Siber Systems, provider of RoboForm, a password manager and form filler, has released the newest version of the software that is now referred to as RoboForm Online. The original RoboForm was launched in 1999 as a basic form-filler that allowed users to check out and register for websites quickly. Siber Systems says consumer feedback lead the company to add password management and has been offering this feature since 2000. RoboForm remembers and stores user names and passwords as users log into websites, eliminating the need to remember log in information - or to scribble it down on notepads next to the keyboards.
According to Bill Carey , VP of marketing and business development for RoboForm, "It's kind of the equivalent of putting your passwords on speed dial. You'll have all of your passwords inside of RoboForm, which is secured." RoboForm creates "pass cards" and a toolbar in the user's web browser. In the past, when using the software for the first time, the user would go to a website like Hotmail.com, type in his account name and password, then hit the submit button, and RoboForm would ask if the user wanted it to remember the information. After the user clicks submit, the next time that site needs to be accessed, the user would go to their RoboForm toolbar and clicks on the pass card for that site. "It's kind of like having bookmarks on steroids," he says.
Still, using a traditional software product for this sort of task had its drawbacks, and SIlber Sytems is hoping to remedy some of those with the newest version of RoboForm. This incarnation is web-based, and operates on the RoboForm server. Carey explains: "It allows you to keep your passwords in sync between multiple computers. Like for practical purposes, a lot of people have computers at home and at work, so now I can keep multiple computers in sync with each other." Users now just sign-in to their RoboForm accounts - the one password they'll need to remember on their own - and go about their business, the same they would have done if they were still using the software.
In the past if a RoboForm user's computer crashed, the information stored on the toolbar went the way of all the other lost information on the machine. If a user had not been asked to remember any of these passwords for months or years, the likelihood that he would be able to reset them in RoboForm would be slim. By moving to a we-based system, RoboForm users now have an automatic back-up system in place, complete with all the registered log in and password information.
Carey says RoboForm is used by a variety of companies, big and small. Larger financial services companies use the software to ease troubles with multiple logins. "If you think about it their agents probably manage more than 100 financial accounts, and they have to be able to log in so RoboForm makes it easy," says Carey.
He also sees the RoboForm offering as a solution to enterprise login problems caused by government regulations. "Companies require employees to change passwords every 30 days and they can't remember them all," says Carey. Other companies offering single sign-on solutions have popped up to help address this problem, but Carey says he sees some possible sticking points with those kinds of solutions. "The problem with single sign-on is that it's a huge integration that takes months and months. If they're going to install and use RoboForm, they'll be up and running in just a couple of days. Most enterprises can be up and running in the same day."
Licenses for RoboForm are available for smaller companies needing only 20-40, or even larger companies needing 100-plus. The price per month, per license is $34.95 for smaller packages, and after 100 licenses the price drops to $19.95 each.
RoboForm continues to evolve, as user needs do the same. The software is phone-friendly, and allows users to sync their passwords to Windows Mobile and Palm. "We've done RoboForm online, we'll be coming out with a Mac version soon, and we'll be integrating with Google Chrome," Carey says.