Introduction

To distribute the K2 Mobile app using MDM (mobile device management) software, follow the process described in this article.

The process is the same for all MDM solutions, however each MDM vendor uses their own tools to perform application wrapping. Application wrapping is a technology that allow apps, such as the K2 Mobile app, to be secured and managed by the policies configured in the MDM system. Each MDM vendor has different prerequisites for their app wrapping tool, such as a minimum version of Mac OS. Contact your MDM provider for more details on their minimum requirements.

See the K2 Mobile Support Policy for questions related to support of MDM software.
See the K2 Mobile Security article for questions related to data security in the mobile app.
MDM software provides security management for mobile devices. MDM software is used to manage user devices. For example, you can enforce a connection to a particular server on the specified port. You can also change the K2 Mobile app branding and distribute the app without using MDM software.

Overview

The following five steps describe the basic, high-level process to distribute the K2 Mobile app through your MDM.

Step 1 – Get the K2 Mobile application file
Step 2 – Customize the K2 Mobile app (optional)
Step 3 – Sign the K2 Mobile app with the appropriate certificate / profile
Step 4 – Wrap the K2 Mobile app using your MDM’s app wrapping tool
Step 5 – Distribute the wrapped app through your MDM’s app store

Step 1 – Get the application file

To distribute an app using an MDM platform, you need the unsigned K2 Mobile app. K2 provides this app to customers with a current maintenance agreement; contact your K2 representative for details.

Step 2 – Customize the app (optional)

The application file is a zip file. You can rename the file to a zip file and modify the contents. See the article Modifying the K2 Mobile app for iOS for more details.

Step 3 – Sign the app

Before you can sign the app, you will need a signing certificate and provisioning profile. This usually involves registering for a developer account with Apple and then creating the appropriate signing resources required.

Note that most MDM’s require an enterprise provisioning profile for iOS. This in turn means that you need an enterprise account with Apple.

Details around registering and generating signing certificates and provisioning profiles is beyond the scope of this document, please see the resources available from Apple.

Now you are ready to sign the app. The approach used will vary based on the platform that you are targeting as well as the MDM tools. Some MDM’s perform the signing for you, while others require a pre-signed app file.

If your MDM tool does not perform the signing for you then you can use the command line tools available to manually sign the app file. For iOS, K2 found that the iResign tool simplifies the process. Note that the iResign tool is a third party tool and K2 does not support or take responsibility for any issues that may arise from its use.

Step 4 – Wrap the app using your MDM’s app wrapping tool

Start up your MDM’s app wrapping tool and import the app file.

The main focus here is to make sure that the configuration that you select allows the mobile app to connect to your K2 server. The mobile app authenticates and retrieves all data from the SmartForms server. This means that you must configure a rule that allows the mobile app to connect to the SmartForms server, e.g. allow https://{yourSmartformsServer}/*.

Please contact your MDM provider for any specific questions you have around this step.

Step 5 – Distribute the app

The last step is to distribute the app. This is done by placing the app into your MDM’s app store. Most app wrapping tools will upload the wrapped app to your internal app store automatically. Please contact your MDM provider for guidance on this step.

Step 1 – Get the application file

To distribute an app using an MDM platform, you need the unsigned K2 Mobile app. K2 provides this app to customers with a current maintenance agreement; contact your K2 representative for details.

Step 2 – Customize the app (optional)

The application file is a zip file. You can rename the file to a zip file and modify the contents. See the article Modifying the K2 Mobile app for Android for more details.

Step 3 – Sign the app

Before you can sign the app, you will need a signing certificate and provisioning profile. This usually involves registering for a developer account with Google and then creating the appropriate signing resources required.

Details around registering and generating signing certificates and provisioning profiles is beyond the scope of this document, please see the resources available from Android Studio.

Now you are ready to sign the app. The approach used will vary based on the platform that you are targeting as well as the MDM tools. Some MDM’s perform the signing for you, while others require a pre-signed app file.

If your MDM tool does not perform the signing for you then you can use the command line tools available on Android Studio to manually sign the app file.

Step 4 – Wrap the app using your MDM’s app wrapping tool

Start up your MDM’s app wrapping tool and import the app file.

The main focus here is to make sure that the configuration that you select allows the mobile app to connect to your K2 server. The mobile app authenticates and retrieves all data from the SmartForms server. This means that you must configure a rule that allows the mobile app to connect to the SmartForms server, e.g. allow https://{yourSmartformsServer}/*.

Please contact your MDM provider for any specific questions you have around this step.

Step 5 – Distribute the app

The last step is to distribute the app. This is done by placing the app into your MDM’s app store. Most app wrapping tools will upload the wrapped app to your internal app store automatically. Please contact your MDM provider for guidance on this step.

Step 1 – Get the application file

Windows: You can use the app store version from the Windows Store.

Step 2 - Customize the app (optional)

The application file is an .appxbundle file, unbundle it with MakeAppx, and modify the contents. See the article Modifying the K2 Workspace for Windows 8.1 app for details.

Step 3 – Sign the app

Before you can sign the app, you will need a signing certificate and provisioning profile. This usually involves registering for a developer account with Microsoft and then creating the appropriate signing resources required.

Details around registering and generating signing certificates and provisioning profiles is beyond the scope of this document, please see the resources available from Microsoft Developers Resources.

Now you are ready to sign the app. The approach used will vary based on the platform that you are targeting as well as the MDM tools. Some MDM’s perform the signing for you, while others require a pre-signed app file.

If your MDM tool does not perform the signing for you then you can use the command line tools available on the Microsoft Developers Resources site to manually sign the app file.

Step 4 – Wrap the app using your MDM’s app wrapping tool

Start up your MDM’s app wrapping tool and import the app file.

The main focus here is to make sure that the configuration that you select allows the mobile app to connect to your K2 server. The mobile app authenticates and retrieves all data from the SmartForms server. This means that you must configure a rule that allows the mobile app to connect to the SmartForms server, e.g. allow https://{yourSmartformsServer}/*.

Please contact your MDM provider for any specific questions you have around this step.

Step 5 – Distribute the app

The last step is to distribute the app. This is done by placing the app into your MDM’s app store. Most app wrapping tools will upload the wrapped app to your internal app store automatically. Please contact your MDM provider for guidance on this step.

Known issues

Issue: The app shows a ‘Request timeout’ or ‘Could not contact the server’ error.

Resolution: This error occurs when the MDM is configured to block network traffic from the app to your SmartForms server. Revisit your MDM configuration to ensure that you allow access to the SmartForms server.

Issue: App wrapping fails.

Resolution: Most MDM’s either require an enterprise signed version of the app or an unsigned app. Ensure that you are providing an app file that is unsigned or signed as requested by your MDM.

Useful links

Certificates and signing:

Links explaining the process on Microsoft Intune and Citrix: