Zebra, OEMConfig, Ivanti Velocity, and Microsoft Intune

I work with a lot of organizations who manage a wide range of devices including organizations who manage rugged devices.

Rugged devices are utilized in a variety of scenarios, including warehouses, big box stores, field engineering, logistics, emergency services, government, and so on.  Typically, these devices are locked down in modes where it’s dedicated to a specific use case, such as inventory scanning. Some organizations deploy multiple apps to a locked down screen where those apps are used in specific scenarios such as inventory look up and/or data entry.

For this month’s post I’m focusing on a specific scenario I run into quite a bit with rugged devices and an app called Velocity (powered by Wavelink) by Ivanti.

According to the Ivanti Velocity user guide:

Ivanti Velocity is an Android client that can connect to Telnet hosts (including IBM 5250/3270 and VT100/220), web apps, and Oracle SIM hosts. For Telnet and Oracle SIM hosts, it can present applications to your users in a modern touch interface, either with automatic, predictive reformatting or with a customized experience.

Source: https://help.ivanti.com/wl/help/en_US/Velocity/2.0.0/admin/velocityConsoleHelp.htm

The Velocity app may downloaded directly from Ivanti and is found on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wavelink.velocity

So naturally I was curious about managing the Ivanti Velocity app on an Android device managed with Microsoft Intune. For the device, I chose to utilize a Zebra TC-57 rugged device.

Requirements for this scenario

  • Microsoft Intune
  • Zebra device
  • Zebra OEMConfig powered by MX app from Google Play
  • Ivanti Velocity app from Google Play
  • Ivanti Velocity deployment bundle (.wldep file)

Special thanks to Alex Evans from Ivanti who supplied me with a demo deployment bundle, thanks Alex!

Let’s get started

Device enrollment
I chose to enroll my Zebra device as a dedicated device under Android Enterprise Device Owner enrollment. Fortunately, I posted on this already, so I don’t have to re-create the steps. To learn more about enrolling a device as a Dedicated (kiosk) device please visit: https://uem4all.com/2018/08/06/android-kiosk-enrollment-and-microsoft-intune/

Ivanti Velocity app deployment
Let’s add the Velocity app to Intune.

  1. Navigate to the Intune admin portal via https://devicemanagement.microsoft.com and select Client apps from the left hand navigation.
  2. Select Apps > Add > App type > Managed Google Play and search for “Ivanti Velocity” and should look something like the image below. Go ahead and approve the app and chose your approval settings when prompted, then save.
  3. After the app info has synchronized to Intune, assign the app to the device group you created you went through the device enrollment steps above. This will ensure the app is deployed to the device.

 

Intune Managed Home Screen config
After the Ivanti Velocity app is assigned, if it is a dedicated device, you’ll most likely be utilizing the Intune Managed Home Screen. Whether it’s a single- or multi-app add the app to the list so it’s available on the Managed Home Screen. Note: I covered this in the post I referenced above…

Once the apps are deployed to the Managed Home Screen you’ll see them populate. Again, assign the apps to device for installation purposes under “Client apps” and in addition, add the apps to the Managed Home Screen under device configuration, as shown above, so they’re available for users to launch and interact with.


Ivanti Velocity app configuration deployment
Next, we need to create an Intune profile to push the Ivanti Velocity deployment bundle to the device. For this I utilize Zebra OEMConfig, Zebra StageNow, and an FTP server to push the Ivanti Velocity deployment bundle to the device.

Let’s start with Zebra StageNow…

  1. Zebra StageNow is a Windows application and may be downloaded by visiting: https://www.zebra.com/us/en/products/software/mobile-computers/mobile-app-utilities/stagenow.html
  2. Open StageNow and create a new profile, select the proper MX version (e.g. MX 8.2) for your Zebra device, then select Xpert Mode and then Create.
  3. Give the profile a name and select Start
  4. From the Settings tab select FileMgr and select the + sign to add it under the CONFIG tab and select Add as shown in the example screenshot below.

