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Introduction

Before starting deployment of apps, there are some considerations to take into account.

 Who is the owner?

Is it a personal mobile phone used in work applications? Is it a fully company owned and controlled device?

 Usage Scenarios

Following best practice it is necessary to consider the type of devices your organisation utilize and the user pattern for the devices.

It is important to consider distinguishign between company devices, which is used for a dedicated purpose, like in meeting rooms, receptions etc. and devices given as a personal device to an individual user. Each type of user pattern might require different application usage and configuration setup.


An example for use of different apps, could be a company app for sales. Such an app would probably not be distributed to all user devices and perhaps not any of the Company devices.

Another example could be a meeting room app, which can be distributed to all devices in the organisation.

 Who is the user?

How is the device used on a daily basis? Is it a personal device, an kiosk system with no user or maybe a multi-user system?

 Accounts and restrictions

In order to deploy apps from Apple App Stores, Google Play or Windows Store, usually there needs to be assigned an account to each device. This can be either an Apple ID, Google Account or Microsoft account. Depending on the type of usage for a product, it might be beneficial to use a company account instead of normal user accounts. There is an exception to the account requirement if you use Apple's Volume Purchase Program and devices has iOS9 or higher.


iOS units supports restriction of App Store and Apps. If a device has a profile with such restrictions, it might not be possible to deploy some apps to the device due to these restrictions.

If the device needs some restrictions which prevents use of App Store, then the managed Apps must be installed prior to applying the restriction profile or alternatively the restriction profile must be removed during app deployment and reapplied afterwards.


Android units enrolled as Device Owner and Samsung KNOX units support restriction of Play Store and Apps.

If a device has a profile with such restrictions, it might not be possible to deploy some apps to the device due to these restrictions. If the device needs some restrictions which prevents use of Play Store, then the managed Apps must be installed prior to applying the restriction profile or alternatively the restriction profile must be removed during app deployment and reapplied afterwards.

 Creating Device Applications

 How to create a Device Applications

In general an app is a program designed to run on a mobile device, same as any other program running on a PC. A Device Application is conceptually the same as a CapaInstaller package. It contains a program/app and a "recipe" for installing and uninstalling this program/app.

Unlike on PC's, apps for mobile devices are generally distributed by a dedicated application store, and support for non application store apps is either not permitted or they require special handling.

CapaInstaller supports all official marketplaces and mainstream devices / platforms.

 Windows  Mobile    Android including   KNOX   Apple iOS and macOS

 Supported platforms

Apple iOS

  • iOS version 7 and above


Apple macOS

  • 10.7 and above


Android

  • Android version 4.4 and above
  • Samsung KNOX 2.1 and above


Windows Mobile

  • Windows Mobile 10 and above


 Creating Device Applications

In order to open the editor and create a new application, you must expand a root Configuration Management Point (CMP), and then expand Applications and Packages. Right click on the Device Applications node in the navigation pane and select ‘Create Application. Similar to packages and power schemes, applications can only be created and edited in root CMPs, and from there be promoted to child CMPs.

 How to create a Device Application...
  • Right click Device Applications and Select Create Application
  • Specify an Application name for the application and a description. The priority determines the order in which applications are installed. The version is automatically incremented each time the application is saved.
  • Click on one of the platform specific payloads on the left, this is now added to the device application being configured
  • Click the "Search" button in the top of that empty payload to open a form where you can search for an App in the selected marketplace
  • Click the OK button to add the selected app to the payload and return you to the Application Editor
  • When the desired payloads have been added to the Device Application and their settings configured, the application can be saved by clicking Ok. If any mandatory fields have been skipped, or the input is invalid, they will be marked by an exclamation mark.






An application is limited to hold only one payload of each category/platform, so you won’t be able to create an application that contains two iOS apps.

It can however be a good idea to add two payloads to the same application, if it is an app that has been released on both iOS, Android and Windows Phone. An example could be an OneNote application that contains a Google Play payload, an App Store payload and a Windows Phone payload that points to the OneNote app in their respective stores. When the application is linked to devices, the system will determine which payload to assign based on the device. If an application does not contain a payload that is compatible with the device, the device-application status will be marked as ‘Not Applicable’

A payload can be removed fromt the Device Application by clicking the red X in its upper right corner.


 Creating Enterprise Apps

With the Application Editor you can configure enterprise apps that are not publicly available in the App stores.

 Enterprise App requirements...

 macOS Enterprise App Requirements

 Click here to expand...

Please verify the following requirements with the app vendor before attempting to deploy Enterprise Apps on your devices!

