When building an MDM, you look for a lot of workflows to make the lives of end users easier. One of those is Managed App Config, which is a technology from Apple that allows an MDM to inject information into an app when the app is sent to a device. Because all apps are different, it’s up to the application developer to build in support both for the feature itself, as well as for any variables they’d like to make possible for an MDM to send to an app. For example, an app might make server and username available, so that when a user opens the app, they need only provide their password. Or based on an Active Directory group, you might have a location within the app to direct a user to, a different server, or even a different schema for the username.
This is the simplest example, but there are hundreds of other things I wanted to do. And app vendors were actually very open to building these features. But they all asked “OK, so what do I do.” And the last thing I wanted to tell them was to use up some cockamamie naming convention that I made up off the top of my head. So, much smarter people than I have come up with all the conventions to help standardize this otherwise chaotic awesomeness. And they’ve created a website, with IBM, JAMF, MobileIron, and AirWatch as the founding members for, and published best practices. From the site:
A community focused on providing tools and best practices around native capabilities in mobile operating systems to enable a more consistent, open and simple way to configure and secure mobile apps in order to increase mobile adoption in business. Users benefit with instant mobile productivity and a seamless out-of-the box experience, and businesses benefit with secure work-ready apps with minimal setup required while leveraging existing investments in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), VPN, and identity solutions. Ultimately, your apps are simpler to configure, secure and deploy.
To learn more about standardizing Managed App Config, check out the AppConfig Community Site.
This goes a long way in making one of the coolest features for MDM much, much more useable. Hope you enjoy!
krypted February 28th, 2016
There are a lot of payloads that MDM and profiles can manage in iOS. Restrictions are probably the one I get the most questions about. And most are pretty self-explanatory. Sooooo, rather than open Profile Manager every time I need to see the list, here it is:
krypted February 5th, 2016
Posted In: iPhone
Bushel shipping a new feature this week call Blueprints. Blueprints are similar to groups, and allow you to assign different options in Bushel to different devices that have a blueprint assigned to them. This also allows you to define one device per blueprint and therefore have different options for different computers. Pretty cool on a few different fronts. And it provides a lot of flexibility for some really, really cool new features we’ve planned for the product.
For more on this great new feature, check out this great article from the new Bushel Product Manager, Michael Devins.
krypted December 10th, 2015
Apple Configurator 2 is a great new evolution in iOS initial and configuration management. And there are lots of great options. And to help you wrap your head around all this new fun stuff, I’ve written up a quick and dirty guide for using Apple Configurator 2.
It’s not completely done, but it will be shortly. Hope this help someone. Enjoy!
krypted November 14th, 2015
The new iPad Pro is pretty much the most ridiculously luxurious device I’ve seen in a long, long time. It’s huge. There are still many of the same limitations as on an iPad. The lack of browser plug-ins keeps us from accessing certain types of content. There isn’t access to the Finder as with OS X. But the screen is ridiculously massive and provides a whole new way to view data. It’s a beautiful, marvelous piece of technology. When we were looking at Bushel and the blog on on it, we suddenly found the top and bottom bars of Safari to be just a bit too much lost screen real estate. And it made me think of yet another benefit of Web Clips: getting more screen real estate.
krypted November 13th, 2015
Financial services is an interesting business when it comes to what you need to do to meet your regulatory requirements. With so much data and the services that enable you to access data moving to the cloud, it can be hard to keep up with how solutions meet any regulatory requirements you might have. At the end of the day, you’re primarily concerned about customer data leaking out of your environment and making sure that you can report on every single thing that happened in an environment. Whatever help we can provide in this article, make sure that you vet anything against what the individuals that review your regulatory requirements say.
krypted November 13th, 2015
Posted In: Bushel
Blueprints are a new option in Apple Configurator 2. Blueprints allow you setup a template of settings, options, apps, and restore data, and then apply those Blueprints on iOS devices. For example, if you have 1,000 iOS devices, you can create a Blueprint with a restore item, an enrollment profile, a default wallpaper, skip all of the activation steps, install 4 apps, and then enabling encrypted backups. The Blueprint will provide all of these features to any device that the Blueprint is applied to.
But then why not call it a group? Why call it a Blueprint? Because the word template is boring. And you’re not dynamically making changes to devices over the air. Instead you’re making changes to devices when you apply that Blueprint, or template to the device. And you’re building a device out based on the items in the Blueprint, so not entirely a template. But whatever on semantics.
To get started, open Apple Configurator 2.
Click on the Blueprints button and click on Edit Blueprints.
Notice that when you’re working on Blueprints, you’ll always have a blue bar towards the bottom of the screen. Blueprints are tiled on the screen, although as you get more and more of them, you can view them in a list.
Right-click on the Blueprint. Here, you’ll have a number of options. As you can see below, you can then Add Apps. For more on adding Apps, see this page.
You can also change the name of devices en masse, using variables, which I explore in this article.
For supervised devices, you can also use your Blueprints to change the wallpaper of devices, which I explore here.
Blueprints also support using Profiles that you save to your drive and then apply to the Blueprints.
Blueprints also support restoring saved backups onto devices, as I explore here.
For kiosk and single purpose systems, you can also enter into Single App Mode programmatically.
You can also configure automated enrollment, as described here. Overall, Blueprints make a great new option in Apple Configurator 2. These allow you to more easily save a collection of settings that were previously manually configured in Apple Configurator 1. Manually configuring settings left room for error, so Blueprints should keep that from happening.
krypted November 11th, 2015
A common question we get in the media is whether or not an employer can look at email on an employees device. The answer is that an employer cannot use Bushel to see mail or content on a device. This isn’t to say that you can’t use your Exchange, Office 365, or Google Apps administrative accounts to view your email. But Bushel doesn’t have anything to do with that.
krypted November 1st, 2015
Posted an article on the As through Zs on managing IT in the small business at CBS Pulse at http://cbspulse.com/2015/10/09/a-through-z-managing-smb-it/. This is another of the small business articles I’ve been working on for Bushel. Expect more! And if you’re into this kind of thing specifically, let me know if there are any cool topics you’d like me to cover!
krypted October 9th, 2015