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Support for Managed App Configuration with Enterprise Mobility Management Solutions

03-04-2019 09:00 AM
by Anonymous User
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Managing the safety and security of mobile devices, apps and data in your enterprise network is now more important than ever. With AppStudio 3.3 Beta we have added support for managed app configuration, also known as AppConfig, when managing and deploying your apps through your Enterprise Mobility Management solution.


What are EMMs and MDMs?

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is a set of people, processes and technology focused on securely and efficiently managing systems and devices (desktop, server, and mobile). This includes setting policies, pre-configuring settings, applying restrictions, deploying apps, and setting profiles and assignment policies to deliver apps to your managed devices. The management of mobile devices is one of the many components available as part of an EMM solution.


There are a number of Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that can help you implement your EMM solution for managing your enterprise mobile devices, and these MDM solutions include support for what is known as Mobile Application Management (MAM). Here are just a few of the available MDM solutions that many of the Esri apps have already been tested and deployed with: VMware AirwatchMicrosoft Intune, MobileIron Cloud, Samsung Knox, Citrix XenMobile, IBM MaaS360, Cisco Meraki.


What is managed app configuration?

Managed app configuration allows apps to be remotely configured through an EMM solution. In order to use managed app configuration, the app must be installed on the device and managed via an MDM solution. While managed app configuration is a feature supported by most of the popular MDM providers, it's best to check with your provider if this feature is supported.
In general, MDM providers support AppConfig using key-value pairs. In AppStudio we are following the guidelines found within the AppConfig community's xml standard specification for iOS, Windows, MacOS and Linux. On Android, we support Android's Restriction Manager xml spec.
Note: Currently, managed app configuration in AppStudio is only supported on iOS and Android platforms.
Adding managed app configuration settings in your MDM

Below is an example of how to set the key-value pairs when creating an assignment, from within the VMware AirWatch MDM console:



How to read the managed app configuration settings in an AppStudio app

In AppStudio 3.3 beta we have added a new plugin called AppFramework.Management which needs to be imported for your apps to read the settings provided by the MDM. This plugin contains a ManagedAppConfiguration singleton component that provides access to policyDefaults, which are the default key-value pairs the app honors and policySettings which is the list of configured key-value pairs the MDM provides.



In order to specify the defaults that your app supports, you can use the following new appinfo properties:
"management": {
        "android": {
            "restrictionFile": "restrictions.xml"
        "configurationSchema": "specfile.xml"
To make reading policy defaults and settings easier, we have also provided two new helper methods: value and defaultValue. They work by fetching either the default value of the app or the settings value that the MDM has provided with the given key.
For instance, this is how your AppStudio app would read the portalUrl and portalName keys specified by the MDM in the above example:
Connections {
        target: ManagedAppConfiguration
        onPolicySettingsChanged : {
            portalName.text = ManagedAppConfiguration.value("portalName", false, "ArcGIS");
            portalUrl.text = ManagedAppConfiguration.value("portalUrl", false, "");
        onPolicyDefaultsChanged : {
            defaultPortalName.text = ManagedAppConfiguration.defaultValue("portalName");
            defaultPortalUrl.text = ManagedAppConfiguration.defaultValue("portalUrl"); 
Note: AppStudio for ArcGIS 3.3 beta downloads are available through the Early Adopter Community.  
Using the sample app
A new sample app called "Managed App Config" which demonstrates all of the above configurations is now available for you to try. You can find this sample app in the latest AppStudio Desktop edition:
1.   Launch AppStudio Desktop
2.   Select New App
3.   Select the Search Icon
4.   Type: Managed App Config
5.   Select the "Managed App Config" sample
                                                                         Managed App Config sample app 
Please try out this new feature with your favorite MDM provider and give us your feedback by leaving your comments below or email us at
To find out more about Esri’s ongoing efforts to support our customers implementing EMM solutions, you may also be interested in reading about Mobile Application Management and Esri’s Field Apps. Additionally, for more information about Esri's approach to Mobile Application Management, please read our ArcGIS Secure Mobile Implementation Patterns on the ArcGIS Trust website.