  1. In the StageNow Config under File Action select Transfer/Copy File.
  2. Under Target Path and File Name add the following: /sdcard/com.wavelink.velocity/Your_Velocity_Bundle.wldep, this will add the .wldep file in a folder named com.wafelink.velocity on the device. The Velocity app knows to automatically look in that folder and apply the profile info in the bundle.

Note: you can rename the .wldep bundle to .zip to peek at the files if needed.

  1. Select File on a remote server if not already selected and select the … to open the dialog.
  2. Under Staging Server select “External” and for the Source Path and File Name add the ftp server info, Zebra has documented this well and can be viewed by visiting: http://techdocs.zebra.com/mx/filemgr/

The source path to my FTP server looks like the following: ftp-p://username:password@0.0.0.0:21/Velocity_Demo.wldep

  1. Once we’re finished with entering all the parameters select “Continue” until you see “Complete Profiles”.
  2. Select “Complete Profiles” and then select “Export for MDM” and save the .xml file.

Locate where you saved the .xml file and open it and it will look similar to xml output below. Copy the data beginning with <characteristic… to the last </characteristic> as outlined in red in the image below.


Intune OEMConfig Configuration
Frist we need to add the Zebra OEMConfig app from Managed Google Play; to do that, from the Intune admin portal, select Client Apps > Apps > Add > App type > Managed Google Play and search for “Zebra oemconfig”.  It will look something like the images below.

Go ahead and approve the app and chose your approval settings when prompted, then save.

Note: Intune also supports Datalogic, Honeywell, and Samsung OEMCOnfig. If you’d like to test settings for OEMConfig with other OEMS, search Managed Google Play from Intune and add their specific OEMConfig apps. Stay tuned for Intune expanding support of additional vendors who offer OEMConfig.

Create OEMConfig profile in Intune
We now need to create an OEMConfig profile in Intune. Do this by selecting “Device configuration” in the Intune portal > Profiles > Create profile.

Give the profile a name, from Platform select Android Enterprise, from Profile Type select OEMConfig. From here select “Zebra OEMConfig powered by MX” app.

Intune_OEMConfig

Select Configure > select the three dots next to Transaction Steps > and then select Add setting.

From the list of settings select, Device Administration Configuration.


  1. Under Device Administration Configuration only two settings are required.
  2. Action = SubmitXML
  3. Submit XML = the .xml data we copied above. Paste it into this field.

     

    Note: If needed, switch to the JSON view to see what the full JSON looks like. JSON view is really helpful when troubleshooting as well.

     

  4. Select OK and Save.

When the device syncs with Intune the apps and the OEMConfig settings will deploy to the file and push the Velocity app config file to the directory we specified.


 

The following video displays the profile I deployed using Zebra OEMConfig from Microsoft Intune in the Velocity app.

 The Velocity profile was populated on the device in a folder called com.wavelink.velocity.  

Finally, the Velocity app automatically knows to look there so it’s added when the app is launched.  

Next I scan some bar codes using the app to show inventory and other data.  You can’t see it, however I’m actualy scanning those barcodes in the video.

2019-09-09_14-57-23

 

Couple if items to be aware of:

  • In the Intune admin console, device sync status for app deployment, policies, etc. will show as “pending”, this is known.
  • At this time, only one OEMConfig profile may be assigned to a device.

That’s it!  This is incredible… the Intune team has made monumental investments across device platforms supporting a variety of different scenarios, from rugged devices, information workers, and bring your own.

Stay tuned for future updates and posts about Intune right here on UEM4all.com!

 

Intune, Samsung Knox, and OEMConfig

I work with many organizations who are beginning to migrate from Android device admin enrollments to device owner (i.e. Android Enterprise). While migration to device owner requires a factory reset on the device, once enrolled with device owner, devices have a more standardized approach to management and consistency vs. the fragmented management experience device admin enrollments exhibit when multiple OEMs are being managed.

Realizing there was a need to standardize and secure devices beyond the device admin APIs, years back Samsung introduced Knox. Samsung Knox provides an additional set of security and management APIs built on top of Android and is included with many Samsung devices. EMMs, including Microsoft Intune, also took steps to integrate with Samsung Knox to provide a rich set of management capabilities where the device admin APIs didn’t cover (e.g. email profiles).