  • Devices must be running macOS 10.7 (El Capitan) or newer
  • The package must be signed with a certificate.
    • A package needs to be signed by the app developer, only the package needs to be signed, not the app.
  • The package must include the following files
    • PackageInfo, Bom, Payload and [TOC].xml

    • The package can also contain Scripts and RunAtStartup but these are not required

Enterprise Apps can be uploaded and added to an Enterprise Application, and distributed to the devices in your organization.

 How to create an Enterprise Device Application...
  • Right click Device Applications and Select Create Application
  • Select Enterprise payload on the left side of the application editor, an empty payload will be added to the application on the right.
  • Click the browse button and choose an Enterprise Application file from your hard drive.
    • The system will retrieve basic information from the Enterprise App file, such as name, version, identifier and an icon and populate those settings in the payload.
  • Click Choose to change the deafault icon or to add an icon if the Enterprise App file contained no icon.
    .

Example: Creating an iOS Enterprise App


  • Additionally for iOS you can configure whether or not the user should be able to remove the app manually from the device, and if backup of the app data should be prevented. These options are only available for iOS.
  • The file extension for iOS apps is .ipa, .apk for Android. .xap, appx or .appxbundle for Windows and .pkg for macOS
  • A unique filename will be generated, which will be used when it is uploaded to your management servers for distribution.



 Read More

 Distributing Device Applications

 How to distribute Device Apps

The device application can now be deployed directly to Devices, Users or assigned to Groups just like working with all other CapaInstaller packages.

 Assign applications directly to a device

Either by drag and drop or by using the unit buffer, you can link an application and a device together. The relation between them will get the status 'Waiting' until it is successfully installed.

 Assigning apps using the buffer

 Assigning one or more apps to a device or more devices using the buffer


The status of the assignment can be seen by selecting either the device or the application in the navigation pane.

 Assign applications to a device through users

In the same way an application can be linked to a device, it can also be linked to a user. Any devices linked to the user at that time, will have the application assigned as well as the user. Any devices linked to the user at a later point in time will also automatically get the user's applications.

 Assign applications to a device through groups

Groups can be linked to devices, users and applications. If a group with devices is linked to an application, all its device members will receive the application.

If a group with users is linked to an application, all devices linked to the group's user members will receive the application.

This feature reduces the work for administrators significantly, and with the an intelligent use of dynamic groups, devices will be automatically assigned to the correct applications based on its properties such as hardware, software, location etc.

 Read more

Working with groups


If a Device Application doesn't contain e.g. an Android payload and it is linked to an Android device, the package status will be "Not Applicable". So there is no harm done in bulk deploying Device Applications across device types.

It is like normal packages always recommended that a package is tested in your Development Management Point, and later promoted to your production environment.

In most cases the installation of an app will include prompting the user on the device who will have to accept. On Android and Windows Phone devices, the user is always prompted, and if its an app that cost money, the account on the device will be billed. This is usually also the case with iOS devices, but with the use of  Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP) there are other options available.

 Installing Apps on Apple Devices

 iOS: Click here to view platform-specific instructions...
When Installing apps on iOS there are a few additional options available compared to the other platforms. These options depends on the iOS version on your devices and whether or not you have an Apple Volume Purchase Program.

The most basic scenario is installing a free app without the use of Licensing on a device with an Apple ID. In this scenario the user will simply be prompted before the installation.

If instead you are installing a paid app, the result depends on whether or not the Apple ID on the device has previously purchased that app.

  • If it has not been purchased, the installation will fail and its status in the CapaInstaller Console will change to 'Needs License Key'.
  • If it has been purchased, the user will be prompted before the installation just as if it was a free app.

If you take advantage of Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP), it will give you more options in the distribution of apps. You can purchase licenses in your VPP for the apps you wish to distribute, link it to CapaInstaller Solution and from there assign licenses to users or devices.

You can manage your VPP Licenses and assign them to users and devices separate from the deployment of apps, or you can set it up so that an App automatically retrieves and assigns a license to the devices it is scheduled to be installed on. You can even deploy apps to devices without an Apple ID, by using the device assigned licenses, and this will work for both paid and free apps.

The requirement for user-assigned VPP licenses is that devices run iOS8 or higher, and device-assigned license is supported from iOS9 and higher.

 macOS: Click here to view platform-specific instructions...

When Installing apps on macOS there are a few limitations. App store apps can only be installed through Apple Volume Purchase Program. So in order to install an App Store app, you will need to purchase the app in the Apple Volume Purchase Program (this includes free apps as well).


Please be aware that VPP apps both exists for iOS and macOS, so you will have to purchase apps for the different platforms.

It is not possible (yet) to remotely uninstall apps on macOS, so when you uninstall an app the license will be released and the app will continue to work on the device, for some time afterwards (How long time the app will work after it has lost its license is for Apple to decide).


