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Apple Spin-Off Hosts Enterprise App Stores

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-app-mall dept.

Android 64

An anonymous reader writes "Last year Apple quietly authorized private-label app stores with its OTA (over-the-air) protocol, and now an Apple spin-off is offering the first hosting service to uses OTA to create alternative app stores for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. One of the first is Cisco's App Fridge (for cool networking apps), but a dozen other Fortune 500 companies have also signed up. And this fall, Apperian promises to add Android apps to its service, enabling one-stop-shopping for private-label apps store hosted in the clouds. So far these store are for employees only, but by 2012 Apperian claims it will be offering alternative app stores for the rest of us."

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My Eyes! (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751856)

Just a hint to "Smarter Technology". If you want someone to believe what you're saying, or even be able to read it, you might figure out a way to flow paragraphs so that wordsdon't smashtogetherall of the time.

Jesus, that hurts.

Re:My Eyes! (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752162)

That was my first reaction, too. It's like it was copy & pasted out of a PDF. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a press-release originally.

Re:My Eyes! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753400)

Interestingly, they fixed it.... Or it's working now or something. Odd. (Firefox 3.6, OS X 10.6.8).

Re:My Eyes! (1)

panthrkub (886691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752408)

Which browser are you using? I'm not having any problems here with Chrome on Fedora.

Re:My Eyes! (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752424)

Looks fine on FF5 Windows. Either they fixed it or it's some kind of Browser specific problem.

Re:My Eyes! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752568)

Looks fine on Safari 5 on Mac OS X.

Re:My Eyes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36752818)

Other posters:

Looks fine on FF5 Windows

Looks fine on Safari 5 on Mac OS X.

However, it does NOT look fine on IE5 for Windows.

Re:My Eyes! (1)

lerxstz (692089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753282)

good grief, I hope you're joking.

Re:My Eyes! (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753312)

However, it does NOT look fine on IE5 for Windows.

What does?

Re:My Eyes! (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 3 years ago | (#36754798)

However, it does NOT look fine on IE5 for Windows.

What does?

about:blank?

SmarterTechnology? (1)

RdeCourtney (2034578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751890)

Someoneneedstocheck theirarticleforlack ofspaces

Can't read it (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751916)

The article is poorly written and formatted. I can't get past the first few sentences.

Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751942)

Apple allows other app stores? The world really will end in October!

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (2)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752014)

Enterprise customers have had the ability to run their own app store for over a year.

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (1)

schlesinm (934723) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752250)

This is a great way to get iOS devices into Enterprises. Companies can develop their own apps and distribute them to users without having to worry the overhead and publicness of the Apple App Store.

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36752388)

And how is that an advantage over every other type of device?

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752588)

it isnt, but its not a disadvantage either...being able to commision and customize devices is important to the enterprise... apple knew, that if they wanted to compete in that market, they had to allow it... and they did... so they can... it doesnt make apple better, the story is, they arent *worse..

* They might be worse, but for the sake of discussion, my point remains.

Device lead (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753484)

And how is that an advantage over every other type of device?

Because you get to use Apple devices instead of every other device.

Especially important with the iPad, which is very robust and has excellent battery life.

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753782)

Can these distribute apps that duplicate Apple functionality (music player, email client, browser, etc)? Could someone create an application that creates an accessible filesystem? If so, this actually goes a long way towards reducing my dislike of the iDevices.

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36754060)

You can do anything, like use internal APIs and whatever. You simply ignore Apple as a distribution mechanism, but still have to pay for the certificates to be able to build the apps. No idea why you would try to create an accesible filesystem, it's the last thing you want on any device...

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36754300)

Can these distribute apps that duplicate Apple functionality (music player, email client, browser, etc)? Could someone create an application that creates an accessible filesystem? If so, this actually goes a long way towards reducing my dislike of the iDevices.

They can do anything the enterprise allows, within the limits iOS imposes on apps (so full filesystem access isn't allowed - you're sandboxed unless you run your app jailbroken).

But that "priviledge" comes at the cost of an enterprise development fee which is something like $300 and other requirements, and it's something you have to manage - those apps aren't available to the general public.

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36752048)

Key word: "Enterprise". Don't expect a regular joe to be able to do this.

I suspect that the applications in there will also be subject to the same restrictions as the main one.

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (2)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752602)

Yeah, do you know how hard it is get the opportunity to serve on the Enterprise..

