It’s been five and half months since iOS 7 was announced, and two and a half since it was released, but we’re still missing a few things from Apple: the iOS 7 Enterprise Deployment Guide and the streamlined MDM enrollment process.
For a long time, Apple has published official white papers and guides covering the enterprise workings of iOS, including background on iOS security, MDM, and other areas like the Volume Purchase Program, Apple Configurator, and so on.
There was a wide range of documentation available for iOS 6, and most of it came out pretty soon after the release back in 2012. But now almost all of it has disappeared from the Apple website, and even though it’s been over two months since iOS 7 was released, nothing new has taken its place.
For now all I can find is updated information on the Volume Purchase Program (pdf here) and last year’s iOS Security Guide (pdf here). There are a few more pieces of miscellaneous information on the business support page, and some general MDM information, but nothing that comes close to the past documentation.
We do have the Configuration Profile reference, though, which can tell us most of what we need to know about the new MDM features, and of course 3rd-party MDM vendors have their own guides, too. But overall, this is nothing like TechNet!
This isn’t the end of the world, but still, it would be nice to have the official documentation, and I’m wondering what the hold up is.
What about Streamlined MDM Enrollment?
You might recall that one of the iOS 7 MDM features that I was excited about was the Streamlined Enrollment process. Basically, it lets companies that purchase Apple devices in bulk add MDM enrollment into the setup process, so devices can always be managed no matter what. This would speed up the mass MDM enrollment process, and it make it impossible to remove a device from management. (Remember that LA school district iPad “hacking” story where students removed the MDM from their devices? This probably would have prevented that.)
Streamlined MDM enrollment was first mentioned on the iOS 7 and business page in late June, and we got more details in September when the developer NDA was lifted and sessions from WWDC became available.
However, now it looks like this feature isn’t coming out anytime soon—references to it have been removed from Apple.com, and we haven’t heard anything else about it. This feature for sure would have been useful for companies that do mass deployments of corporate-owned devices, so it’s a shame that it disappeared.