3/9/2015 10:20:03 PM
Cisco, AirWatch and Others Lead ACE Tech Consortium to Create Industry Standards for Enterprise App Deployment
API,Enterprise Application,App Wrapping,SDK,Xamarin,Android,iOS
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App Developer Magazine

Cisco, AirWatch and Others Lead ACE Tech Consortium to Create Industry Standards for Enterprise App Deployment



Richard Harris Richard Harris in IoT Monday, March 9, 2015
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AirWatch, Box, Cisco, Workday and Xamarin are leading a consortium of companies who are attempting to create an industry standard for enterprise app deployment. The new App Configuration for Enterprise (ACE) consortium is attempting to create a standard, scalable way to configure and secure enterprise apps.

ACE leverages the latest APIs available from Android and Apple iOS, providing a development framework designed to eliminate scalability issues associated with SDKs and App Wrapping technology. This development framework also standardizes app configuration and security management for EMM platforms, to facilitate the management applications developed using ACE documentation.

The rationale for doing so, according to the organization’s website.

Enterprise app initiatives are plagued with adoption issues due to usability issues from end users and security concerns from organizations’ IT departments.

While traditional tools like SDKs and App Wrapping (available from many EMM providers) solve many of these issues, these tools don’t scale to support the broad ecosystem across public and internal apps, and usually address very specific, niche use cases. Each EMM provider has its own proprietary SDK, and usually a version for each major platform, adding to the fragmentation and scalability issues for app developers. Multiple versions of the same application built with different SDKs can confuse end users who are unsure which version their organization should use, and some versions will lag behind in feature updates. App Wrapping introduces additional maintenance requirements for organizations’ IT departments, restrictions for app developers and legal gray areas that can slow down app distribution.

ACE delivers the first standard approach to configuring and securing apps in the enterprise. By leveraging the latest APIs available from leading operating system platforms Android and Apple iOS, ACE provides a development framework requiring minimal effort for developers while eliminating scalability issues associated with SDKs and App Wrapping technology. This development framework also standardizes app configuration and security management for EMM platforms, making it easy to manage applications developed using ACE documentation and ensuring a seamless experience for end users.

The ACE standard allows enterprise application developers to interpret app configurations and security policies from EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) systems, and for EMM systems to configure and secure mobile applications. With ACE, app developers can build a single application that works across all EMM vendors, eliminating the need to maintain multiple copies of an application. Developers will not need to integrate any proprietary code, and no SDK or legacy App Wrapping solutions are required. 

Many of the capabilities specified in ACE, such as “App Tunnel”, Kerberos based “Single Sign On”, and some security settings, do not require any development effort to take advantage of. Some capabilities such as certificate based “Single Sign On”, “App Configuration”, and certain security settings do require minor development effort. This is all accomplished by leveraging standard APIs and capabilities that are built into the operating system platforms, and made available to EMM vendors to selectively enable on devices. 




Read more: http://www.appconfigforenterprise.org/dev-center.h...