Mobile Device Management with Sybase Afaria

  • by Janis Bicans
  • Sebastian Angerer, Consulting Manager EMEA, ecenta AG
  • March 26, 2012
/Mobile
With the rise of mobile devices in business comes the responsibility of device management, allowing the cohabitation of personal and corporate data while still maintaining enterprise-level security. Find out how to manage mobile devices with Sybase Afaria. Learn about its architecture. Follow steps to install, configure, and apply initial security policies to this application.
Key Concept
Sybase Afaria is a mobile device management and security solution designed to provide centralized control over enterprise mobile devices of various platforms. It offers mobile device security, network access, application deployment, and other component management.

Mobility is a relevant business need for sales representatives, field workers, and many types of company personnel. Handhelds being used in the enterprise ecosystem present new challenges for IT administrators and security principals. Personal and corporate data management, as well as application and device provisioning, is a part of enterprise IT policy enforcement. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are changing both customers’ and enterprises’ views of what can be accomplished with a mobile device. These changes encourage enterprise application vendors to speed up their development and deliver business applications for mobile platforms.

Mobile solution providers are facing various challenges. One of the top challenges is the fact that operating system and hardware markets are fragmented. In the foreseeable future there will not be a single operating system that dominates the market. Android, Blackberry, iOS, Symbian, and Windows Mobile are currently the most popular ones. As a solution for this challenge, software vendors are delivering frameworks such as Sybase Unwired Platform, PhoneGap, and many others. These platforms provide single development and deployment capabilities to multiple platforms. The same approaches apply in mobile device management (e.g., use a single platform to manage multiple devices regardless of diverse mobile operating systems).

Corporate IT departments face situations in which employees are willing to, or must, use their private mobile devices for company purposes. Nevertheless, almost every enterprise has a policy that prohibits or limits employee-owned private device access to the company’s IT resources such as network, documents, and data in enterprise systems. The following sections explain how these challenges can be overcome, and outline the basic concepts of Sybase Afaria and how to use the platform to control heterogeneous devices.

Afaria Architecture and Prerequisites

IT administrators and other people who work within the infrastructure area need to understand mobile infrastructure architecture, threats, hardware, and software solutions. Thus, management needs to support them to be able to identify and choose a suitable solution for mobile device management, keeping in mind that the solution might need to support multiple mobile hardware platforms and mobile operating systems. Certain mobile operating systems such as Android may even vary depending on a device vendor. For example, features that are available on one Android-based device are not available on the other vendor’s Android devices. These and many other challenges can be expected in the enterprise mobile market. Combining Sybase Afaria with other Sybase products is SAP’s answer to the challenges in the mobile market.

Janis Bicans

Janis Bicans is a senior consultant at SIA ecenta Baltic Labs specializing in SAP Mobile Solutions. He has a total of three years experience in SAP products and nine years with Microsoft technologies as IT system administrator and developer.

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Sebastian Angerer

Sebastian Angerer is a consulting manager for the EMEA region at ecenta AG in Walldorf, Germany, with a total of nine years of experience in SAP products. In the role of solution architect, he has contributed to many successful SAP CRM projects worldwide, providing functional and technical consulting as well as managing the delivery of projects.

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