Relution Files – Connect SMB and WebDAV shares

 Motivation

The use of tablets generates data that – especially in 1: n scenarios (i.e. multiple users per tablet) need to be backed up while data protection compliance must be guaranteed.
Also, in the 1:1 use case it is often necessary to store or access data centrally (e.g. local file shares, etc.).
As the only MDM system, Relution, therefore, offers a Filesfunctionality containing SMB and WebDAV connections to provide any file shares as a native file location in iOS.
This feature is automatically configured on the devices via Relution policy or can be manually configured in the Relution app so that the student can’t go wrong.
By implementing it as a location, the files are available in every iOS app that supports this storage concept.

Manual configuration in the Relution app

When you navigate to Shares in the Relution app, you’ll see the following input fields:

  • Server-URLs
  • User name
  • Password

The server URLs are entered in a sub-menu for SMB in the format

<server>/<share>

and for WebDAV a path

<server>/<path1>/<path2>/…

When using WebDAV https:// is necessary. When using SMB you have to add the actual share after <server>/
Those fields already configured by the server-side are hidden, except for the user name, which appears for control purposes but cannot be changed.
The advantage is that users cannot see any server URLs.

By pressing the add button, additional server URLs can be added, with a maximum of 5 possible. This is only possible if there is no MDM policy on the device, which configures shares.
The validity of the inputs is checked automatically (connection to the servers is established). A green hook appears next to the URL when the connection is successful. If not, the URL, user name or password is wrong.

Integration in the iOS file system

As soon as a valid login at a Samba or WebDAV Server exists, a new file location called “Relution Files” is created and is available in all apps that support these locations, such as the iOS Files app.

The connected shares are displayed as folders under “Relution Files”.

Then one of the folders can be selected and its content is displayed.

Selecting the Relution Files location in a supported app

If the menu for loading or saving files is accessed in an app that supports file locations, files can directly be accessed on a configured server share (the example shows the Pages app, “Create Document”).

The exact functionality depends on the app used.

Automatic configuration via policies

In order to save the user from entering the server and share names, the parameters expected by the app can be sent to the app in a Relution Files configuration.

In any iOS policy in Relution , add a “Relution Files” configuration like this:


The corresponding configuration can include the following parameters:

  • Server/Share-URL in the format <server>/<share>
    • When using WebDAV https:// is necessary. When using SMB you have to add the share after <server>/
  • Username
    • You can also use the known placeholders like ${user.name}
  • Password
  • Alternative:
    • Single Sign-On with the currently used credentials of the Relution user (Password input necessary once) (Also available in the Relution Shared Device Mode, without password input)
    • The configured Shares are available immediately.
    • During a new login in the Relution Shared Device Mode the shares are configured for the new user, so that the connection to the previous share of the precious user is removed

Requirements

  • Relution Server version 4.50 or higher
  • Relution iOS App version 4.12 or higher
    • Currently, version 4.12 is only available as enterprise option
    • The publishing of version 4.12 to the Apple App Store will foreseeably take place in September 2019

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