore, most organizations use several computing systems due to the knowledge gap and shrinking talent pool of IBM i developers. They typically have a separate IBM i development team with developers working on other platforms. It also increases the difficulty of data and application integration within IBM i based companies.

Microsoft's .NET Framework can help solve these problems by allowing developers to create Windows or Web apps that function smoothly with IBM i. Using Microsoft .NET Framework apps that can provide a sophisticated graphical interface, end-users can efficiently interact with IBM i databases as well as existing RPG and COBOL programmes and stored procedures. While .NET technology offers a strong platform for developing modern graphical IBM i applications, security is always a concern when creating IBM i .NET apps.

How Your IBM i .NET Applications Can Be Secure

The recommended practice for safeguarding your IBM i .NET apps is to use a layered security approach. Layered security provides a more detailed and controllable security implementation that better secures your application data. You can use Windows integrated security at the network authentication level. At the transport layer, the contents of the data stream between the .NET client application and IBM i modernization are protected using data encryption. Finally, encrypting the data stream protects the application user's authentication information and safeguards data transmission between the client and the server.

Object-level Security and the Principle of Least Privilege

At the server level, use IBM i's object-level security to limit user access to objects that are needed only to complete their responsibilities, thus implementing the “Principle of Least Privilege”. If a security breach occurs, restricted access prevents an intruder's access to objects that the application user is authorized to utilize. Thus, the intruders will not be able to access any other system objects.

Another example that shows the implementation of the Principle of Least Privilege is to prevent users from direct access to all tables and only provide them access to data access programs. With this technique, users will not be able to directly access any system objects other than stored procedures used to access the data. Through these stored procedures, users will get access to the tables utilized by the application. This protects against SQL injection attacks and other security flaws that allow hackers to steal a user's credentials and access unauthorised system data.

Input Validation

At the application level, it's critical to verify that all input fields are properly validated. Although validating the input field is often thought of as a data integrity element, it is also a critical security measure. Data validation guarantees that every data provided to the database complies with the business needs of the organisation. It also avoids SQL injection-style attacks from being carried out. It guarantees that all data utilised by the programme meets the required data type specifications. You should also verify all the data in your app to confirm that it is of the required data type, has only the necessary characters, and is within the length and value limits. Consider including encryption algorithms in the application to secure sensitive data components in your IBM i database such as credit card information.

How To Integrate .NET Applications With IBM i Resources

LANSA Open is a powerful middleware for .NET that can be used to access IBM i resources from your .NET applications' graphical user interface. LANSA Open is a Visual Studio plugin that offers a seamless connection between .NET and IBM i. IT departments can securely open up their IBM i data and apps to internal & external .NET apps using LANSA Open. The most important part is, they can perform it without compromising data security or integrity. As a result, customers or employees will have a better experience.

How LANSA Open For .NET Can Help You Modernize Your System

Graphical user interfaces are used in .NET applications. With LANSA Open, you can utilize .NET graphical user interface instead of green screens, thereby you can upgrade your system. This solution also has a number of other advantages as follows:

.NET and IBM i Collaboration

You can use this solution to break down application silos and create a single view. This is accomplished by allowing .NET and IBM i to share real-time data and automate business operations. Synchronization between Windows and IBM i platforms can also be eliminated.

Controlled Access to IBM i Data from .NET

Without compromising security or data integrity, IT departments may safely open up their business IBM i data to multiple internal and external applications with LANSA Open. The Business Rules Engine in LANSA additionally implements validation logic and ensures that no data is ever entered into the database that is inappropriate.

Faster Transfer of Data and Information

LANSA Open for .NET provides native record-level access to Db2 data via a safe, encrypted connection. By taking advantage of IBM i's sophisticated data processing capabilities and using native record-level access, .NET apps can efficiently work with massive amounts of Db2 data.

Provides Tighter IBM i Security

The runtime DLL for LANSA Open for .NET can help you encrypt and compress data as it flows between the client and the server. Overall, confidential data is protected from compromise by using industry-standard DES or Twofish to transfer it down the wire.

Dev Teams Can Manage Their Resources More Easily

By exchanging resources between mixed .NET and RPG development environments, as well as COBOL development environments, you can reduce the complexity of maintaining siloed development teams and multi-platform projects. You can reuse enterprise business logic, calculations, and validation rules using LANSA Open.

Are You Ready To Modernise Your IBM i By Building Secure .NET Applications?

For creating graphical IBM i applications, Microsoft .NET technology offers a productive and effective collection of tools. While LANSA Open makes it possible to connect .NET apps to IBM i data in a secure and smooth manner, enterprise-level application development also necessitates consideration of real-world application development challenges such as security. The guidelines outlined in this article can help you build secure IBM i .NET applications that can streamline your business process.

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