How To: XenMobile MDM 8.5 Deployment Part 4: Applications

In XenMobile MDM Edition 8.5 we can get applications down to our devices based on a multitude of criteria that we will cover in the “Deployment” part of this series. In this specific article I want to show you how we can bring in and distribute apps to our users via MDM. I should point out that the “MDX Toolkit” that is used to wrap custom, in-house apps is not included in the MDM Edition and is only available in App Edition and Enterprise Edition. The limitations of this are that we can only distribute “External” apps, i.e. apps from the respective platforms App Store (iOS, Google Play, and Windows Phone. Blackberry is out of luck).

It’s also worth mentioning that if you are following this series through its entirety that in our prior section covering Policies we covered “Application Access Policies” where we set up cloud storage apps as “Forbidden”. This directly plays into this part of our series, if you set a list of apps in an Application Access Policy to be “Required”, for instance, then if those apps are not present the device drops out of compliance (if you have the proper Automated Actions setup for alerts). So you can imagine perhaps a policy in App Access requiring “Find My iPhone”, then we would make sure we got Find My iPhone configured in MDM and in the next article we would cover how to push that app out upon client device enrollment. If the user deletes it, they fall out compliance. Starting to see how these stack up? Polices and Applications roll up into deployments which roll OUT to users. Clear as mud?

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

In this article I want to cover adding three apps to MDM: Office Mobile by Microsoft because we’ll pretend we have Office 365 and I want to push that out to my users, we’ll also make SalesForce Classic available because I’m going to want it in our EAS (Enterprise App Store) so that the client CAN download it if they wish, and lastly we’ll load a collaboration tool called TalkBoard by Citrix that is ONLY compatible with the iPad so we’ll set it up in its own category to give us some organization in this window.

This won’t be a long article because we’re somewhat limited by our ability to only use apps in the app store..an App Edition or Enterprise Edition would give us a hybrid model with in-house and external apps. But let’s get to it because this is still a fit and more than enough for some clients so we need to know it.

Step 1. Go ahead and Login to your MDM console and navigate to the “Applications” tab as shown below.

MDM4-0000

Step 2. Top left, click “New” to reveal the drop down and select “New external iOS app…”

MDM4-0001

Step 3. In the resulting popup, paste in the URL for the app you want to add and click “Go”. Note that I’ve found I sometimes have to click “Go” a few times for it to “find” the app and pull in the info. If you have a volume license, go to the VPP tab and import it there also. When done, click “Add”.

MDM4-0002

Step 4. Repeat for our next app, Office Mobile.

MDM4-0003

Step 5. Repeat for our final app, Talkboard for iPad.

MDM4-0004

Step 6. Since Talkboard is an iPad only app, once we get to deployments we’ll want to filter it on devices. So for organization sake lets put this app into another category (this is strictly admin side and to just assist us in managing and organizing our apps). Click “New Category” shown below in yellow highlight.

MDM4-0005

Step 7. Give the category a descriptive name, here I call it “iPad Only Apps”  and populate the description. Remember this is for you so make it descriptive and useful! Move the app over to the right hand side. Click “Create”

MDM4-0006

Step 8. You will now see your Category and “All Applications”. For larger deployments you would probably want to start segmenting this into iOS apps, Android Apps, iPad only apps, etc so you can keep track of what is what.

MDM4-0007

Ok that’s it for this chapter, pretty easy isn’t it? We now have all the default apps that were in MDM to begin with, and added a few more that we want. If you are wondering, these apps will update via their normal routines on the device so if a new version comes out in the App Store and the user regularly updates their apps it will be updated. In our next article we’ll finally cover putting all this together into deployment packages! Thanks for reading and please leave a comment, I do read them!

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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