Private Space Within The Mobile App Store For Enterprise Distribution of Apps

Written by  Ritu Saxena | 01 January 2013
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PrvateIn the wake of BYOD, all the mobile app stores have started providing services to the enterprises, where the enterprises can own a private space within the existing app store to distribute customised, company specific apps to authorized employees and intended third party entities in a sound and secure manner. Apple, BlackBerry and Windows already have these kinds of Mobile Application Management Services in place in some form or the other.

The latest one to join the bandwagon is Google. In the beginning of December last year Google announced the availability of Google Play Private Channel for Google Apps.

As Per the Information from the Google Play Documentation

A Google Apps for Business, Education, or Government domain can have a Private Channel on the Google Play Store. Each organization using Google Apps is allowed only one channel. The Google Apps domain administrators can allow domain users to register with the Android Developer Console to publish Android applications to the Private Channel.

The Google Play Store provides common features for application publishing, including user authentication, virus and malware detection, device targeting, payment, user rating, and user feedback. All regular Google Play Apps publishing and billing features are available to the enterprises. An app can either be published publicly or to a Private Channel, but not both. As of now, the app cannot be published for a particular user group, but it can be published for a specific country or specific device models.

Advantages Containerization in the App Store Provides

Enterprises have to pay nominal amount to host the apps on the app store. In addition to the hosting services App Store specific ready made app management services are also available to the enterprises. The channel is private to the enterprises and not visible to anyone else coming over to the app store to download the app, this hardens the security cover around the enterprise app distribution process. The move is beneficial for SMB’s equally as they do not have to bother about the hosting services or MAM solutions, the App Store provides quite a lot of features to maintain and manage the apps.

Present Limitations

The only limitation of the service is that the Apps available in a particular app store can be distributed to the app store specific devices only; Apps hosted on Apple App Store can be distributed to the Apple Devices, Google Play Store to Android devices and so on. For the completeness of the solution from Mobile Application Management (MAM) perspective major Mobile OS providers (read Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft)  will have to join hands to permit distribution of the apps across mobile platforms to bring true worth to these kind of services.

Ritu Saxena

Ritu Saxena

Ritu is the technical brain behind the website and comes from a strong development background across Web and Mobile platforms. She is our senior editor primarily responsible for Product Reviews and in future will be leading Start-Ups, Mobile and Quality areas.

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