HP unveils Enterprise App Store service


HP has announced the availability of an Enterprise App Store that will allow enterprises to create, deploy and manage applications across all major platforms including Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.

The service is designed to be deployed by telecommunications providers, and is made up of two key components - the App Store and Mobile Gateway, explained Tim Marsden, director of applications and cloud enablement at HP, during the launch event today in London.

Enterprises and employees don't want to be tied to one device, they want a choice.

The Enterprise App Store allows employees to search-for and download applications to devices.

HP will not be porting apps directly from existing stores such as the Apple App Store as this is not possible. Instead, developers will have to use APIs and the HP Mobile Application Suite to build and test apps before deployment. Alternatively, HP will also build apps for customers that do not have the ability to do so.

"The App Store will provide employees access to multi-platform apps once they are developed and allows admins to control who accesses which app. A marketing employee would have access to a different set of apps compared to a finance employee, for example," he told IT Pro.

"Once the apps are available to employees, you need to manage them and make sure they are secure."

In terms of security, devices will be encrypted and policies can be created to ensure that data cannot be copied from an app to the memory of a device. Apps can also be protect with pin codes to prevent unauthorised access, he explained.

Meanwhile, the Gateway will allow apps to access information from the back-end infrastructure allowing businesses to create and deploy apps that use data from CRM and ERP systems. The Gateway also includes features such as server and client-side caching, smart browsing and offline viewing capabilities to enhance performance.

Marsden could not comment on whether HP would re-enter the mobile and tablet market and offer this service alongside hardware, but it remains unlikely at this time.

"Enterprises and employees don't want to be tied to one device. Firms like Apple and RIM sell a complete package, but this defeats the object of bringing your own device to work," he added.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.