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Welcome to iOS in the Enterprise

Welcome to iOS in the Enterprise

iOS is, of course, the operating system for Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. If you haven’t heard of those devices, well, I’m not sure how you would not have heard of those and still be interested in this book. Anyway, iOS and the devices that run it are really awesome and cool; but when you have to manage all of them, some of that awesomeness may decrease. Fear not! This book is here to re-awesome-ize those devices, and help make you seem awesome as well. To help you in your awesome journey to Ultimate iOS Awesomeness, here are a few tidbits you’ll want to know about upfront.

The Tools

You’ll need to be familiar with a small set of tools and concepts to get the most out of this book and managing your iOS devices.

iTunes

iTunes is one of Apple’s two primary tools for managing iOS devices. In the consumer space, it is the primary tool, and every iOS device running iOS 4.x has to connect to iTunes via USB at least once. iTunes is a free download from Apple and runs on Windows or Mac OS X.

iPhone Configuration Utility

The iPhone Configuration Utility (iPCU) is the other primary Apple-provided tool for managing iOS devices. It is designed for administrators who need to manage their devices beyond the capabilities of iTunes and the on-device options. The iPCU is a free download from Apple and runs on Mac OS X or Windows.

Applescript

The book talks about using AppleScript to automate tasks involving the iPCU and various XML-based configuration files. AppleScript is Apple’s own scripting language that uses vaguely quasi-English syntax. It is included with Mac OS X.

The Concepts

Along with the tools, some concepts and protocols have a lot to do with managing iOS Devices. A good foundation in these will make your life much easier.

Xcode

Even if you aren’t an iOS developer, if you plan to distribute in-house or “enterprise” apps, Xcode will be a necessary part of the process. Xcode is Apple’s primary development environment and is included free on every new Mac and is also available from the Mac App Store for around $5 U.S.

A Web Server

When we start talking about managing iOS devices on a large scale, or wirelessly, you’ll need a web server. The platform and brand really don’t matter. In fact, you don’t even have to own the web server yourself. But, you will need one.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL is heavily used when managing iOS devices, along with related concepts such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). It is a really good idea to have at least a conceptual grasp of basic SSL concepts, especially when dealing with SCEP and Mobile Device Management.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

LDAP, while not a direct part of managing iOS devices, is the basis of pretty much any directory service you’ll see or use, including OpenLDAP, Open Directory, and Active Directory. Many products for managing iOS devices have LDAP integration options, and a good understanding of LDAP and Directory Services in general will be a great help to you.

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