Google requires device OEMs wanting their devices to be Android Enterprise Recommended (AER) to meet certain requirements thus standardizing and provide consistency across the Android Enterprise device ecosystem.  However, Samsung Knox remains available and continues to provide security and management features, in some cases, beyond what Android Enterprise offers with their current set of APIs.  Although Android continues to update/add security and management features with every API version.

With Android device owner enrollments, Samsung and other OEMs support OEMConfig.  OEMConfig provides a set of OEM specific features EMMs can configure along with standard device settings.

What is OEMConfig?

“OEMConfig policies are a special type of device configuration policy very similar to app configuration policy. OEMConfig is a standard defined by the AppConfig community (opens another web site) that allows OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and EMMs (enterprise mobility management) to build and support OEM-specific features in a standardized way. Historically, EMMs, such as Intune, manually build support for OEM-specific features after they’re introduced by the OEM. This approach leads to duplicated efforts and slow adoption.

With OEMConfig, an OEM creates a schema that defines OEM-specific management features. The OEM embeds the schema into an app, and then puts this app on Google Play. The EMM reads the schema from the app, and exposes the schema in the EMM administrator console. The console allows Intune administrators to configure the settings in the schema.

When the OEMConfig app is installed on a device, it can use the settings configured in the EMM administrator console to manage the device. Settings on the device are executed by the OEMConfig app, instead of an MDM agent built by the EMM.

When the OEM adds and improves management features, the OEM also updates the app in Google Play. As an administrator, you get these new features and updates (including fixes) without waiting for EMMs to include these updates.”

Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/android-oem-configuration-overview

Although Samsung offers OEMConfig settings, some Samsung features/settings require a Samsung license, for more details please visit: https://www.samsungknox.com/en/blog/knox-platform-and-android-enterprise

Intune documention on OEMConfig may be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/android-oem-configuration-overview

Let’s get started with OEMConfig with Intune and a Samsung device

Samsung Knox Service Plugin

First, let’s add the Knox Service Plugin from the Managed Google Play store which is required to deploy OEMConfig policies to Samsung devices.

Assumptions: Intune is already connected to Managed Google Play, if it’s not you can find details on how to do this by visiting: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/connect-intune-android-enterprise

We’ll do this by navigating to https://devicemanagement.microsoft.com -> Client apps -> Apps -> Add -> App type = “Managed Google Play” -> select Managed Google Play Approve

To learn more about Samsung OEMConfig settings, browse through the Knox Service Plugin (KSP) admin guide: https://docs.samsungknox.com/knox-service-plugin/admin-guide/welcome.htm

Creating an OEMConfig profile for Samsung in Intune

Navigate to Device configuration -> Profiles -> Create profile -> add a name -> Platform = Android Enterprise -> Profile type = OEMConfig

Associated app = Knox Service Plugin – this is the app added in the previous step.

Select OK after selecting Knox Service Plugin.

After selecting OK we’re taken to Settings where we’ll see a full page of JSON. Don’t be intimidated it’s straight forward once you understand the structure which are just key/value pairs.

Update: as of the Intune 1907 release there is now a configuration designer with a UI, so no need to edit JSON.

2019-07-30_10-28-52

Continue reading for additional details about these settings and details about JSON if you prefer to edit manually:

Either select all and copy or select Download JSON template and open in your favorite text editor.

There are a couple values I want to point out in the JSON:

I mentioned at the beginning some Knox features/settings may require an additional Samsung license, this is where the license key would be set:

We want to turn on the policies, do this by setting doPoliciesIsControlled to “true

Troubleshooting – everyone likes an easy method to troubleshoot a device and by setting verboseMode to “true” will enable you to view the policies deployed to the device via the Knox Service Plugin app. More on this later in the post.

There many settings that are controlled with OEMConfig, however for the purposes of this post I’m going to turn off face recognition and only allow fingerprint. Disable face recognition by setting doPasswordBioFace to “false“.

Note: blocking the ability to use Face unlock to unlock the phone doesn’t prevent the device user from adding their face recognition. They just won’t be able to log in with face recognition as password and fingerprint are allowed in the OEMConfig.