Enterprise apps, not regular consumer apps (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752110)

Apple allows other app stores? The world really will end in October!

These are enterprise apps for internal use by an organization. Enterprise apps have always been handled differently than the regular apps for consumers on the Apple App Store.

My understanding is that the organization maintains a list of device IDs allowed to use the app. They submit the list to Apple, Apple signs it, and returns the signed list as a provisioning file. The enterprise then distributes the app and the provisioning file to users, there is even a wireless method that the enterprise can set up. There is no Apple approval process for enterprise apps. I've not done an enterprise app myself but it sounds like the ad hoc distribution process used by regular developers and their testers.
http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#featuredarticles/FA_Wireless_Enterprise_App_Distribution/Introduction/Introduction.html [apple.com]

Re:Enterprise apps, not regular consumer apps (2)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752358)

You don't need a list of device IDs for enterprise distribution. An enterprise-level development account, with the appropriate distribution provisioning, is sufficient.

Using OTA enterprise distribution, I set up something similar for the place I work. An added benefit is that our in-house apps automatically check for updates when they're launched and prompt to update themselves if necessary. As far as I can tell, this "private-label app store" thing is pure media hype. As others have said, this is simply enterprise distribution, not distribution for the general public.

Re:Enterprise apps, not regular consumer apps (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752654)

Thanks. Having done ad hoc distribution many times I read too much into Apple's "must have a provisioning profile that authorizes devices to use the app".

Don't worry, Apple is still evil (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36752262)

Don't worry, Apple is still evil. They're not allowing other app stores for us plebes.

Basically, Apple tried to sell iPhones and iPads as enterprise devices. IT departments looked at them and laughed, pointing out that they need to be able to deploy custom in-house apps to them.

Apple for once listened to a customer (so maybe the world really is ending) and agreed to allow in-house app stores for customer enterprise apps. (Then again, I'm fairly sure said customer was the US DOD. So I suppose the thread of a Predator "mishap" around Cupertino can be quite the motivation.)

Think things like using an iPad as an inventory control device, not something like allowing us silly plebes to install our own browser that supports the entire web and not just Apple's small vision of it.

So, no, Apple is still evil. You and I will never be allowed to write our own iPad apps without paying Apple a large fee on top of 30% of all income. This is only for large companies already willing to pay Apple an even larger fee for the freedom to use iPads as tools and not toys.

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

onefineline (1981168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752384)

While not insignificant, I'm not sure that I would consider Apple's $99 fee to be "large"

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752524)

That is per year. For $99 a year you can buy devices that don't require rent be paid to use your own apps on them.

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753444)

Yeah, that whopping $99 dollars that might pay for half of a single phone! Such amazing savings!

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36754966)

Plenty of crappy tablets that a business could use for inventory are available at that price.

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36768292)

Wow, what a deal! You can use your savings to buy a shitty tablet that will break in a couple of months! I can't understand why businesses aren't jumping out of their seats over such a grand idea!

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36757376)

not just a smidge high and mighty are you? Money is money. if you dont care why dont you give 100$ to a charity RIGHT NOW. show us how it doesn't count. and my phone cost $100 you insensitive clod!

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752592)

That's $99 for the ordinary developer program, which gets you App Store apps as well as Ad-Hoc apps, limited to distribution to a few devices picked from a list that may only contain 100 devices per year. The Enterprise program, which gets you arbitrary distribution apps that you're only supposed to use inside your company, requires $299 and a DUNS number (some sort of business identifier) to keep the commoners out. (There used to be a prerequisite of hundreds of employees which was recently removed, so there's that.)

Nothing new, enterprises had self distribution (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752840)

Basically, Apple tried to sell iPhones and iPads as enterprise devices. IT departments looked at them and laughed, pointing out that they need to be able to deploy custom in-house apps to them. Apple for once listened to a customer (so maybe the world really is ending) and agreed to allow in-house app stores for customer enterprise apps.

No. This is nothing new. Enterprise apps have always been distributed internally. If not from day 1 then from *very* soon afterwards. I recall having to select regular or enterprise accounts when signing up with Apple in 2008.

What may have been added in recent history, a year or so ago (?), is the wireless distribution option.

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (0)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753448)

Basically, Apple tried to sell iPhones and iPads as enterprise devices. IT departments looked at them and laughed, pointing out that they need to be able to deploy custom in-house apps to them.

