Security

Box Becomes First Third-party App on Good's Platform

Good Technology is opening its developer program to anyone and announcing that Box is the first available third-party application based on Good's platform.

Good announced its Good Dynamics program late last year, inviting select ISVs (independent software vendors) and developer companies to make their applications compatible with Good's platform. The platform includes server software at an enterprise, Good's network operations center and the application on the handset. Previously, the only apps available to users of Good's platform were built by Good.

Good's platform secures data at rest, encrypts data in transport to and from the device, and offers remote management tools to IT administrators. For example, an IT administrator can remotely kill the Box app if the user's phone has been compromised.

Wednesday's announcement means that Good customers can use a secure version of Box that is available now for iOS devices. Box is a content-sharing service aimed at business users.

Implementing the Good Dynamics SDK (software development kit) in existing apps is a relatively simple process, said Herve Danzelaud, vice president of business development for Good. Most developers can complete the process "in a matter of days," he said.

Good charges the enterprise customer for use of Good Dynamics apps annually, on a per-app, per-device basis. The company declined to offer a range of what the charges might be, saying they will vary based on the size of the customer.

Developers don't pay to access the Good Dynamics SDK, but they do face some costs. All apps must be submitted to Veracode, a company Good contracted with to test the apps for vulnerabilities. Veracode will recommend changes to fix any problems it finds. Developers must pay for this testing.

Apps like the one from Box will be available in the Apple App Store, even though they can only be used by businesses that are Good customers. An IT manager must authorize a phone user to use the app. Typically, the manager will email users, instructing them to download the app and enter a unique code that will allow them to start using it, Danzelaud said.

Good plans to announce additional third-party apps in the coming weeks, said Danzelaud. "We've seen a ton of interest from software companies," he said. They are being asked by potential business customers to secure their apps, he said. But "their core competencies are not encryption and security," he said. Using Good Dynamics allows them to offer secure apps, he said.

Good is among many companies using a variety of approaches to secure mobile apps on consumer devices, including iPhones and Android phones. 3LM, a company now owned by Motorola, has software for securing all apps on Android phones. 3LM's software must be built into the phones by the OEM. Another approach to securing mobile phones is to use virtualization. VMware, Open Kernel Labs and Red Bend Software are among companies working on mobile virtualization offerings.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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