This post is from the Apperian blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
SDK and App Wrapping for Mobile Application Management
In today’s world of BYOD (bring your own device), enterprises are more concerned than ever with protecting their corporate networks and the information contained in those networks. But how can companies be sure that the apps their employees are downloading to their corporate-owned or personal mobile devices aren't compromising their sensitive data? The answer: manage and secure the apps through mobile application management (MAM). The two primary methods of managing and securing mobile apps are software developer kits (SDKs) and app wrapping.
While the end result is the same – manageable and secure apps – how do you know which is better? The idea behind mobile application management (MAM) is to secure custom, commercial or HTML5 apps and data on personal or corporate mobile devices, rather than provisioning and tracking devices. That means your corporate data will be secured no matter how the device is managed. With MAM, the developer can set policies such as “data encryption, preventing the cutting or copying of data, app-level VPNs and automatic checks for device integrity” -- ensuring high mobile application security. The apps are also connected to a server that controls authentication, issues remote wiping commands, and controls the app using policies created by IT.
SDK and MAM
Using the SDK method, a MAM vendor provides developers with a software library that they can integrate into their apps while they’re developing them. The code includes the information necessary for the developers to integrate with the MAM platform.
App Wrapping and MAM
The other approach to achieving manageable applications is via mobile app wrapping, which is a security solution that automatically wraps fine-grained security policies around individual mobile apps. This lets the mobile enterprise add multiple layers of protection to any app – particularly a third-party app – that needs more security without making any changes to the app itself. The digital app wrapper protects sensitive corporate data in the event of an intrusion and gives enterprises more control of their apps. App wrapping, or sandboxing, as it’s also called, lets enterprises secure sensitive data by wrapping each of the third-party apps that they want to allow to access corporate resources. Then they can deploy those wrapped apps to their enterprise app stores. And employees can then download those apps knowing they’re as secure as possible.
SDK vs. App Wrapping
The difference between SDK for MAM and app wrapping is that SDK has to be included while the app is being developed. App wrapping, on the other hand, can happen after an app is developed. App wrapping lets enterprises modify and secure third-party apps.
The Bottom Line
If you’re creating your own apps, SDK’s the answer but if you want to manage someone else’s app, app wrapping is the solution.