Dude stop smoking crack OK? Crack Kills your brain.

Medical organizations are mobilizing on the iPad. This is their dream device. A doc can walk around with it, take notes, show patients X-Rays, write prescriptions on it, write orders on it and all in a very nicely organized standardized way. And you know that little connector on the bottom of it? Well think dongle. Think credential holder. Think all kinds of things and when the new one with an HD display is ready you can bet that radiologists with be reading x-rays pretty much anywhere and sending back their findings.

Oh and the part about writing prescriptions on it? since it is hooked into the hospital database it can do reasonableness checks on the med's the doc is prescribing and put up a little flag that says, "Are You SURE you want to dose a 10 year kid that weighs 22 kilos like you would an adult that weighs 80 kilos?" Lots of medicine is prescribed in mg's per kilo

The iPad sold like hotcakes, is selling like hotcakes and will continue to sell like hotcakes, to everyone.

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36755926)

Sounds great. Maybe by the time iOS 6 gets here it'll actually be doable. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/020711-ipad-security-how-a-hospital.html [networkworld.com]

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36758734)

The device is fine. The speed at which they are being adopted is blinding. If you have ever worked in health care then you know this already.

Those windows apps are going to fall by the wayside faster then you can imagine. The iPad been on the market less then a year and it is taking the computing world by storm. The iPad 2 will further fuel this technology and drive it further and further into every aspect of every business. I predict that within one year that you will see your doctor charting you on one at any major medical facility and within two years you will see even small practice general practitioners using them. This is THE device for doctors.

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36759258)

Wow I read this and you comment before as WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM FLAILING TUBE MEN! [youtube.com]

lrn2astroturf, theres no Doctors in /. Jesus christ anyone can turf nowadays because while what you said it's true, your tone make it sound as if you were on a Meth rush.

Re:Don't worry, Apple is still evil (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36764876)

If by less than a year you mean a year and ~3 months, then yah.

Re:Quick, dig out that bomb shelter! (1)

Mr Bubble (14652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36756748)

Next thing you know, they will stop killing babies.

Apperian is run by a slimeball (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36752094)

The CEO of Apperian is a total backstabbing shyster slimeball. I would not put too much faith in the claim about "alternative app stores for the rest of us" until it materializes. He's exactly the sort of person to make wild, unfounded claims in order to drum up hype and attention.

For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

VoiceOfSanity (716713) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752400)

Where I work, we (meaning the IT support people) have been dreading the rumblings of having iPhones and iPads approved for use within the company. The biggest fear was that the security folks would try to lock down the devices, and having to listen to people complaining that they couldn't load music and applications, blaming us for the resulting mess. But this would not only help us in being able to remind folks that the devices are company devices, but that instead of having to deal with iTunes on the machine, we'd have a much simpler interface to work with. From my perspective, this would be a perfect way to go. People get their iPhones, but the company can keep them secured and still provide a limited number of applications (business related) that they can utilize. And we don't have to worry about iTunes and the resulting messes that would make supporting their machines a major hassle.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752686)

What is the point of an i$thing if you can't install apps on it?
Just using it as jewelery?

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

VoiceOfSanity (716713) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752764)

It's a security issue. The iPhone and iPad are not exactly stellar when it comes to Enterprise-level security. And you have to remember that the devices do not belong to the end users, it belongs to the company and it should be the company's decision as to what is allowed to be loaded on the device and what isn't.

This is no different than locking down a laptop so that unauthorized software cannot be loaded on the laptop unless it comes from a company-run and provided website/service. I wouldn't want the end users to have the ability to load whatever piece of crudware on their machines, and I don't want to see an iPhone being filled with games and useless applets simply because the end user could do it. It's company hardware, and the company has the right to say what's allowed on their networks and their devices.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752794)

I'm so glad I chose a profession where I'm treated like a professional.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36753132)

A professional working person is usually good at his specific profession. It doesn't mean you are good at all of them. Ask a professional investor or a CEO what that metal tube running down the side of the hot water heater is for and if, when, and how they flush out the sediment that collects in the heater and what happens if they don't.
I am an IT person at a major law firm. I know what professionals are capable of knowing and doing with technology.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (2)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36756304)

a "pofessional" is just someone who does something as his "profession". Does not mean he is actually good at it. I am a professional scientist. Does not mean I am good at it. :)

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

EXrider (756168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753240)

It's a security issue. The iPhone and iPad are not exactly stellar when it comes to Enterprise-level security.

