Enterprise deployment or free app?

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Enterprise deployment or free app?

JamesLavery
I'd appreciate peoples' views/experience in the light of what we need to achieve for one of our customers.

We have an application which we are porting to iOS for one of our customers. It's the handheld component of a bespoke management system which is licensed to  their customers and as such won't work with a valid logon to a central server. This logon etc. is managed by us completely separately from the handheld application.

I'm trying to work out whether we need to or should be deploying this as an enterprise application. I have a feeling we shouldn't as we won't necessarily have control over the devices they're using.

In fact, looking at the terms and conditions of enterprise deployment, seeing as the application will be used by our customer's customers (i.e. not internally), we can't use enterprise deployment.

Therefore the option I see is to make the application free and generally available on the AppStore, but will only work using correct logon credentials.

The app would therefore appear on the store as something like "AcmeAssetManager" with a description of "iPhone application for mobile management of assets using the Acme Asset Manager system". Obviously, Acme here in place of our customer, and "Asset Manager" in place of the system name!

If we do this then we may also have an opportunity for the free app to operate in demo mode for non-authorised users, and therefore act as a marketing tool for the service. The service is pretty specialised (can't give details here), but this could still be useful.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Can anyone see pitfalls with this?

Thanks a lot,

James
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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

eternalbard
I think there is a lot of application in that way. Maybe the only disadvantage is to be ad hands of Apple to approve, ant wait about 4 or 5 days to appear each new version.. Also in a emergency need to update for a critical bug non discovered before publishing… it's happens…

But is more cheap and do not depend on client to get a development enterprise account.

Or.. Each client get this… We have 2 cases here that both companies get enterprise from apple, and we're managing that for them… But in our case,we have a windows mobile application ported to iOs, the same application for both clients, changing configurable rules.. If at morning a bugged version is published, and 3 hours ago a problem is seen… web can update it as it's corrected. The application detects that has a new version and makes the update withou to need to click on a icon or link on AppStore….

So two valid ways to do it…

Karl

From: JamesLavery <[hidden email]>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 04:52:18 -0800 (PST)
To: "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
Subject: [MonoTouch] Enterprise deployment or free app?

I'd appreciate peoples' views/experience in the light of what we need to
achieve for one of our customers.

We have an application which we are porting to iOS for one of our customers.
It's the handheld component of a bespoke management system which is licensed
to  /their/ customers and as such won't work with a valid logon to a central
server. This logon etc. is managed by us completely separately from the
handheld application.

I'm trying to work out whether we need to or should be deploying this as an
enterprise application. I have a feeling we shouldn't as we won't
necessarily have control over the devices they're using.

In fact, looking at the terms and conditions of enterprise deployment,
seeing as the application will be used by our customer's customers (i.e. not
internally), we /can't/ use enterprise deployment.

Therefore the option I see is to make the application free and generally
available on the AppStore, but will only work using correct logon
credentials.

The app would therefore appear on the store as something like
"AcmeAssetManager" with a description of "iPhone application for mobile
management of assets using the Acme Asset Manager system". Obviously, Acme
here in place of our customer, and "Asset Manager" in place of the system
name!

If we do this then we may also have an opportunity for the free app to
operate in demo mode for non-authorised users, and therefore act as a
marketing tool for the service. The service is pretty specialised (can't
give details here), but this could still be useful.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Can anyone see pitfalls with
this?

Thanks a lot,

James

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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

JamesLavery
Hi Karl,
Thanks, that's very useful.

Can you clarify your second option please? Are you saying that the application updates itself from the web/server? In this case, do we in fact have a launcher app which checks for updates and updates the main app if necessary? I'm new to iOS development, so am not sure how this can be achieved - can we programmatically install an app?

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?
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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

eternalbard
On server, each time the application sync it's programed to check if there is an update/newer version, passing actual version to webservice and receiving the "link" for download. So if you call this URL (that is the plist with info about ipa file) , ios manages it with a message to user: this website is trying to install an one application: install or cancel? So if you tap install, ios closes the application and download/install the newer. Document file (database) stay intact and changes only the application.

var application = UIApplication.SharedApplication;

var url = NSUrl.FromString (string.Format("itms-services://?action=download-manifest&url={0}", UpdateUrl /* from webservice*/));

if (application.CanOpenUrl(url)) // don't know if t's needed

UIApplication.SharedApplication.OpenUrl(url);



This kind of link can be manually testes typing on safari… it's like:

itms-services://?action=download-manifest&url=AdressOfThePlistFile

It could be more sophisticated, as to do an application manager as a second application, and 2 application can interact, if you want to change information about when and how exactly the application was updated, etc, or manage more than one application. Actually we're not doing that, just self update. don’t'know the future yet.

