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.
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
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.
- Navigate to the Intune admin portal via https://devicemanagement.microsoft.com and select Client apps from the left hand navigation.
- 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.
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.
Oct 2019 UPDATE
Zebra OEMConfig now supports File Management. Simply add the path to the source to the Source URI (ftp-p://username:email@example.com:21/Velocity_Demo.wldep) and the Destination Path and File Name will be /sdcard/com.wavelink.velocity/Your_Velocity_Bundle.wldep
If you’re not familiar with OEMConfig please review my earlier post on the topic: https://uem4all.com/2019/07/09/intune-oemconfig/
With the Zebra OEMConfig now supporting File Management, the step below using StageNow is now optional and you would either use the step above or the one below, not both.
<Begin optional steps>
Let’s start with Zebra StageNow…
- 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
- 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.
- Give the profile a name and select Start
- 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.
- In the StageNow Config under File Action select Transfer/Copy File.
- 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.
- Select File on a remote server if not already selected and select the … to open the dialog.
- 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:firstname.lastname@example.org:21/Velocity_Demo.wldep
- Once we’re finished with entering all the parameters select “Continue” until you see “Complete Profiles”.
- 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.
<End of Optional Steps>
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.
Select Configure > select the three dots next to Transaction Steps > and then select Add setting.
From the list of settings select, Device Administration Configuration.
- Under Device Administration Configuration only two settings are required.
- Action = SubmitXML
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.
- 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.
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.
- If needed, multiple OEMConfig profiles may be assigned to a device (only supported with Zebra OEMConfig).
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!