How to Distribute Your Corporate Apps using BlackBerry World

How-to

Authored by Joseph Rafoul
Image of new BlackBerry World vendor portal
If you want to distribute corporate apps, such as CRM or Enterprise IM, to your employees, but don’t yet have BES deployed in your infrastructure, you’ll be happy to hear about a great new feature in BlackBerry World.

We recently augmented BlackBerry World to support visibility control, a feature that gives BlackBerry World Vendors the ability to publish applications to BlackBerry World without making them visible to the masses.

How it Works

Enterprises interested in taking advantage of this feature first need to register as BlackBerry World Vendors.  If you’re not already a vendor, here are the basic steps:

To control your app visibility, you need to ask for this feature to be enabled on your account.  Contact BlackBerry World Vendor Support to enable visibility control.  This is done just one time.  Once granted this capability, submit an application to BlackBerry World ensuring that visibility control is set to Private.

Here’s what it looks like in the Vendor Portal (in the Details section):

Public-private app

After your application is approved, capture the BlackBerry World deep link (URL) that leads to the application download and share it with your employee base.  The recipient of the deep link opens it on their BlackBerry device and completes the download process.

You can easily determine your app’s deep link.  Begin by finding your application’s content ID in the Vendor Portal, and then append it to this URL: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/.  So the deep link for an application whose ID is 1, would be http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/1.

Remarks

There are some important points to make note of.  Apps whose visibility is private are hidden by obscurity.  This means that they cannot be found in a BlackBerry World search, but anyone that has the deep link can access the application.  For that reason, you must secure your applications by implementing an authorization mechanism such as login credentials or VPN access.

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