ACE Consortium Prepping Standards for Quicker, Better Enterprise Apps

A new consortium of top technology companies is hoping to help enterprises build a new generation of business-friendly apps for smartphone devices. The group, which is calling itself App Configuration for Enterprise, or ACE, plans to develop a new open standard approach for managing and securing apps deployed in a mobile enterprise environment.

Among other challenges, ACE is looking to tackle common security and usability issues that have arisen for organizations deploying apps for their workforces. The organization, which consists of AirWatch, Cisco, Box, Workday, and Xamarin made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Standardized App Configurations

ACEEUs goal is to develop a set of standardized app configurations that will work with all enterprise mobility management solutions. The consortium said it plans to work with the APIs available for the most popular mobile operating system platforms, such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android. The group will also look to provide a framework that requires minimal effort for both app developers and EMM (enterprise mobility management) platforms to integrate, while also maintaining usability for the end user.

To achieve that goal, ACE said it plans to automate first-time app set ups, secure app connectivity to corporate networks with per-app tunnels, and provide organizations with the ability to remotely wipe corporate data from lost or stolen devices. The ACE framework also avoids using separate user logins for multiple apps, consolidating multiple login processes into a single sign-on.

ACE is hoping to entice developers with the promise of a significant reduction in the cost and time required to build enterprise-ready applications. To that end, ACE does not include a proprietary SDK or app wrapping, it consists of vendor neutral applications, and provides a single app build for enterprises. Additionally, certain security settings won't require additional coding on the part of the...

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