BlackBerry maker RIM has unveiled plans to offer enterprise app deployment through both a private server and its own application store as part of the vendor's move to a PlayBook-inspired operating system for all new devices from the vendor.
The new version of the BlackBerry Server would bring the BlackBerry Balance service to PlayBook, allowing IT admins to encrypt, manage and delete company data on the phone without affecting personal content like photos.
The newly-announced BBX platform, designed to combine the BlackBerry 7 system with the QNX OS used in the PlayBook, will also use Balance to facilitate enterprise app deployment through a company's BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
“We're going to take Balance all the way down to the metal of the OS,” said Alan Panezic, RIM’s head of enterprise product development.
“When you have a PlayBook with Balance and it’s provisioned against a BlackBerry server, it gets a new secure area and any app pushed by the business is automatically stored there.
"CIOs are saying ‘I'm ok with that as long as I can be sure that data is protected.’ Security and compliance is critical.”
These enterprise apps will appear in a new tab in the PlayBook OS, labelled Work. They will support single sign-on with the user’s existing corporate password.
Enterprises will also be able to provision their apps directly to the PlayBook through BlackBerry App World without having to upload their apps publicly, under a similarly labelled "Work Store" in the app store.