iOS Device Group Management

Setting Custom Attributes

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In this video segment, we see how to add custom configuration profiles for a single iPhone or iPad or for a group of iPhones and/or iPads managed in a SimpleMDM account.

Keywords

  • configuration
  • profiles
  • custom
  • add
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • management
  • account

About this video

Author(s)
Eric Butow
First online
20 December 2019
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-4407-4_5
Online ISBN
978-1-4842-4407-4
Publisher
Apress
Copyright information
© Eric Butow 2019

Video Transcript

Ann MacPhail: Attributes allow you to create configurations that are customized to each iPhone or iPad you manage. You can add custom attributes to store device information that’s specific to your needs, as you’ll learn about in this fifth topic video: Setting Custom Attributes.

A custom attribute can have one of three value types. If you have a configuration with more than one customer attribute, then SimpleMDM processes each one with the following priority. First, a device level value that is an attribute with a device level value will be used instead of any others in the configuration. If there are no attributes with device level values, SimpleMDM uses an attribute with a group level value. And if there are no device or group level values, SimpleMDM uses the default value. What if there is no default value? Then SimpleMDM leaves the custom attribute value blank.

When it configuration references a custom attribute that does not exist, SimpleMDM ignores that attribute. If you need to change your custom attribute, if that happens or at any time, jere’s how to do it. First, click Configs in the menu. Now click Attributes. In the Custom Attributes webpage, click Add Attribute. In the New Custom Attribute webpage, type the name of the custom attribute in the Name box. For this example, I’ll type email address. This attribute will be used to create custom email addresses for each managed iPhone and iPad, which will save time and effort in creating each new email address on each device. Since you will set the email address for each device, leave the Default value box blank, and then click Save. The added attribute appears in the custom attributes webpage, and you can add another attribute by clicking Add Attribute or delete an attribute by clicking Delete.

Now you need to apply the attribute to each device. In SimpleMDM website, click Devices in the menu. Now click the device name in the list. In the Device Details webpage, click Settings. Now you see the custom attribute you added in the custom attributes section. Type the email address in the email address box, and then click Save. SimpleMDM pushes your email address to that device so the user can view that account in her iPhone or iPad Settings screen.

You can also add a custom attribute for a group of devices. Start by opening the New Custom Attribute webpage. For this example, allow the website homepage for the company website by typing homepage in the Name box. Leave the Default value area blank, and then click Save. You see the new custom attribute in the Custom Attributes webpage. Now click Devices in the menu, and then click Groups. Click the name of the group that you want to push the custom attribute to. Click Settings in the Group Details webpage. Now you see the homepage custom attribute under the email address attribute in the Custom Attributes section. Type the new homepage URL in the homepage box, and then click Save. SimpleMDM pushes the web homepage to all your managed devices, so you can check one of those iPhones or iPads to ensure that the website homepage appears within the Safari browser.

When you add a custom attribute, you can specify the default value and then use this value when you add custom configuration profile code. In this example, I’ll create a new custom attribute called company name. Click Configs in the menu and then click Attributes. Click the Add Attribute button, and then type company name in the Name box. Type the company name in the Default value box, and then click Save. The company name custom attribute appears at the top of the Custom Attributes list. Now click Profiles in the menu, click the Add Profile button, and then click Custom Configuration Profile. In the New Custom Configuration Profile webpage, type the name of your new profile, which in this example is login window.

If you already have a mobile config file that contains your profile available to import, then click Browse and open the mobile config file in the appropriate folder within the open window. For this example, I’ll copy and paste code into the editor box. Then I’ll click Enable attributes support, so SimpleMDM can process all attributes within the code. Scroll back up to the top of the editor window and look at the string tags in line nine of the code. You can add the text that will appear in the user’s login window by typing the name within the string tags. You can also tight the custom attribute name within double curly brackets. After you type the company name, attribute name, and the code, click Save.

The login window custom configuration profile appears at the top of the Profiles webpage. Now you need to add the custom profile to all the iPhones and iPads in the group or groups you want. Click Devices in the menu, and then click Groups. Click the group within the groups list. In the Custom Profiles entry, click the checkbox next to login window. Scroll down to the bottom of the Group Details webpage, and then click Save. The word Saved appears briefly at the top of the Group Details page and the checkbox next to the login window custom profile name is checked.

Now, check one of your managed iPhones or iPads in your group. When you view the login window, you should see the company name in the lock screen. You can add the custom profile with your custom attribute to devices in more groups by clicking Groups in the menu, selecting another group and repeating the steps you took when you added the custom profile to your first group. What’s more, you can add your custom attribute to an apps managed configuration. When you assigned this manage configuration, your custom attribute within it will be distributed to all your managed to iPhones and iPads that use the app.

Before you proceed, consult with the app developer to ensure that the app can accept custom attributes and how they will be displayed within the app. Start by clicking Apps in the menu. Within the App Catalog webpage, click the name of the app you want to apply the managed configuration to. In the App webpage, click Managed Configuration. Now, click the green add button. The new configuration row appears underneath the most recent configuration you added, if any. Type the name of the key you want to use, which in this example is company name, the value type is a string, so you don’t need to change that. Next, type the name of your custom attribute within double curly brackets, which in this example is company name. When you’re done, click Save. The message App updated appears briefly at the top of the webpage, and if necessary, SimpleMDM reorders the list by key name in alphabetical order.

Now you can check the app on one of your managed iPhones or iPads to see if the company name appears in the screen where you expect it. If not, check to ensure the value has double curly brackets on each side and the correct name. You can edit the value within the Value box and then click Save to push the custom attribute to apps on your managed devices again.