Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 1

If it's going to be used at work, IT needs to know what to do

Wi-Fi: Allows you to define one or more Wi-Fi network configurations for the iPhone. Options include network SSID, whether the network is hidden and the security type for the network, including support for any security (or none), WEP and WPA/WPA2. Distinctions are made between personal and enterprise security types, with enterprise allowing configuration of authentication technologies, specification of usernames and use of certificates. Supported authentication protocols include TLS, LEAP, TTLS, PEAP and LEAP-FAST.

Note: The passwords for Wi-Fi networks cannot be included in profiles.

VPN: For establishing VPN configurations, the iPhone supports L2TP, PPTP and IPSec (Cisco) VPN protocols. The options for the protocols available in the profile configuration mirror those in most VPN clients.

For L2TP and PPTP, the iPhone supports authentication using both passwords and RSA SecurIDs, as well as the option to designate whether all traffic should be routed through the VPN connection or only traffic intended for destinations within the remote network. Apple's documentation explains more options for additional VPN support.

E-mail: Allows configuration of POP/IMAP e-mail accounts. You can opt to specify all settings, with the exception of a password (server settings, username, displayed e-mail address) for a user, or you can simply populate server settings. If you do not specify user details, users will be asked to enter them on the iPhone itself.

Exchange: Allows configuration of Exchange ActiveSync. You must provide information for the server hosting Exchange ActiveSync.

Optionally, you can enter a custom name for the account to be displayed on the iPhone (the default is Exchange ActiveSync). You can also specify the use of SSL for communication. As with the E-mail tab, you can specify user account information (in the form of domain\username) and e-mail address, or you can just enter the server information.

Credentials: Used to deploy certificates to iPhones. You will need to specify a certificate file. You can specify either PKCS1 (.cer, etc.) or PKCS12 (.p12) formats.

Advanced: Used to configure APN settings. You'll want to contact your carrier for detailed instructions if you need to use these options.

Device options in the iPhone Configuration Utility

As noted earlier, the iPhone Configuration Utility offers more than its Web-based counterpart. One is the ability to view information about iPhones currently connected to a computer and to build a library of information about all iPhones that have been connected to that computer. While these features are most useful for deploying or testing in-house applications, they have other benefits.

The Connected Devices list in the sidebar provides easy access in its Summary tab to information about an iPhone that's similar to information displayed in an iPhone's Summary tab in iTunes: the iPhone name, storage capacity, firmware version, serial number, a unique identifier (beyond what shows in iTunes), the date it was last connected and the phone number associated with it. As an option, you can associate a user's name and e-mail address with an iPhone.

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Ryan Faas

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