AirWatch Single Sign-on (SSO) with Kinvey: See it in Action

AirWatch Connect Kinvey BoothSecurely connecting mobile apps to enterprise credentials has traditionally been difficult, given the multiple methods of authentication used across systems. Recently we’ve seen a trend towards enabling Single Sign-on (SSO) for enterprise apps to get around this issue, providing a seamless authentication experience for users. But SSO is usually handled via SAML, a skill set that few mobile developers are strong in.

Kinvey’s brand new solution eliminates the need for developers to get in the weeds with SAML and allows them to add SSO capabilities powered by AirWatch and VMware Identity Manager to any app with just a single line of code (as seen below). And what you end up with is a truly seamless experience — check out the demo of this feature in action:


Also, if you are at AirWatch connect, come swing by our booth! We’re giving away a free Apple Watch Sport every day to one lucky person who comes and says hello. We’re in booth 404 (no, that’s not a joke) and can’t wait to talk enterprise mobility and SSO with you.

eDetailing and Kinvey: a Top-5 Pharma Company Extends Salesforce Capabilities to Deliver Contextual eDetailing Apps


Many customers of Kinvey are large Salesforce users. They have moved their entire CRM operations from legacy vendors to the Salesforce SaaS Service.

After their move from on-premises software to cloud-based SaaS services, these customers are making the next platform shift, enabling mobility for their users instead of a desktop-web experience.

One vertical market where we see the transition to mobile-enablement happening in full force is pharma. Within the pharma market, enabling sales people in the field via mobile eDetailing apps helps improve productivity, consistency, and traceability of the sales process.

Customers use mBaaS to help build eDetailing apps because many SaaS CRM platforms don’t provide them the flexibility of creating a custom eDetailing solution that fits their businesses processes. Instead, most SaaS services provide mobile frameworks that force you to conform to their way of writing applications.

We had a similar situation with a Kinvey customer, a top-5 pharma company that recently decided to deliver an eDetailing app for their sales team.

The Goal

Deliver a contextual eDetailing tablet app for sales reps in 32 geographies. The app must provide access to data and collect information in a compliant manner for each geography, work offline via native experiences, and have low total cost of ownership to build, launch, and enhance the app.

The Problem

The company’s salespeople are split across multiple geographies, and based on geography, each rep needs to see custom content from the company’s Salesforce instance, as well as send custom information back from the app. Using only Salesforce to build the app, the company would have had to use geography-based business logic customized for each geography’s needs, and directly tied to an app for that specific geography. The resulting project scope suggested this would require 32 individual apps to service all salespeople.

Additionally, each page in the native iOS app experience showcased data from multiple Salesforce objects. Using Salesforce’s tools alone, this would have made offline experience enablement very difficult, as the company did not employ Apex developers as part of the mobile team. The resulting architecture and large number of apps created prohibitive upfront and long-term maintenance costs.

The Solution

The customer realized that by combining Salesforce’s capabilities with Kinvey they would be able to overcome these challenges. They used Kinvey’s iOS SDK to authenticate users and marshall data between the app and Kinvey’s backend, and the iOS SDK’s offline caching and sync capabilities meant that they could enable offline experiences with just a few lines of code.
Additionally, the customer used Kinvey’s Salesforce Data Link Connector (DLC) to convert the app’s queries to Kinvey with matching queries to Salesforce, decoupling the frontend application’s requests to Salesforce from the backend integration into the system.

Finally, the customer built a web-based console that allowed a business analyst to customize the data access policies by geography, determining how different users would be able to receive and send data on a per screen basis.

The Result

The new app lives on a decoupled architecture, built on Kinvey, where the authentication and data access at the app layer is separated from authentication and data access in Salesforce. The company was able to build just one app to service their entire sales team instead of 32, and offline access in the app worked from day one without an extensive development effort.

Importantly, the new architecture enabled the web-based console that allows a non-technical analyst to define, manage, and update the business rules governing what content salespeople in differing geographies can access and update. This simply would not have been possible using Salesforce and tightly coupled business logic.

The company estimates that it saved more than three million dollars on development and maintenance costs by leveraging Kinvey — and that’s just for this one project.

Looking Forward

Because this top-5 pharmaceutical company has a global presence, this eDetailing use case is relevant across more than 100 business units, though the frontend experience would need to change (i.e. they would need a new app) for most. But because of the decoupled architecture built on Kinvey, the customer does not need to worry about creating new integrations with their Salesforce instance – they can simply leverage the existing DLC – or the web-based business rules manager, and can instead focus on customizing the app experience for each additional app and product need. The customer expects this to save them further millions down the line.

Forrester Mobile Infrastructure Services Wave 2015 Report: Our Thoughts

Forrester Wave KinveyThe Forrester Wave for Mobile Infrastructure Services was released this week, and we’re excited that Kinvey’s platform received the highest overall product score of any pure-play mBaaS solution. As the inventors of mBaaS – we even have a patent to prove it – we are deeply grateful to our global developer community and enterprise customers for supporting us to get to where we are today. The recognition from Forrester is another milestone we are proud of. But most of all, a big kudos to the awesome Kinvey engineering team for building an outstanding product.

