App wrapping and managed app configurations are both part of MAM, or mobile application management. Both ways allow companies to configure and manage apps in some form or fashion. But what is the difference between App Wrapping and Managed App Configuration?
- App wrapping is when you take an existing app in default configuration, add some new code to it to give it more capabilities, and then produce a new app. This new app looks exactly like the old app to the user, but will have additional functionality, such as being managed by an EMM or be pre-configured with company information.
- Managed App Configuration is when you take an existing app and push a library of data into it. This app must already be built to accept new configurations.
App Wrapping Example
Let’s use SAP’s Fiori app as an example for app wrapping. If you wanted to manage it as a wrapped app, you could use an app wrapping service like App Dome, wrap it with the SDK of a compatible EMM, and create a new custom Fiori app. This custom Fiori app would be a brand new app that is not available in the public app store, but will have code inside of it that will make it manageable by a company’s EMM solution (video). Here are the requirements for app wrapping:
- Any app can be wrapped, but you will need the source file (.apk or .ipa).
- Any MDM solution can be used to do the app installation, but it must support MAM policies that can actually manage the wrapped app.
Managed App Configuration Example
What if you just want to configure the SAP Fiori app, and you don’t care about restricting it with MAM policies? Well, you can push out a managed app configuration to the app instead. Apps like SAP Fiori are already built to accept managed app configurations, which means that when the app is installed onto a device, you can use MDM to push a library of data to the app (SAP KB 2189376). The Fiori app can then use this data to on-board itself with configurations. In the end, the user will be using the standard available app, but they won’t have to go through the process of configuring it themselves, because the managed app configuration will do it for them. The app won’t be managed, but the user experience is still improved compared to the standard app. Here are the requirements for managed app configuration:
- Only apps that have been built to accept managed app configurations can be used.
- The MDM solution being used must support the push of managed app configurations.
- Note that the MDM solution does not need to support any MAM policies, since the app isn’t being managed.