Introducing the New Workspace ONE Swift SDK

The VMware Workspace ONE product teams have been hard at work this year with the goal to make developing with VMware and Workspace ONE easier and better than ever. First we launched the brand new Workspace ONE Dev Center and then the completely revamped Workspace ONE Swift Software Development Kit (SDK).

You may already be familiar with the AirWatch Software Development Kit (SDK), a set of tools that let you easily add advanced security and management capabilities to enterprise mobile apps. The new Workspace ONE Swift SDK is the completely revamped version of the AirWatch SDK for the iOS platform. The Swift SDK takes the old SDK, written in Objective-C, and is updated with the Swift 3.1 (Swift 3.2 and 4.0 support is right around the corner) programming language from Apple ( along with many other modern technologies.

By leveraging the latest and greatest Apple technology, the Swift SDK offers all of the benefits of the AirWatch SDK with a few more bells and whistles when it comes to user experience and performance.

You’ll love the Swift SDK, here is why:

  • Greatly reduced app-to-app flipping: The Swift SDK leverages a new protocol for app data sharing, significantly reducing the amount of app-to-app flipping required
  • Reduced integration time:  With the Swift SDK, you no longer need to include as many dependent frameworks
  • Refactored code: Much of the AirWatch SDK code has been refactored, resulting in less operations on the main thread, a smoother feel when interacting with UI elements and more
  • Support for Workspace ONE devices:  The Swift SDK apps will now also be compatible on devices enrolled through Workspace ONE

Architecture for the Future

In addition to the tangible user experience and performance improvements, there are several major underlying architecture changes made in the new Swift SDK which set the groundwork for future improvements. Future improvements will include things such as bitcode support and adoption of modern package management technologies like Cocoa Pods.

So, want to try it out?

The Workspace ONE Swift SDK is available today. Contact your account representative or AirWatch customer support for more information.

Using the Objective-C SDK? Here are some things you should know.

What behavior has changed between Objective-C and. Swift?

The Swift SDK will introduce a new mechanism using the shared keychain for SDK apps to communicate with other SDK apps on the device. This approach provides benefits from both a security and a user experience perspective.

SDK applications built by the same developer account and are also in the same keychain group or “cluster” will now be able to share an app passcode & SSO session with each other without requiring a flip to the Agent or Container application every time authentication is required. However, applications on the same device built by different keychain groups will not be able to take advantage of this passcode sharing capability. There will still be some scenarios where a flip to the Agent, Container, or Workspace ONE app is required for obtaining the server URL and other setup information but this particular flip should only occur once per cluster of apps.

The diagram below illustrates this new “clustering” behavior. The dotted cluster represents a unique developer account and keychain group. Applications with the same color code represents SDK apps which will share information with each other.

How will Swift SDK and Objective-C SDK applications interact and behave when both are present on a device?

Upon upgrading one app to use the Swift SDK (see State 2 in diagram below), the Objective-C SDK applications will automatically switch to the clustering behavior for passcode and other app data sharing mentioned in the behavior changes section above. Thus, the Objective-C applications will no longer flip to the Agent for passcode authentication nor will it share a passcode with apps which are outside of its own keychain cluster.

Note: Anchor app refers to either Agent, Container, or Workspace ONE.

What is the plan for the Objective-C SDK?

The Objective-C version of the iOS SDK will be in maintenance mode and new features/capabilities will be exclusive to the new Swift SDK.

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Learn More

Check out the VMware EUC blog post on developing enterprise applications with the Workspace ONE SDK here.


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