The Forrester MIS Wave evaluated 10 companies. Some of them – like Kinvey – are pure-play mBaaS vendors, others are MADP vendors who focus on front-end technology with some backend platform capabilities, and there are a few traditional PaaS and middleware companies trying to get into modern enterprise mobility.

Download the Wave report

Mobile Infrastructure Services (MIS) vs. Mobile Backend as a Service (mBaaS)

For clarity, Forrester did not evaluate Kinvey for just our mBaaS capabilities. Forrester had a broader perspective for their evaluation. But even in that less-focused canvas, Kinvey received the second highest score in current product offering for Mobile Infrastructure Services.

Mobile Infrastructure Services platforms aid enterprises in building, deploying, and managing mobile apps. Importantly, Forrester’s criteria for evaluating Mobile Infrastructure Services providers is informed heavily by their well-known “four-tier enterprise mobility architecture” model, whereby enterprise IT creates four distinct tiers in their IT architecture to aid their mobile developers: the Client, Delivery, Aggregation, and Services tiers.

Accordingly, the product criteria for the wave report can be broadly categorized as belonging to one of these four tiers:

Tier Wave Criteria
Client Client-side development
Delivery Data and offline access
Identity and security servicesEngagementAnalytics
Business logic
Quality/life cycle management
Aggregation Integration/data connectors
Services App management


Today, enterprises struggle to procure products from 15+ vendors to fulfill all the feature criteria listed above. Therefore, we agree with Forrester’s position in their report that a complete Mobile Infrastructure Services stack is required for the right enterprise mobility architecture, and we are pleased that our product received one of the highest scores.

Kinvey’s Mobile-First and Cloud-First product execution is better than mobile-washed and cloud-washed products from legacy vendors

Kinvey’s product offering and execution is more complete, compelling and usable than the likes of Appcelerator, Red Hat, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. Kinvey’s product team has put in a tremendous amount of effort over the last 4.5 years to deliver a mobile-first and cloud-first platform that has been tested and validated by 10s of 1000s of developers who have delivered apps used by millions of users across the world. Kinvey’s current offering is superior to the mobile-washing of PaaS products that companies like Red Hat have done, and also the cloud-washing of legacy on-premises products that companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP are doing in order to compete in this new mobile-first landscape.

To illustrate this, have a look at some of the categories featured in the report and where Kinvey stands. There is a consistent theme of Kinvey being among the leaders in every category, and no other vendor can say that:

Wave Criteria Leading Scorers Lagging Scorers
Identity and security services Kinvey, Appcelerator, Microsoft, Oracle Red Hat, SAP
Data and offline access Kinvey, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP Appcelerator, Microsoft
Engagement services Kinvey, Appcelerator, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP
Analytics Kinvey, Appcelerator, Microsoft Oracle, Red Hat, SAP
Integration/data connectors Kinvey, SAP Appcelerator, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat
Business logic Kinvey, Microsoft, SAP Appcelerator, Oracle, Red hat
Deployment Kinvey, SAP Appcelerator, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat


Kinvey’s commitment to consistently get better

Even though we are the top ranked pure-play mBaaS platform in the Forrester MIS Wave, we have some work to do on our strategic initiatives according to the report. Specifically, one of the areas in which Forrester scored us as less strategic than some other vendors is in alliances.

Over the last 4 years, as a startup, we have focused on our product and customers. We’ve been very successful in this effort by delivering a best-of-breed mBaaS platform, and by earning the right to be the mobility platform for various global enterprises including Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, Schneider Electric, NBC Universal, VMware, Merial, and Macquarie Bank.

At the beginning of 2015, we began our work to grow our strategic alliance and partner landscape. For example, last week, Kinvey was featured in the VMworld keynote as a strategic partner to their vCloud Air platform. You can expect to see big announcements coming from us regarding many deeper go-to-market, re-seller, and strategic partnerships with best-of-breed software companies and global SI organizations in the very near future.


Download the Wave report

Kinvey Featured in VMWorld 2015 Keynote

Building mobile apps that connect securely to enterprise data and auth sources is not easy, unless you’re using Kinvey mobile Backend as a Service on VMware vCloud Air as shown at VMworld 2015 in Bill Father’s (@billfathers) keynote.

​Kinvey “boosts developer productivity and offers a consistent set of microservices that make development easy, with no code integration,” said Yangbing Li​ (@ybhighheels​)​, VMWare Vice President​ .  Li wondered “Can developers still be called developers if they don’t have to write any code?”​ Check out the demo for yourself. ​

Going to VMworld? Don’t miss these sessions

vmworld 2015If you’re headed to VMworld 2015 and you’re interested in mobile, here are two can’t miss sessions to learn best practices for building great cloud backends for mobile. Hopefully we will see you there!


Session Title: Mobility as a Service: Better-Faster-Stronger Mobile App Backends in the Cloud
Monday, August 31, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. PT

If your company is struggling to create apps that meet your organization’s growing mobile needs, you’re not alone. The good news is that help is available. If you’re attending VMworld later this month, we recommend checking the “Mobility as a Service: Better-Faster-Stronger Mobile App Backends in the Cloud” session. Hearing from Darcie de Freitas, vCloud Air Marketing, and Kirk Heughens, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Farmers Insurance, you’ll get a look at the state of today’s IT organizations and their focus on mobility as a cornerstone of leading digital transformation as well as enabling IoT.

