AppConfig Community launches Android best practices


Updated May 18: The AppConfig Community, an initiative led by four enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendors to promote enterprise app development, has announced it has finalised best practices for Android configurations.

The community, which launched at Mobile World Congress in February with AirWatch VMware, IBM, JAMF Software and MobileIron as its founding members, originally focused on iOS, but three months on is examining Android for Work. Developers will be able to leverage native Android for Work APIs, as well as best practice for single sign on and utilising security policies that work across EMM vendors.

“As one of the earliest proponents of the AppConfig Community, we’re glad there’s also a defined set of Android best practices,” said Billy Blau, Dropbox head of technology partnerships in a statement. “Standard configurations will help our customers simply and securely deploy Dropbox Business across mobile operating systems without the need for additional code and SDKs.

“This means businesses spend less time developing and more time keeping teams productive and data safe,” he added.

Anar Taori, IBM senior director of product management, wrote in a company blog post welcoming Google to the fold: "Today, the AppConfig Community built on its mission by announcing its Android for Work support, which includes best practices for app developers to reference when they're configuring and securing their Android mobile apps. As a longtime collaborator with Google, IBM is excited to announce Google's support for the AppConfig Community."

Even though the move was already mooted, Joseph Razavian, who leads tech partnerships for AirWatch and the AppConfig Community, notes how the feedback from iOS helped push things forward. “We had a resounding positive response that our AppConfig iOS best practices were making lives easier for developers, end users and enterprise IT, so it was important to extend this to other important mobility programs,” he told Enterprise AppsTech.

As this publication explored when AppConfig was initially announced, the founders saw an inconsistent user and IT experience, enterprise security requirements, and configuring with multiple EMM platforms as the three main pain points for enterprise app development. The previous attempt at unifying the space, App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE), was scrapped as “the other EMMs had a strong feeling that ACE was affiliated with VMware and AirWatch,” according to Mimi Spier, VMware senior business mobility director. The membership of ACE has subsequently been folded into AppConfig.

While Android remains the most popular consumer operating system, its effectiveness in the enterprise is less marked when compared to iOS, with the latest industry figures showing iOS holding approximately two thirds of all enterprise device activations. Windows, which holds a minimal number of activations in comparison, is also on the list for AppConfig. Razavian did not confirm a date but added: “We must continue to drive forward on our mission to simplify enterprise app management challenges. To do this, we’ll continue to work with developers, ISVs, EMMs and OS vendors to update and improve our existing best practices.

“We have been and continue to be open to any and all EMM providers and ISVs officially joining the AppConfig Community, as well as welcoming the support of operating system vendors,” he added.

You can find more about the Android move here. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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