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How to provision configurations to Jolla / Sailfish?

asked 2014-02-22 15:31:08 +0300

Provisioning configurations means transferring configurations, certificates etc. to a number of Jolla devices with little or no difficult configuration actions required from the end user. Examples of this may be sending email server, wifi configurations and/or required certificates to device, which then can ask if the user wants to accept and install the offered configuration.

These kind of features are most often used by service providers, operators and companies, which want automatically send configurations to end user devices so that users do not need to do difficult configurations by themselves. Instead the end users only need to accept and install the configuration.

So how to do this in Jolla / Sailfish?

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answered 2014-02-22 15:50:27 +0300

Currently you cannot do this kind of configuration provisioning in Jolla, but here is a suggestion for Jolla / Sailfish / Mer developers to consider.

The best benchmark for configuration provisioning in the mobile platform market is currently iOS. For iOS it is possible to create configuration packages for iOS devices with either Apple Configurator or by creating and packaging the same kind of XML configurations with own tools. These configuration packages can then be synced directly to device, sent by email or provided from the web server as configuration packages. When iOS device downloads or receives a configuration package it will then ask the user to accept and install it. Within the configuration package there can be configurations for device policies, WiFi configurations, additional root certificates, email server settings etc. -- all kinds of "difficult" things that can now be configured automatically with the help of configuration packages.

My suggestion is that Jolla would follow the iOS model, but do it a bit more openly than Apple does it. The configuration package format and the configurations inside them should we openly specified and documented so that any service providers or app developers could write for example a software or service to give system administrators, it support and advanced users an UI to create configuration packages. These configuration packages would then have a defined MIME type, which would be handled by a configuration manager in the Jolla / Sailfish device. The configuration package could now be transferred via email or via WWW browser, but as it would have its own MIME type, the configuration package could be dispatched to a registered handler -- e.g. Jolla Configuration Manager. The configuration manager would then handle converting the configurations, certificates etc. in the configuration package to actual device configuration and settings the parameters, transferring certificates etc. properly inside the device.

With this approach alread the problem of client, server, CA certificate, enterprise WiFi configuration, email and instant messaging configuration, private CA certificates etc. could be solved in a scalable fashion and without bothering the end user with difficult configurations tasks.

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Asked: 2014-02-22 15:31:08 +0300

Seen: 242 times

Last updated: Feb 22 '14