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    Preconfiguration of IBM Verse and Sametime iOS App using Apple Managed App Configurations

     30 November 2015 20:39:03
    We as midpoints had been in talks with IBM for a while regarding the possibility to manage the iOS IBM ICS mobile Apps (Verse, Companion, ToDo, Connections and Connections Chat aka Sametime) by using Apple Managed App Configurations.

    How do Managed App Configurations works?


    Many applications require users to enter URL, port, email address, and various configurations as part of a one time setup of an mobile application. These manual configurations can impact the adoption and success of an organization’s mobile app initiatives, increase the burden on a help desk fielding calls from users, and adds the burden of maintaining documentation that needs to be updated frequently as new updates to the application are made available.

    By leveraging native APIs, these configurations can be set remotely by the MDM server to simplify the setup process for end users, and alleviate the help desk and documentation burden caused by manual setup. An app developer can define a set of configuration keys it accepts from an MDM server, and a MDM administrator sets the keys and values in the MDM provider’s management console that will be pushed into the app. Apps commonly implement the following types of configurations:

              Backend service configuration: URL, port, use SSL, group/tenant code
              User configuration: username, email, domain
              Branding configuration: company name, colors, logo images
              Custom configurations: license codes, language settings

    Apple added managed app configuration in iOS 7 as part of the MDM API. But a third party app developer must integrate managed app configurations into his own app.



    In the past IBM supported managed app configurations only for IBM Traveler Companion and the IBM Traveler ToDo app.
    During the last weeks the new versions of IBM Verse and IBM Connections Chat (Sametime) added it, too.

    Current managed app configuration settings by app:

    IBM Companion / ToDo:
    Key Value / Placeholder Details
    canAddAccount 0 / 1 Allows (1) or prohibits the user to add additional traveler accounts.
    email you@yourcompany.com email address of the user
    server https://traveler.yourserver.com/traveler URL of the taveler server, to be adapted to your infrastructure
    user you@yourcompany.com user name, for example the email address of the user  (recommended)





    IBM Verse:

    Key Value / Placeholder Details
    com.ibm.mobile.mail.serverURL https://traveler.mycompany.com/traveler The connection URL used to access the IBM Traveler server.
    This value must be a fully qualified URL, otherwise the parameter will be rejected.  For example:
    com.ibm.mobile.mail.user you@yourcompany.com The user ID used to access the IBM Traveler server.





    IBM Connections Chat:
    Key Value / Placeholder Details
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.communityName Type: A text string
    Default: N/A
    Example: ACME Chat Server
    This is the nickname for this configuration. This is how the server will be identified within the IBM Connections Chat application.
    Note:
    Always provide this parameter.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.serverURL Type: A text string
    Default: N/A
    Example:
    https://acme.chat.server.com:443
    This parameter is the fully qualified URL for the Chat server. It must contain the server address, URL scheme, and port number.
    Note:
    Always provide this parameter or the following two parameters: serverHostName and serverPort
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.serverHostName Type: A text string
    Default: N/A
    Example:
    acme.chat.server.com
    This parameter is the URL used to access the IBM Connections Chat server.
    Note:
    Do not provide the URL scheme with this parameter.
    Note:
    Always provide this parameter if serverURL is not being used. If serverURL is being used, then do not provide this parameter.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.serverPort Type: A number
    Default: N/A
    Example: 443
    This parameter is the port used to access the IBM Connections Chat server.
    Note:
    Always provide this parameter if serverURL is not being used. If serverURL is being used, then do not provide this parameter.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.ssl Type: A boolean (true or false)
    Default: false
    Example: true
    This parameter is used to indicate whether the community should use a secure connection or not.
    Note:
    If serverURL is being used, then do not provide this parameter.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.allowUntrustedSSL Type: A boolean (true or false)
    Default: false
    Example: false
    This parameter is used to indicate whether the community should allow untrusted SSL.
    Note:
    This parameter is only available if the 'ssl' parameter is set to true. Otherwise, this parameter will always be stored as false.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.user Type: A text string
    Default: N/A
    Example: JohnDoe@acme.com
    This parameter is used to authenticate the user with the chat server. As the MobileIron administrator, you are able to use a specific login username. However, MobileIron also provides the ability to substitute values that are specific to the individual user. The below three variables are available:
    $EMAIL$
    - Will be replaced with the email associated with the MobileIron user.
    $USERID$
    - Will be replaced with the user ID associated with the MobileIron user.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.password Type: A text string
    Default: N/A
    Example: abc123
    This parameter is used to authenticate the user with the chat server.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.cloudCommunity Type: A boolean (true or false)
    Default: false
    Example: false
    This parameter is used to indicate whether the community is a cloud community. Setting this parameter to 'true' will indicate that the configuration is a cloud community.
    Note:
    If community is a cloud community, some of these parameters are no longer applicable. Refer to the below section for configuring cloud communities.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.authProxyEnabled Type: A boolean (true or false)
    Default: true
    Example: true
    This parameter is used to indicate whether the Chat application should attempt to login through an authenticating proxy.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.photoPort Type: A number
    Default: N/A
    Example: 444
    This parameter is used to denote a separate port for providing contact photos to the application.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.authProxyReuseCredentials Type: A boolean (true or false)
    Default: true
    Example: true
    This parameter is used to indicate whether the Chat application should reuse the basic username and password for the authenticating proxy.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.authProxyUser Type: A text string
    Default: N/A
    Example: JohnDoe@acme.com
    This parameter is used to specify a separate username for use with the authenticating proxy.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.authProxyPassword Type: A text string
    Default: N/A
    Example: abc123
    This parameter is used to specify a separate password for use with the authenticating proxy.
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.disablePasswordSave Type: A boolean (true or false)
    Default: false
    Example: true
    This parameter is used to indicate to the application whether is should store the user's password or no






    Example:
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.communityName = ACME Chat Server
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.serverURL = https://acme.chat.com:443
    com.ibm.mobile.chat.user=you@yourcompany.com


    IBM Connections:

    - not available, but already smelling it -

    Our EMM solution mobile.profiler supports Managed App Configurations since iOS 7 and can be used to preconfigure the iOS IBM ICS Apps.


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