It’s been a very exciting week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) already! One of our biggest announcements from the show is the formation of the AppConfig Community, led by the industry leaders in enterprise mobility management (EMM): IBM MaaS360, JAMF Software, MobileIron and VMware AirWatch.
So what is the AppConfig Community, and why are these EMM powerhouses joining forces on the initiative? The purpose of the community is to accelerate the adoption of mobile in enterprises by making it easier for developers to build enterprise apps that can be managed by any participating EMM’s platform. As a result, customers benefit from a much larger ecosystem of business apps, a streamlined management experience for IT administrators and an improved end-user experience.
If you are developing an app that is built for business professionals, it is likely that the app contains sensitive corporate data or needs access to enterprise business systems. The AppConfig Community outlines tools and best practices that developers can follow to allow enterprises to easily secure, configure, deploy and manage such apps. These tools and best practices are using native frameworks that are available as part of the Operating System (OS).
Any complete EMM solution requires both AppConfig and a software development kit (SDK) approach. AppConfig will cover 80 percent of the use cases and the most complex 20 percent of the use cases will still require SDKs. ISVs, such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Workday and 60 plus ISV partners are all adopting AppConfig since it does not require a proprietary SDK or App Wrapping. A standalone mobile application management (MAM) approach fails to provide the best user experience and cannot prevent data leakage to meet all the corporate security and compliance needs.
In the past, developers were required to use proprietary SDKs or App Wrapping tools in order to secure, configure, deploy and manage their apps via an EMM solution provider. This created a separate version of the app for each EMM platform, creating a multitude of challenges:
- Developers had to learn how to configure and secure their app for each EMM vendor.
- Developers maintained multiple code branches for each ISV app, creating resource challenges when time-sensitive major OS updates required app updates.
- End users were offered a degraded experience as there was usually a feature lag between the consumer app and the EMM-specific branched app.
- End users saw multiple apps on the public app store and did not know which one to download. They downloaded the wrong one resulting in a helpdesk ticket to IT support.
- Basic data leakage prevention controls, such as prevent iOS screen capture, cannot be configured in a standalone MAM approach.
This traditional model has been challenging for developers, end users and IT administrators. Now, with AppConfig Community’s tools and best practices, developers do not require EMM-specific integrations for most enterprise use cases. To learn more about the AppConfig Community’s tools and best practices to enable app tunneling, configuration, single sign-on, security policies and access control, developers can visit the AppConfig Dev Center and join the community.
VMware has more than 500,000 customers and 75,000 partners. We are committed to helping app developers accelerate the adoption of mobile in enterprises via consumer-simple, enterprise-secure solutions. Developers can join the AirWatch partner program, build their app, test their apps end-to-end using the AirWatch EMM solution, publish their apps to the App Store or Google Play, self-verify their app to receive a AppConfig compatibility logo from the community and engage in joint go-to-market programs with AirWatch.
All members of the original App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) organization are now members of the new AppConfig Community. Please visit AppConfig.org to learn more about the AppConfig Community. See how 60 plus developers have mobilized their apps for enterprises by becoming a member of the AppConfig Community. And connect with the community using #AppConfig!