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App Configuration Policies for iOS apps

This week another blog post that is triggered by a feature that is introduced in ConfigMgr 1602. And again, it’s about a feature that already did exist in Microsoft Intune standalone. This post will be about the App Configuration Policies for iOS apps. These policies can make the life of an end-user a lot easier and are a very welcome addition to Microsoft Intune standalone and Microsoft Intune hybrid.

For now the biggest challenge might be finding the apps that support App Configuration Policies and, maybe even more important, apps that have the settings documented. During the deployment of an app via ConfigMgr, or Microsoft Intune, it’s already visible if  an app could support App Configuration Policies . However, a lot of apps have the potential, but not yet the complete implementation.

Introduction

App Configuration Policies in Microsoft Intune hybrid and Microsoft Intune standalone, can be used to supply settings that might be required when the end-user runs an app. Settings that the end-user would have to specify manually. Think about settings like, a server name, a custom port number, a user name, a password, specific language settings and specific security settings.

If these settings are incorrectly entered by the end-user, this can increase the burden on the service desk, and can also slow the adoption of new apps. App Configuration Policies can help with eliminating these problems by letting the organization deploy these settings to the end-users in a policy before they run the app. The settings are then supplied automatically, and the end-user doesn’t have to perform an action.

These App Configuration Policies are not deployed directly to users and devices. Instead, they are associated with a deployment type during the deployment of the application. The policy settings will be used whenever the app checks for them (typically, the first time it is run).

Configuration

App Configuration Policies are configured per app, because every app supports different settings. In the following configuration examples I’m using the Acronis Access app as an example. During the configuration I will use one specific configuration setting, named enrollmentServerName . For all other supported Acronis Access app configuration settings, please refer to: https://www.acronis.com/en-us/support/documentation/AcronisAccessAdvanced_7.0/index.html#28935.html

Microsoft Intune standalone

The configuration of App Configuration Policies in Microsoft Intune standalone can be achieved by performing the following steps. After the configuration of the App Configuration Policy , it can be used during the deployment of the Acronis Access app.

1 In the Microsoft Intune administration console, navigate to POLICY and click Add.. ;
2 In the Create a New Policy dialog box, select iOS > Mobile App Configuration Policy and click Create Policy  to open the Create Policy page;
3

On the General section of the Create Policy page, specify the following information.

  • App Configuration Policies for iOS apps Name : [Specify a unique name for the app configuration policy];
  • Description : [Specify details that help identifying the app configuration policy].
4

In the Mobile App Configuration Policy section of the Create Policy page, specify the following information and click Verify ;

App Configuration Policies for iOS apps <dict>
   <key>enrollmentServerName</key>
   <string>[Specify an enrollment server name]</string>
</dict>

5 After verifying the created configuration, click Save Policy .

Microsoft Intune hybrid

The configuration of App Configuration Policies in Microsoft Intune standalone can be achieved by performing the following steps. After the configuration of the App Configuration Policy , it can be used during the deployment of the Acronis Access app.

1 In the Configuration Manager administration console, navigate to Software Library > Overview > Application Management > App Configuration Policies ;
2 On the Home tab, click Create new Application Configuration Policy to open the Create App Configuration Policy Wizard ;
3

App Configuration Policies for iOS apps On the General page, provide the following information and click Next.

  • Name : [Specify a unique name for the app configuration policy];
  • Description : [Specify details that help identifying the app configuration policy].
4

App Configuration Policies for iOS apps On the iOS Policy page, select Specify name and value pairs (for simple property list files without nesting) and click New to open the Edit Name/Value Pair dialog box.

Note : Select Browse to a property list file (for more complex property list files with nesting) for adding more advanced configurations, or for adding the configuration in an XML format (like with the Microsoft Intune standalone configuration).

5

App Configuration Policies for iOS apps In the Edit Name/Value Pair dialog box, provide the following information and click Ok to return to the iOS Policy page.

  • Type : String;
  • Name : enrollmentServerName;
  • Value : [Specify an enrollment server name].
6 App Configuration Policies for iOS apps Back on the iOS Policy page, verify the created configuration and click Next .
7 On the Summary page, click Next .
8 On the Completion page, click Close .

End-user experience

Now it’s time to look at the end-user experience. This time I will show the first start of the Acronis Access app after installation. The first screenshots shows the default start of the Acronis Access app and the second screenshot shows the start of the Acronis Access app after deploying the app together with the App Configuration Policy . As I don’t really have a server to connect to, it stops at the connection screen in which it did configure my custom server URL.

Before After
App Configuration Policies for iOS apps App Configuration Policies for iOS apps

More information

For more information about iOS with mobile app configuration policies, in Microsoft Intune standalone and Microsoft Intune hybrid, please refer to:

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