They're better than Android or WP7 in their current incarnations. At least you can specify what people can and can't do with the device in an enterprise environment and actually provision it with a standardized profile. The only better smartphone platform is Blackberry + BES; and we all know how great their smartphones are lately.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36754878)

The company sure does have that right. The question is if the company is going to do that then why would the users want the devices at all?
If I was a user at the company I would rather not have the company iPhone at all with those restrictions, since I would be carrying two devices.

Unless the device is jailbroken I fail to see what having a few games would hurt. This sounds more like control for its own sake than anything else.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36754880)

That's fine if your staff use the same applications all the time to do the same things. Accountants, bankers, insurance brokers etc. fit this profile nicely, as do secretaries and PAs using Word. These things don't require innovation or free thought. They are essentially administrative tasks.

Once you have an employee that does specialized or varied work the model becomes very broken - think software developers, scientists, engineers. The whole reason we had a PC revolution is that it put power in the hands of the end user and suddenly you could download applications that could do just about anything and if you couldn't find one and had the time and knack you could build it yourself. Take that away by locking down their desktops, laptops and phones and suddenly you have a workforce who cannot innovate and is ineffective. Any company that doesn't fall into this "best practice" trap will have a significant advantage and you'll wind up paying through the nose for contractors and consultants (until you impose the same idiotic rules upon them too).

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36758092)

I cannot see a locked company phone as being a huge block to innovation and creativity. Desktops for certain roles are different, though once your organisation gets large you want to standardise some of those applications.

Engineers? we have several hundred

Developers? I found 70 in one area when I went looking, and there's more in other projects too

Scientists? These are still rare where I work, so they consequently have some software that only they use.

For the rest, hacking out something innovative means standardising and getting out to the rest of the group.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753462)

What is the point of an i$thing if you can't install apps on it?

Really I know tons of people who have installed dozens and dozens of apps on their iDevices and have not jailbroken them. Have they done so through magic? Or are you conflating the ability to install apps that almost no average user cares about with not being able to install anything at all?

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36754790)

No, he is stating that his enterprise would limit the apps the user could install. Which made me wonder why then those users would still desire such devices. If the device would be that crippled then you have to carry around two phones.

Re:For some, this is actually wecomed news (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36753062)

They were approved over a year ago here. We have to support them, but are not given any to train with for said support. You still need iTunes, as they expect you to back up your iPad or iPhone in case you mess it up and it gets wiped. But the iTunes install requires an Administrator login, which not too many users have. They're not locked down in any way except that, once they are synced to our Exchange server, we can remotely wipe them. But that requires them to be connected to the Internet and access to certain sites.

The best part? (-1)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752452)

This undercuts Apples "App Store is short for Apple Store!" defense in the trademark case.

Re:The best part? (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752642)

Hey troll, Apple never said app store was short for Apple store. Plus it could now stand for Apperian Store.

Re:The best part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36753260)

Hey troll, Apple never said app store was short for Apple store. Plus it could now stand for Apperian Store.

So you do the semantic dance..if 500 corporations or entities can all sell "apps" to you via their App stores for the iOS doesn't that somehow dilute Apples claim?

The horror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36754110)

Oh. My. God. They've fragmented their market. There's fragments everywhere. Do they know how much iOS users dread the thought of having more than one store? They'll never stand for this. Except... no, wait a minutes, this is multiple stores done right! This is multiple stores with an Apple logo in the background. Wonderful! Why couldn't anyone else have thought of this? Mr. Jobs sir, you are a genius.

Apple Spinoff? Hardly! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36754674)

Apperian isn't a spinoff from Apple. It was founded by the SE director (Chuck Goldman) in the old enterprise sales group who got his ass canned for any number of things done out of sorts. In no way shape or form is this even related to Apple other than it's a product for iOS.

is that what this is? (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36758936)

Re:is that what this is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36762200)

nope completely unrelated announcement

Thanks Apple! (1)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36760698)

Freedom for enterprise customers and trusted computing for the rest of us. Thanks Apple!

Only corporation (not people) should be entrusted will the ability to run code.

Ultra-secure :-) (1)

gwstuff (2067112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36779650)

> Apple spin-off's ultra-secure cloud-based provisioning service Wonder what ultra-secure means.. short of "we never turn it on ;)"
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