The rising volume of employee, partner, and customer demand for mobile experiences – in a very complex ecosystem – requires a set of backend services that are optimized to work well with mobile and device security protocols. Through this session, you will learn how the right set of integrated mobility tools allows IT to enable enterprise-class mobile services with the business agility of the cloud.

Session TitleBest Practices for Running Your SaaS Business on vCloud Air
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. PT

Are you a cloud architect, mobile architect, or DevOps engineer? If so, you need to drop in listen to Sunder Parameswaran, director of product management for VMware vCloud Air, and our CTO, Brian Wilson, who will be leading a discussion around “Best Practices for Running Your SaaS Business on vCloud Air.”

When your business runs on SaaS, architecting, building, securing, scaling, updating, and troubleshooting your SaaS service on vCloud Air is mission critical. This session will provide a real-life case study, detailing how Kinvey has gained the DevOps operational excellence to process thousands of API calls per second, while delivering enterprise SLAs for a secure and fully managed mBaaS running on VMware vCloud Air.

If you are already familiar with vSphere, you’ll be right at home with vCloud Air enterprise features, including the added benefit of cloud agility. With over 27,000 apps built on the Kinvey platform, you will learn key tips, tricks, and best practices, as well as a few mistakes to avoid along the way.

Hope to see you at VMworld!

Who’s Who In Mobility?

Touch screen mobile phone

There are a lot of job titles in mobility. A lot. It’s to be expected – mobility is such a new entrant to the enterprise world that there really are no standardized titles yet. Some titles are familiar, some are brand new, and some are just plain weird. Today we’ll focus less on the bizarre (though we’ll save those for another day) and more on the most popular.

  1. Chief Information Officer

The CIO is a well-known figure. In many companies they manage every aspect of IT in a long-term fashion, dealing with personnel, technology, and budget. While CIOs are not building apps for their companies everyday, they are often the final decision makers in many organizations.

  1.  Enterprise Architect

Architect is a term that is seen a lot in mobility, but in many different forms. The enterprise architect is like a conductor for a company. Each part of a company, from developers to salespeople, is like a different instrument. Individually they can do cool things, but the enterprise architect brings them together and coordinates them in the best way possible, creating a symphony of efficiency and adaptability. The enterprise architect typically coordinates IT and the business side, ensuring that they are in alignment. They are great people for approaching about mobility, as they see the big picture but still care about all the details.

  1. Head of App Development

Senior level members of an app development team are often the movers and shakers when it comes to making day to day decisions for a company’s mobile apps.

  1. Application Architect

The application architect is similar to the enterprise architect, but on a smaller scale. They are responsible for the entirety of an app that is being developed, from the individual lines of code to how everything works together.

  1. Mobile Strategist

Mobile Strategist is a new title, even within the field of mobility. The term mobile strategist actually describes a class of job that includes senior IT architects, app development executives, and IT management. The key things that make these people mobile strategists and not just IT architects or directors are experience and scope of vision. Similar to the enterprise architect, a mobile strategist handles all aspects of how a company approaches apps and mobility.

Of course, these are just the tip of the mobility iceberg. There are an infinite number of job titles out there – interestingly, though, not many of them actually include the word ‘mobility’. It might be that it’s too soon for it to have become truly commonplace. Hopefully, in the next few years we’ll see it become as standardized as titles in other departments. The field of mobility isn’t going anywhere; the nomenclature is going to have to adapt.

Mobile Architecture Webinar Series: The Power of Microservices in Mobile Application Development

mobile-app-developmentLearn how small, discrete backend components and decoupled development enable fast-paced mobile innovation.

Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2015
Time: 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm GMT
Duration: 1 Hour

Register today!

As mobile apps move towards becoming single-purpose applications, enterprise IT architecture must follow suit. In order to allow each application to evolve and iterate at its own pace, enterprises need to break down backend integrations into small, discrete components — known as microservices. In this webinar, we’ll explore what microservices are, how they are built, and how they can be leveraged to create an application development environment that enables innovation at the speed of mobile.

You’ll Learn:

  • What microservices are, and how they fit in with the current enterprise IT architecture model
  • How microservices create a decoupled IT architecture and the benefits this brings to the enterprise
  • New concerns for the microservices architecture model that didn’t exist in the monolithic web world

Presented by Jikku Venkat, VP of Product at Kinvey

Dr. Jikku Venkat runs Product Management at Kinvey and enjoys the challenge of taking innovative technology concepts and making them successful enterprise-ready products. For the past 14 years, Dr. Venkat has been involved with startup companies in the enterprise software, Cloud, SaaS, and Virtualization areas. He has built successful Engineering, Product Management, and Customer Services organizations from the ground-up at Draker Energy, Virtual Bridges, and United Devices. As Co-Founder and CTO at United Devices, he pioneered the concept of Grid computing for HPC and business applications, a pre-cursor to the IaaS products of today.

Register today!