Which MDM's support iOS Managed App Configuration?

Jan Melander's picture

Jan Melander

Joined: Aug 5, 2015
Your rating: None (1 vote)

Hi,

We have a couple of apps functioning as lightweight clients to selected tasks in our Enterprise system, and to ease the deployment we are adding the option of pushing certain configurations using the technique Apple defined in iOS7.

But now I'd like to test this in the real world and thought I could find a MDM system that has a trial version were I could try this out on. But so far I haven't found many MDM's that actually say that they support this feature?

What are Your experiences?

Which MDM systems lets us manage App configurations?
(I'd to tell our customers which systems works and which don't)

And are there any that has a free tier/trial version?

Regards,
Janne

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Jan Melander's picture

Jan Melander

Joined: Apr 29, 2015

I've just created accounts on

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I've just created accounts on Bushel, AppTec360 and Cisco Meraki and so far I can't see that either of them supports Managing App Configurations although both AppTec360 and Meraki is listed to do so on the Wiki: MDM comparison

Anyone had good experiences in this regard?

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Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
WWW

I have direct experience that

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I have direct experience that the following systems DO support managed app configuration:

  • MobileIron
  • AirWatch
  • Casper

(If the MDM comparison needs updating, please log in and update it. Its accuracy depends on community participation, and we thank you for it!)

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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AaronD's picture

AaronD

Joined: Sep 20, 2013
WWW

Further to Aaron's list...

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Hi Jan,

SOTI supports managed app configuration - send me a message and I can get you set up with a dedicated cloud instance for you to try.

Cheers, Aaron

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sysedit's picture

sysedit

Joined: Apr 30, 2015

(disclaimer, I'm working for

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(disclaimer, I'm working for FileWave)

FileWave does support Managed App configuration too - you can give a shot to an evaluation version.

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charleslawrence's picture

charleslawrence

Joined: Apr 29, 2015

Here is set of alternatives

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You could try filewave, mobileiron, Zenprise MobileManager, fixmo mdm. There are tons of options available.

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opie's picture

opie

Joined: May 5, 2015

Perhaps a dumb question, but

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Perhaps a dumb question, but what exactly do you guys mean by 'managed app configuration'.

Is that simply the ability to push a set of apps to a set of devices?

My issue may be different.

We are with Airwatch v7 (for the moment) and I'm looking for the ability to manage the configuration settings WITHIN managed apps and even push data/files/folders to their document sandboxes. And to do this at will, but especially as part of the initial deployment of a new device (done through DEP or configurator). We have apps that need ~10 GB of data and a number of annoying and small settings (user, server, prefs, etc..) that need to be set by hand. This is beyond frustrating when we have more than a couple of devices to setup.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Owen

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sysedit's picture

sysedit

Joined: Apr 30, 2015

This is different. Introduced

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This is different. Introduced in iOS 8.0 (IIRC), there is a new API in iOS SDK that allows apps to react to an MDM command that will send a configuration plist.
This configuration plist can be sent either during installation phase, or later, and there is another MDM command that can retrieve the configuration.

So it really depends if the app developper has implemented the code in his app to react to the MDM command or not. Then, MDM tools can give you the way to send this configuration when the application is installed - or update the configuration (FileWave does both - and you can even embed in the config placeholders that will be replaced by variables fetched from an LDAP directory).

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opie's picture

opie

Joined: May 5, 2015

@SysEdit - thanks for the

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@SysEdit - thanks for the info. I've already shared it with the developer of our main application and we'll see what we can do with it.

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Jan Melander's picture

Jan Melander

Joined: Apr 29, 2015

Thank You all for Your

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Thank You all for Your contribution!

I must say that I was a bit disgruntled after spending time to implement this feature in our apps and then realizing that maybe no MDM system supported it.

Now I know at least a couple of potential candidates to try.
@AaronD & @Sysedit, I will look into Your products and I might get back to You for a trial. Thanks for Your offers!

@Opie, this is a feature that Apple actually shipped in iOS7 and it has two parts.
The one that is perhaps most interesting is the possibility to push a configuration file (a plist) that an app can read properties from. We are using it to preconfigure a server adress and additional settings that enables the IT-department to tune the behavior of the app that otherwise are a standard AppStore delivery.
The other part (that we don't use, yet...) is the possibility for the app to write information into certain properties and these are readable by the MDM-system. It could be used to log actions, error messages and similar things.

What I found out, surprisingly, when implementing this in our apps is that Android is sorely missing something similar. At least no one have been able to explain how to do something similar. I have not been able to dive into the new "Android for Work" to see if that changes anything. @Aaron, You maybe know something more about this?

Thanks again for all Your replies, I'm very happy to have found this site since finding real world experiences regarding MDM system are still rare.

Janne

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Jan Melander's picture

Jan Melander

Joined: Apr 29, 2015

I might update the Wiki but

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I might update the Wiki but I'm a bit afraid that just because I haven't found these features, they might be buried somewhere deep inside. I must say that the big MDM systems are not the pinnacle of UX design... Puzzled

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sysedit's picture

sysedit

Joined: Apr 30, 2015

) If you need help with

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)

If you need help with FileWave feel free to contact me or our support.
Application Configuration is available in the "Configuration" pane of any Application ("Fileset", in FileWave terminology, as we are not limited to iOS MDM) settings dialog - i.e. once you have added the iOS app into FileWave catalog (either an Enterprise app or a simple link to an iTunes application), just double click on the entry (or choose properties toolbar button) and you'll have it.

We provide either simple plist editor, or you can import an existing plist file.

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swaffs's picture

swaffs

Joined: Jul 16, 2014

MDM Managed Configuration

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We're using Maas360 and I have confirmation from them last week that they do NOT support Managed App configuration for AppStore Apps, you can do it for apps you sign yourself of course.

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ps's picture

ps

Joined: May 8, 2015

Do you know if Maas360 has

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Do you know if Maas360 has that in the pipe? They have some of that integration with IBM apps, and some upcoming integration with IBM Verse.

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paulsimon's picture

Great way to support even

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Great way to support even mobile apps. Love this platform! appmerge.com

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