If you use mobile apps in your enterprise, then you'll need a way to manage the distribution of those applications. That's where IBM Worklight Application Center comes in. Here are 5 things to know:
1. It's part of a mobile application platform
IBM Worklight is an application platform designed to help you develop, deploy, and manage mobile applications. Worklight Application Center is only one component of that platform. Other components include Worklight Studio (an Eclipse based IDE for mobile development), Worklight Server (a Java EE server with security, connectivity, and data-syncing), Worklight Device Runtime Components (client-side runtime libraries), and Worklight Console (a user interface for monitoring and administrating the Worklight Server and its deployed apps).
2. You can build your very own app store
Want to be the next Apple App Store or Google Play? Well now you can be – at least within your own kingdom. Worklight Application Center is an enterprise app store, providing a central repository of mobile apps for use within your enterprise. You can control who can access the app store, who can upload apps to it, and who can download and install apps from it. And just like those public apps stores, you can collect feedback from users who rate apps.
3. An enterprise app store is the best way to distribute your apps
Why bother with an enterprise app store at all? Why not just throw your apps onto a common file space somewhere, or attach apps to emails? The answer is application management. If you're developing a new app, it is likely to go through multiple iterations. Worklight Application Center lets you manage those versions. Developers can publish their latest app to the app store, and have Testers download that version and leave feedback, which is collected by the Developers. The latest version, with the appropriate feedback mapped to it, is always available. Similarly it's a great way to distribute finished apps within your enterprise, allowing you to upload apps for multiple platforms (Android, iOS, BlackBerry) and control who has access to download these apps. How many public app stores do you know that support multiple mobile platforms?
4. There's a mobile client for downloading apps
The Application Center mobile client is how users access the app store to browse apps in Worklight Application Center, install them to their mobile device, and rate and leave feedback for apps. The mobile client app runs on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.
5. It integrates with IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices
IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices provides mobile device management tasks such as device wiping, encryption management, and jailbreak detection. It also has its own support for enteprise app management which provides a list of recommended applications for users within an enterprise. This enterprise app management feature can import applications hosted in Worklight Application Center into the catalog of recommended applications.
For more information on using Worklight Application Center, including detailed instructions on how to install and configure it, see the IBM Redpaper Enabling Mobile Apps with IBM Worklight Application Center.
Martin Keen is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He works with technical experts to create books, guides, blogs, and videos. Follow @MartinRTP on Twitter.