Maybe on AppStore if there is a way to find where on apple serve is your plist file, so maybe it can be accomplished too from appstore applications… Never put nothing yet on AppStore.

Karl

From: JamesLavery <[hidden email]>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 05:11:42 -0800 (PST)
To: "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [MonoTouch] Enterprise deployment or free app?

Hi Karl,
Thanks, that's very useful.

Can you clarify your second option please? Are you saying that the
application updates itself from the web/server? In this case, do we in fact
have a launcher app which checks for updates and updates the main app if
necessary? I'm new to iOS development, so am not sure how this can be
achieved - can we programmatically install an app?

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

Jackson Harper
In reply to this post by JamesLavery

We use the free app method. The only real downsides are you have to go through the submission process and idiots that are not customers will sometimes install your app, complain about it not working (because they don't have account info) and will leave low feedback. 

The submission process isn't that big a deal, its a 4-5 day turnaround and you can tell Apple not to release it immediately on approval, which lets you get in touch with your customers, and tell them an update will be available soon.

Jackson


On Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 7:52 AM, JamesLavery <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'd appreciate peoples' views/experience in the light of what we need to
achieve for one of our customers.

We have an application which we are porting to iOS for one of our customers.
It's the handheld component of a bespoke management system which is licensed
to  /their/ customers and as such won't work with a valid logon to a central
server. This logon etc. is managed by us completely separately from the
handheld application.

I'm trying to work out whether we need to or should be deploying this as an
enterprise application. I have a feeling we shouldn't as we won't
necessarily have control over the devices they're using.

In fact, looking at the terms and conditions of enterprise deployment,
seeing as the application will be used by our customer's customers (i.e. not
internally), we /can't/ use enterprise deployment.

Therefore the option I see is to make the application free and generally
available on the AppStore, but will only work using correct logon
credentials.

The app would therefore appear on the store as something like
"AcmeAssetManager" with a description of "iPhone application for mobile
management of assets using the Acme Asset Manager system". Obviously, Acme
here in place of our customer, and "Asset Manager" in place of the system
name!

If we do this then we may also have an opportunity for the free app to
operate in demo mode for non-authorised users, and therefore act as a
marketing tool for the service. The service is pretty specialised (can't
give details here), but this could still be useful.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Can anyone see pitfalls with
this?

Thanks a lot,

James

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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

JamesLavery
In reply to this post by eternalbard
Hi Karl,
Thanks - that's exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks a lot for your help.

James
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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

JamesLavery
In reply to this post by Jackson Harper
Hi Jackson,
Glad to hear the free app approach works.

Yes I'd anticipated the idiots downloading the app problem. Probably not a lot we can do about that!

I think I'll probably go for a free app initially, and then use Karl's update method.

Interesting point here though - couldn't one use the update method which Karl suggests to completely bypass the AppStore, by just supplying customers with a URL to the files?

James
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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

JamesLavery
In reply to this post by eternalbard
Karl,
A bit of research (especially this link:
http://iphonedevelopertips.com/xcode/distribute-ad-hoc-applications-over-the-air-ota.html) indicates that this adhoc deployment mechanism will be limited to 100 devices.

Or am I mixing up adhoc deployment and your mechanism?

James
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Re: Enterprise deployment or free app?

eternalbard
Mixing,

The adhoc is like just for beta test, or to show something special to a client, but can be at 100.

But enterprise certificate let you create an enterprise distribution profile that can be installed on any number of devices, but there are apples rules for that... Like this can be distributed just for your workers, not outside your company. So that's why our clients that signed for enterprise apple's program.

So there are 3:

AdHoc: For tests with Enterprise or Professional account.
Enterprise: Free for any devices inside a company
AppStore: For professional account (maybe enterprise too? don't remember now)

Karl

From: JamesLavery <[hidden email]>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 10:02:11 -0800 (PST)
To: "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [MonoTouch] Enterprise deployment or free app?

Karl,
A bit of research (especially this link:
) indicates that this adhoc deployment mechanism will be limited to 100
devices.

Or am I mixing up adhoc deployment and your mechanism?

James

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