Once you’ve completed filling out the JSON, copy and paste into Intune where you originally copied the JSON from and select OK then Save.

Note: you don’t have to have every key/value in the profile present, feel free to delete key/values from the JSON, just make sure the formatting is correct.

Device view

Once the policy is targeted to device it should only be a few seconds or so before the policy gets pushed to the device through Google services.

We can check if the policy deployed by opening the Knox Service Plugin app and selecting “Configuration on yyyy/mm/dd” (e.g. “Configuration on 2019/07/08”)

Select the “Configuration results” dropdown and select “Policies received” and from here we see the same JSON that was deployed from Intune.

Look for the password policy in the JSON as shown below:

On the same Samsung device navigate to Settings -> Biometrics and security -> Face recognition -> enter your password if prompted and we see “Face unlock” is disabled.  Again, we can add face recognition, however we can’t use it to unlock the device, so it’s essentially benign.

Here’s a video of the process above:

C02937BC-C8ED-4E0A-A3B2-3915A014D37A

Android Kiosk Enrollment and Microsoft Intune

Last month I wrote about the different Android enrollment scenarios Microsoft Intune supports. For this month’s post, I’m focusing on the Android enterprise enrollment process, specifically single purpose device enrollment (e.g. kiosk) using a factory reset device.

Note: the device must be factory reset to enroll using Android enterprise.

Let’s get started

Create an Azure AD Group

Create a group in Azure AD that will dynamically add Android enterprise devices to it. This group will be associated with the Android enterprise enrollment profile. To do this,

  1. Navigate to portal.azure.com, locate and select Azure Active Directory
  2. Select Groups > New group
  3. Group type should = Security
  4. Provide a name for the group such as “Android Enterprise Kiosk Profile”
  5. Membership type = Dynamic device
  6. Select Dynamic device members

Use a simple rule using the “enrollmentProfileName” attribute to create the dynamic rule as shown below:

Create Android enterprise device enrollment profile

  1. Find and select Microsoft Intune from portal.azure.com
  2. Under device enrollment > Android enrollment select “Kiosk and task device enrollments”
  3. Create a new enrollment profile by selecting “Create”
  4. Provide a name and select an expiration date for the Token (this can be used to register devices with a token or QR code if necessary)

Add apps from Managed Google Play

  1. Navigate to the Managed Google Play account by selecting Mobile apps > Managed Google Play > Open the managed Google Play store
  2. Search for and add the “Managed Home Screen” app and additional apps you’d like on the locked task screen for the device.
  3. Sync with Managed Google Play within Intune and assign the apps and/or weblinks to the kiosk group created earlier.

For the apps to show up on the locked task screen (i.e. kiosk device) we must do two things:

  1. Under Mobile apps in Intune, assign the apps to the Azure AD group we created earlier (“Kiosk and task device enrollments” in my case), including assigning the Managed Home Screen.
  2. In the configuration profile we’ll create next, under kiosk add the same apps, except the Managed Home Screen (leave the Managed Home Screen out of the configuration profile).

Creating an Android enterprise kiosk configuration profile

  1. Within Intune select Device configuration > Profiles > Create Profile
  2. Select Properties > Platform = Android Enterprise, Profile type = Device restrictions
  3. Under settings select Kiosk > Kiosk mode: either select Multi-app or Single app kiosk. For this post I’ve selected Multi-app kiosk.
  4. Select Add and add the apps previously added to Managed Google Play that were synced with Intune. Remember, do not add the Managed Home Screen app (otherwise it will show up as an app on the screen of the kiosk device which isn’t necessary).

For the remaining settings, feel free to configure the other settings to match your business requirements.

