by Anton van Pelt, CTP
XenMobile public Apps
Citrix recently released the public App Store apps for iOS and Android. Those public apps will be the new way to distribute the XenMobile apps. Citrix already wrote some good documentation on this change: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenmobile-apps/10/about-secure-apps/secure-apps-delivery-administration.html
Keep in mind that it is still supported to wrap any application via a macOS device. This method is supported for another year. On January 17th, Citrix released an update for the XenMobile apps, version 10.4.5. This app version gives you the ability as admin to turn on a policy called “Migration Guide.” This policy allows users to migrate from the traditional on-prem wrapped applications to the public App Store XenMobile Apps.
For more information see:
In this blogpost I want to share my experiences and all you need to know before starting with implementing XenMobile (Apps).
So the new Public app store distribution what does this mean?
- You don’t need an Apple developer account anymore to offer any XenMobile App
- You don’t need to wrap your XenMobile Apps anymore
- You don’t need a macOS device to offer XenMobile apps
- Other apps like a custom build CRM app still needs to be wrapped
- You’ll need a Apple developer account for custom build apps
- Windows Apps still need to be wrapped on Windows 8.1 OS
- At the moment it is not possible to upgrade existing XenMobile apps to the public XenMobile Apps
Those are the key things you need to know before getting started with XenMobile.
XenMobile Apps – the old way
Like I said, you can still choose to wrap the XenMobile Secure Apps yourself, either via the XenMobile MDX Service within Citrix Cloud (we talk about this later). Or via the macOS device in your environment which has the MDX toolkit installed.
You will download the native Apple .ipa and Android .apk files from the Citrix download portal:
XenMobile Apps – the new way
If you choose to use the new way to deliver your XenMobile Apps then you also have to download the apps from the Citrix download portal. But instead of download native .ipa or .apk files you will download small .mdx files. Those files only contain the metadata that is needed to offer the managed XenMobile app within your XenMobile Store. As soon a used will download an application the user is redirected to either the iTunes or Google Playstore to download the application, which remember was already wrapped by Citrix. After the download completes the application is melted with the .mdx settings that you’ve uploaded to the XenMobile server.
When using the XenMobile public apps also application updates are download via the public App Store. This will mean that you are not in charge anymore when a application update will take place.
XenMobile MDX Service
Citrix also released a Citrix Cloud lab service called the XenMobile MDX Service. This service will allow you to wrap your enterprise applications in the cloud. So again, no need to have a macOS device in your environment.
This MDX Service can be used for free if you have a account for Citrix Cloud. https://mdx.xm.cloud.com (Citrix Cloud account is required)
The way this XenMobile MDX service works:
If you are not able to offer the new XenMobile Apps from public store you’ll have to wrap the applications yourself. In the past a macOS device was needed to wrap those applications. Now with the XenMobile MDX service which will still use the MDX toolkit from within the cloud to wrap you applications.
Yes! You still need a Apple Developer account to get your certificate and provisioning profiles.
First you have to upload the raw .ipa or .apk file, this can also be your own enterprise app!
If you upload a Apple .ipa file the for the next step you will need:
- Provisioning Profile
- Apple Developer Certificate
- Apple Developer Certificate Password
If you upload an Apple .ipa file the for the next step you will need:
- Keystore Password
- Alias Name
- Alias Password
After you provided the information that is needed for either the .ipa or .apk file your .mdx file is ready to upload to XenMobile Server!
In this blog post I showed you that you now can make use of the XenMobile public apps that were already wrapped by Citrix. Those apps don’t need to be wrapped again. Just download the .mdx metadata file from the Citrix website and add them to your XenMobile environment.
If you want to make use of an enterprise app that is not part of the XenMobile Secure apps suite, for instance a custom build app you still have to wrap this application yourself. This is were you can make use of the XenMobile MDX service which is a Citrix Cloud lab service. https://mdx.xm.cloud.com (Citrix Cloud account is required)
If you make use of Windows Phone apps you still have to wrap them via a Windows 8.1 machine.