For a number of reasons, developing mobile applications for the enterprise involves greater complexity than creating consumer mobile apps. There are the heightened security considerations, for starters. Ensuring integration and functionality across different mobile platforms also are tremendous challenges for enterprise apps developers.
A consortium of mobile technology and apps vendors hopes to ease this burden for enterprise mobile apps developers and IT professionals through the creation of a standard approach to app configuration and management.
Launched in late February, AppConfig describes itself as 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.”
The initiative is being led by JAMF Software, IBM, MobileIron and VMware. Among the 65 (and counting) “community members” signing on to the effort are Box, Docusign, PatientSafe, Replicon, Salesforce SDK, Vaporstream and Workday.
As InformationWeek‘s Thomas Claburn explains, “This is not a cross-platform development proposal. Rather it provides a small patch of common ground for developers creating apps for native platforms (iOS, Android, Windows). If an application vendor builds an app to this native app specification, the app can be used across any EMM vendor.”
Initially, however, AppConfig will focus only on iOS apps, so Android and Windows developers will have to remain patient.
While this standard approach to enterprise mobile apps development makes it easier for developers and IT administrators, it also provides a payoff for arguably the most important stakeholder in the mobile chain — the end user.
“End users also benefit from automated features such as an out-of-the-box experience to give the users instant app access without requiring cumbersome setup flows or user credentials,” AppConfig says.
Does AppConfig’s approach make sense to you?