Enrolling devices

There are various methods for enrolling a device shown in the table below:

Enrollment method Minimum Android OS supported
NFC (Near Field Communication) 5.1+
Token entry (manual setup) 6.0
QR Code 7.0
Zero Touch (ZTE) 8.0

For more details about Android kiosk device enrollment with Intune please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/android-kiosk-enroll#set-up-android-kiosk-management

Below are the series of steps performed when my Pixel 2 device is enrolled with Intune with Android enterprise as a multi-app kiosk using a QR code, of course if you prefer, zero-touch is available on supported Android (8.0+) devices as well:

 

Tap on the screen six times

I tapped 5 times and it’s asking me for 1 more tap

 

Needs to download the QR reader app before QR code scan

 

Connect to Wi-Fi so we can download the QR reader

 

Once connected to Wi-Fi the device checks for updates

 

Downloading Google Play Store

 

Checking device info…

 

Installing QR Reader

 

Once the QR Reader is installed it will use the camera to scan the QR code under the Android enterprise enrollment profile created earlier

 

QR code is accepted and we’re prompted to continue setting up the device.

 

Updating the Google Play Store again which is connecting to the Managed Google Play store

 

Downloading Google Play services…

 

Uploading Google Play services…

 

Finish device updates

 

Registering the device with Intune

 

Intune device configuration policy we created earlier is now applied

 

The Managed Home Screen is applied and the apps we assigned earlier are shown on the locked down kiosk screen.

Android + Intune = Android management

When I speak with organizations who are considering Android devices there’s usually the question of, “which management option should we choose?”. The answer to the question requires a clear understanding of the scenarios the organization would like to bring under management such as personal devices or corporate devices or even purpose-built devices (e.g. inventory scanners, digital signage, etc.).

There are many different versions of Android from many different OEMs and choosing and supporting each version can be challenging. However, as I’ll discuss later in this post, Android enterprise aims to address OEM fragmentation while providing a variety of management options. Fortunately, Microsoft Intune will address various Android management methods available today including those offered with Android enterprise, so let’s look at how Android management is accomplished with Intune.

The table below walks through each available Android device management scenario, how Microsoft Intune supports it, as well as items to evaluate when considering each option.

Device Management Type Enrollment Type Intune Management
Android Device Admin
Considered legacy administration, the Android device administration API has provided APIs to manage the Android device since Android 2.2. The issue with device admin is there are only so many management APIs available, the user experience is challenging, and according to Google, device admin will be depreciated in 2019. With Android Q, device admin will not be available at all.Device Admin requires an Android device to be enrolled via an MDM and requires various administrator permissions during certain enrollment scenarios. As such, device admin offers insufficient privacy for BYOD, insufficient management capabilities for corporate owned devices, and a poor user experience all around. In addition, device admin is less secure than Android enterprise and device admin is not ideal for an environment requiring minimal or no touch enrollment.To learn more about device admin deprecation please visit: https://developers.google.com/android/work/device-admin-deprecation
Intune supports devices enrolled with device admin on Android 4.4+

To enroll a device to Intune using device admin please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune-user-help/enroll-your-device-in-intune-android

In addition, Intune App Protection policies are supported with device admin (or without enrollment): https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/app-protection-policy

For BYOD, Intune App Protection policies are a great choice as the policies protect the corporate data at the app layer without requiring the user to enroll their device.

Samsung KNOX Standard
With Samsung devices, Samsung added their own management APIs which expands the management capabilities for devices enrolled with device admin.  An example is managing the email profile for the native email app on a Samsung device.KNOX is only available with certain Samsung devices so utilizing other OEM devices would require device admin or Android enterprise.Note: Samsung has announced the unification of KNOX and Android enterprise. More details may be found here: https://www.samsungknox.com/en/blog/android-enterprise-and-samsung-knox-your-questions-answered-hereSamsung also offers KNOX Mobile Enrollment (KME) which allows for automatic enrollment of devices even after a reset. KME is supported starting with Android 2.4 and KME is beneficial for mass enrollment of devices without having to touch each one. Devices may be manually and/or added through a carrier to an MDM. After which, users will experience a streamlined enrollment process which removes the touch points required by device admin.KNOX Mobile Enrollment is only available with Samsung devices so if no touch enrollment is needed for other device OEMs, Android enterprise may be an option.To learn more about KNOX Mobile Enrollment please visit: https://www.samsung.com/us/business/solutions/samsung-knox/mobile-security-solutions/knox-mobile-enrollment/
Intune supports KNOX standard without additional licensing for KNOX. However, KNOX also requires Device Admin enrollment as well. Once a device is enrolled with an MDM the end user will also see prompts about KNOX after which both device admin and KNOX policies may be deployed to the device. KNOX Mobile Enrollment streamlines the enrollment process by enrolling the device automatically.

