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Visual Studio App Center Adds More Enterprise Security

The Visual Studio App Center is previewing a new feature that adds more enterprise security to the app lifecycle management portal.

App Center provides a wide gamut of lifecycle management, including continuous build, test, deployment, and user engagement services along with other functionality. It touches upon several acronym-laden dev spaces such as mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM).

During the ongoing Microsoft Ignite conference, the App Center dev team announced the preview of a new security option directly targeting that enterprise space, enhancing the protection that comes with the Intune cloud service for enterprise mobility management.

Intune provides data protection via mobile services that allow for flexible mobile device and app management, enabling security for devices that employees bring themselves to use in an enterprise setting, for example. Line-of-business (LOB) apps for use on such devices can be uploaded to an Intune store and then safely disseminated to employee devices for enterprise use.

The App Center is now previewing the new Intune MAM Wrapper that -- as its name suggests -- wraps protection around individual apps.

"Now, along with the ability to publish your apps directly to the Intune store, App Center also now allows you to wrap your app with Intune app protection policies," Microsoft said in a blog post today (Sept. 27). "This functionality works great for companies who have a 'bring your own device' policy for company apps, adding security to your individual apps instead of enrolling and securing an entire device."

In an announcement post earlier this week, the dev team said the new service is a good option for BYOD scenarios, being less intrusive and deleting only app data rather than wiping an entire device clean.

"Admins and security persons can now turn on data protection with organization-wide policies, which also benefits LOB app developers as they can release MAM-ware apps to the Intune store," the team said. "After publishing the application to Intune, the admin can apply company-required policies via the Intune blade in the Azure portal."

As of now, the private beta preview works only with iOS apps and devices. Enterprises can request access (e-mail link) to try out the new feature. Developers can also sign up for a free trial of Intune following directions provided here. Also, Microsoft recently published documentation on Intune app-wrapping command-line tools for iOS and Android.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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