AirWatch and Cisco help developers build enterpise-friendly smartphone apps

A new initiative details how to build features such as remote app configuration and single sign-on

A group of companies, including Cisco Systems and mobile device management software vendor AirWatch, have joined forces to help enterprises take advantage of features that are integrated in Android and iOS.

The companies have launched an initiative called ACE (App Configuration for Enterprise), which provides documentation for developers to help them build applications that can be more easily managed and secured.

The first version of the ACE documentation covers six areas: remote app configuration, app tunneling, single sign-on, access control and security policies.

There are tips regarding technical approach, security considerations, sample code and best practises. In addition to AirWatch and Cisco, development tool company Xamarin, online-storage vendor Box and ERP provider Workday are also helping get ACE off the ground. The group made the announcement Tuesday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The features ACE specifies can be added thanks to APIs that Apple and Google have added for iOS 7 and later versions and Android 5.0 (also known as Lollipop), respectively.

As smartphone market growth in the U.S. and Europe levels off, enterprise users will get more attention. To continue to grow, Apple and Google along with smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics are courting CIOs more aggressively.

Google was a little slow out of the blocks, but last week's Android for Work announcement shows it takes the enterprise market seriously. The product makes it possible to separate business apps from personal apps.

For anyone who is interested in learning more about ACE, AirWatch is organizing a webinar on March 10 at 1pm.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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