To learn more about enrolling a device that supports Samsung KNOX with Intune please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/android-enroll#end-user-experience-when-enrolling-a-samsung-knox-device

In addition, Intune App Protection policies are supported with Samsung KNOX: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/app-protection-policy

Intune supports KME and to learn more about setting up KME with Intune please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/android-samsung-knox-mobile-enroll

In addition, Intune App Protection policies are supported with devices enrolled with KME: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/app-protection-policy

Up to this this point we’ve reviewed traditional management methods available on Android as well as enrolling and managing Android devices with Intune. However, if you’ve noticed, there seems to be a theme throughout and it’s around Android enterprise. It appears all paths are leading to Android enterprise so let’s learn about what Android enterprise is and how Intune will assist with managing devices enrolled using Android enterprise.

Android enterprise

There are two primary modes of management under Android enterprise (AE). Work profiles for BYOD and Device Owner for corporate owned devices.  More details on Android Enterprise device ownership please visit: https://developers.google.com/android/work/requirements 

Android enterprise
Android enterprise (AE) offers a variety of management scenarios for certified devices providing more robust management APIs over device admin. Although Android enterprise is supported on Android 5.0+, Google recommends 6.0 or later.Once a device is enrolled in an MDM such as Intune, Android enterprise has the concept of a work profile (formerly Android for Work) that separates or containerizes corporate applications and data on a personal device. The managed profile contains corporate data and allows only applications within the work profile to access the data within while leaving personal data separate. To learn more about work profiles please visit: https://support.google.com/work/android/answer/6191949?hl=enIn addition to work profiles, Android enterprise offers Device Owner mode where corporate owned devices are enrolled with an MDM and managed based on the purpose their intended for. To learn more about Android enterprise management for company-owned devices please visit: https://www.android.com/enterprise/management/To provision the device owner mode the device must be factory reset, unfortunately there are no migration paths to device owner mode from device admin. The provisioning process may be driven by NFC, QR code, or zero-touch. Previous versions of Android such as 5.0 and 5.1 can use an activation code to begin the enrollment process.For more details about device provisioning please visit: https://developers.google.com/android/work/prov-devicesTo learn more about AE management scenarios please visit: https://www.android.com/enterprise/management/Note: as stated previously, moving from device admin to Android enterprise requires a factory reset. Consider the ramifications of already deployed devices to end users and in the workplace before beginning a migration. A strategy of enrolling new devices with device owner while continuing to manage existing devices enrolled with device admin may be an option. Through attrition, devices will onboard using Android enterprise. As mentioned earlier, with Android Q, device admin will not be an option.
Intune supports Android enterprise purpose-built device management including single-use and work profiles which aligns with many organizational use cases.

Details on how to configure Intune to and manage devices supporting Android enterprise are below.

Management of Android enterprise managed profiles and other details may be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/android-enterprise-overview

Connect Intune to Android enterprise:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/connect-intune-android-enterprise

Android enterprise single-use (Kiosk) devices Intune enrollment: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/android-kiosk-enroll

In addition, Intune App Protection policies are supported with Android enterprise: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/app-protection-policy

Applications, including LOB apps are published through managed Google play.

Selecting an enrollment option

Choosing an enrollment option really depends on the scenario and what your business requires. For example, if your devices require minimal or no touch enrollment you may consider KNOX Mobile Enrollment and/or Android enterprise. Since Android enterprise appears to be OEM agnostic, if the plan is to have various device OEMs deployed, devices supporting Android enterprise may be an option. However, if devices are used for kiosk, digital signage, ticket printing, inventory scanning, Android enterprise would be something to investigate as well. If devices are personal devices (BYOD), I recommend looking at Intune App Protection for unenrolled devices and/or Work Profiles. Lastly, before selection consider the short- and long-term ramifications of one option over another.

That’s it! We’ve reviewed the options available for Android enrollment and Intune, documentation on how to enroll Android devices, and the future of Android management through Android enterprise.