Workspace ONE Boxer Unifies Mobile Content Management

As of late, I’ve been focusing a bit on Workspace ONE Boxer with some appealing new features early in 2021. Finally, I’m happy to report Enterprise Content has REALLY been introduced. Sure it’s been there for awhile, but it was more small business content.

barney stinson burn GIF

Joking aside, we’re going to talk about what Mobile Content Management (MCM) means in Workspace ONE, how you deploy it simply, and a user experience demo in Workspace ONE Boxer.

Mobile Content Management

Mobile Content Management is a system of storing and delivering content to mobile devices. Essentially, it’s what most people deliver with OneDrive today. I think you can simply think of MCM as a collection of WebDAV-compliant technologies that you power data access. A basic flow of WebDAV can be seen below:

WebDAV: IETF Standard for Collaborative Authoring on the Web

Some of the examples of shares that VMware has enabled for mobile devices going back 6-7 years are:

  • Alfresco
  • OpenText
  • SharePoint
  • Documentum and much more!

Content Gateway

The Content Gateway is how VMware Workspace ONE makes MCM possible. You can see the architecture below, which is now powered by their Unified Access Gateway. This service proxies your MCM calls to sync, populate, and power content management today into the Workspace ONE Content application and NOW to Workspace ONE Boxer.

We aren’t going to go too much deeper into the Content Gateway. You can read my recent UAG article on how to setup the Content Gateway. The main takeaway is to leverage the newer functionality to push the default domain down to your devices, but otherwise it’s a very easy deployment. Let’s talk about some examples of building a few different shares.

We’ll quickly cover 3 different share setups: OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and Personal Drives.

OneDrive Deployment for Enterprise Content

OneDrive is really easy. You just create an administrative template.

You can see, that you pick the Type of “OneDrive for Business OAuth” and your path should be: https://companyname-my.sharepoint.com/personal

From a security perspective, below are my suggestions:

SharePoint Deployment for Enterprise Content

SharePoint is slightly more complicated. You create another administrative template.

Similar to OneDrive, you select “SharePoint O365 OAuth”, but the URL is a bit more complicated. The URL context is https://companyname.sharepoint.com/sites/department/Shared%20Documents. Basically you need to use the SharePoint Base URL and add Shared%20Documents to the end of it. You can stick with the same security setup as OneDrive.

Personal Drives Deployment for Enterprise Content

This is a bit more complicated. We’re going to walk you through it with a nice little demo video. It has a few different aspects to it as you will see below.

Enterprise Content in Workspace ONE Boxer

Enterprise Content has been out for awhile, but it required Boxer to be secured with a PIN or username/password since its birth. That is a MAJOR issue as any seasoned UEM engineer or architect knows. You do not enforce passcodes/AD credentials for managed devices. It’s a big no-no, but we can now thank Workspace ONE UEM 2101’s new SDK changes to make that irrelevant.

Simply, you just enable Enterprise Content in the “Usability” section to enable Enterprise Content, which leverages the Content SDK to provide a one-stop-shop for downloaded attachments and access to any of your content shares.

Now, that you have it turned on, we can showcase what the user experience looks like in Workspace ONE Boxer.

Enterprise Content Demo in Workspace ONE Boxer

Now, we get to the moment we have all been waiting for! A nice demo showcasing the MCM-enabled features within Workspace ONE Boxer like:

  • Saving attachments directly to repositories
  • Accessing files in your content-enabled shares
  • Adding files as attachments to emails

Some Final Thoughts

It’s nice to see that we have finally achieved this basic functionality that all users expect today. As Cisco experienced, if you cannot support OneDrive you will not have strong user adoption. That is just the reality of our world. We must build things in a user experience-friendly fashion that fosters high productivity. I’m very proud of the Boxer team’s progress, but we must get our full Office 365 functionality to bring Boxer’s potential to fruition.

2 thoughts on “Workspace ONE Boxer Unifies Mobile Content Management”

  1. Read this a couple of times, but still don’t see why “enforce passcodes/AD credentials for managed devices. It’s a big no-no”
    Sometimes it is needed as a second factor

    1. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

      Ideally, you will be using SAML for Office 365 or Cert-Based auth for Exchange On-Premise so you are already achieving multifactor authentication.

      Adding additional friction for users with minimal security gain is not really solving anything overall. Password/credential enforcement is fair and legitimate for unmanaged devices, but in a managed device model the benefit is minimal and arguably diminishing returns.

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