iPhone Enterprise Developer Program is available for organizations of all sizes, all enterprises can take advantage of the ability to bypass the App Store and create and share internal apps. But how do you distribute and manage those applications? Business Week recently covered how companies like IBM are creating internal app stores for employees to find and share mobile apps. Although IBM built its own store, there are now at least five products on the market that help organizations easily build their own app stores.Now that Apple's
MobileIron is actually a full-blown device management product, but it includes the ability to distribute applications over the air to multiple platforms and to manage what applications are allowable.
Apperian lauched Enterprise App Service Environment (EASE) yesterday, a platform for developers "with the ability to create secure apps that can be distributed, updated, managed, and provisioned for an entire organization." EASE provides a custom branded enterprise app store for customers to distribute and, importantly, update in-house apps. At this time EASE is only available for iOS, but Apperian plans to support Android in the future.
Apperian was founded by former Apple executive Chuck Goldman as a mobile application development company.
Rhomobile's RhoGallery, launched today, claims to be the first fully hosted enterprise apps store. CEO Adam Blum says that Rhomobile decided to create an app store platform after several customers requested it. The problem customers faced was that although they could use device management tools like MobileIron to deploy apps to mobile devices, most of Rhomobile's customers were not using these tools and found them too expensive. They also wanted a fully hosted version so they wouldn't have to worry about servers and bandwidth.
We covered JackBe's enterprise app story offering in June. JackBe's Presto Wires and Mashboard products enables users to create enterprise-ready AJAX apps by mashing-up data with a simple point-and-click interface. The company created JackBe App Store to give organizations an internal clearing house for JackBe apps.
Ondeego launched its internal enterprise app store AppCentral last year. One interesting feature is the ability to wipe data only from a particular app. Many device management solutions offer some ability to selectively wipe data from phones, the ability to selectively wipe data from specific ideas seems to be unique to Ondeego.