If you take advantage of Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP), it will give you more options in the distribution of apps. You can purchase licenses in your VPP for the apps you wish to distribute, link it to CapaInstaller Solution and from there assign licenses to users or devices.


You can manage your VPP Licenses and assign them to users and devices separate from the deployment of apps, or you can set it up so that an App automatically retrieves and assigns a license to the devices it is scheduled to be installed on. You can even deploy apps to devices without an Apple ID, by using the device assigned licenses, and this will work for both paid and free apps.

 Installing Apps on Android Devices 

 Click here to view platform-specific instructions...
Installing an app on Android always results in a dialog on the device asking the user if the app should be installed. If it is a paid app, which has not previously been purchased by the user, the purchase will be billed to the Google account on the device.

 Installing Apps on Windows Phone Devices

 Click here to view platform-specific instructions...
Installing an app on Windows phone always results in a dialog on the device asking the user if the app should be installed. If it is a paid app, which has not previously been purchased by the user, the purchase will be billed to the Microsoft account on the device.

 Removing or unlinking Device Applications

There are two ways of working with Device Application removal in CapaInstaller. "Remove Application" will uninstall the app on the device and once that is done it will be unlinked in the console. "Unlink Application" will not uninstall the app, but only unlink it in the console. If you know that the app is no longer installed on the device you could use the Unlink action, but it is recommended to use Remove Application. Both will revoke any VPP Licenses assigned to the device or the Apple ID on the device if the device application is configured to use those VPP licenses.

 Updating Device Applications

 Click here to expand...

App updating are handled automatically directly on the device when a new version is available on the relevant vendor marketplace.

 CapaInstaller updating of Device Applications from AppStore

If an App needs to be updated on an Apple device it can be either done manually by Setting the App to status "Waiting", or by enabling the "Auto update application" feature in the App profile. See How to Manage Automatic Application Updates


 Updating an Enterprise Device Application

Updating can be done replacing the Enterprise Device Application with the Application Editor.

 How to edit an existing enterprise device application...
  • Right click the Application to update and select Edit.
  • Select an new version of the App, etiher a new Enterprise Application file version or a newer version from the relevant App Marketplace
  • Optionally Update the application name with the latest info
  • Click OK to apply the changes and update the App

Example: Updating an Enterprise Device Application to a newer version


  • Applications can only be edited in root CMPs, and the changes should then be promoted to child CMPs after sufficient testing on the intended target devices.
  • If you have already promoted the Application a warning will remind you that the App is allready  linked to devices and installed on devices.
  • Any changes to the App might render the information shown in the console incoherent with what versions or apps are actually installed on the devices
  • Right clicking an Application in a child point, you can select 'View' in order to open it in the Application editor. All the settings can be seen but in a view only mode


Resetting an App before update

  • To completely wipe App data and user configured options for the App, Remove the old version of the app and distribute the updated App again.

 Configuring Device Applications

 How to handle Device Application Configuration

 Configuring Apps on Apple Devices

 Click here to view platform-specific instructions...

On iOS 7 and above some Apps require further configuration options like an URL, a network port or an email address,

With AppConfig it is possible to configure these and apply them to a Device Application.

Requirements

  • AppConfig works on devices with iOS7 or higher.
  • App is developed with iOS “Managed Configuration” capabilities built in
  • App developer supplies XML definition file, documenting the configurations that the app supports
  • The application can be a public app in the iTunes store, or may be an internally developed app signed for enterprise.

 Configuring Apps on Android Devices

 Click here to view platform-specific instructions...

Please be aware of the below requirements to be able to use Application Configuration (Appconfig)

 Application configuration requirements
  • AppConfig works on Android devices with version 5.0 or higher (Lollipop).
  • The CapaInstaller Android Agent on the Device must be enrolled as "Device Owner"
  • The App needs to support App configuration in order to work.
  • App configurations are individual for each app and perhaps also App versions.
  • Some App configuration settings may be dependent on other app configuration settings.
  • The app configuration can work for all types of Android apps (Play store Apps, Enterprise Apps or System Apps).
  • In order for an App configuration to take effect it might be necessary to launch the App after the app configuration.
  • Changing App configuration for running apps will not necessarily take effect before the Apps is restarted.


On Android it is possible to make individual App configurations. An App configuration makes it possible to configure App settiings for deployed apps.

Typically an App configuration will be used on a managed App, either a Play Store App or and Enterprise App. It can also be used on System Apps.

The App developer provides the possible configurations. The configurations can be retrieved by either checking the App developers support pages or by retrieving the possible app configurations from an Android device which has installed the App through CapaInstaller.



If an App configurations is stored it can be retrieved by clicking the load button.

 Licensing

 Licensing Apps

 Licensing Apps on Apple Devices

Currently CapaInstaller supports Apples Volume Purchase Programs for bulk licensing of Apps.