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User Configuration Framework for Better App Deployments

Watch this JNUC session in its entirety.

In today’s session, Alexander Wolpert, Apple consultant and developer for Computacenter AG in Germany, showed how to seamlessly configure apps with custom settings with the help of a User Configuration Framework. He explained how to simplify app configuration and deployment through a workflow that leverages the Framework and a JSS policy.

He started the presentation in a way that is sure to please the Jamf Nation community:

“I want to present an idea as a present for the community”

The present took form as the UserConfigAgent framework, released as open source software on Alex’s Github repo: https://github.com/alex030/UserConfigAgent

This framework is designed to solve a common challenge that Mac admins share: configuring user-specific app settings in a way that is user- and admin-friendly. It consists of three pieces: a login script that stores the user password, an agent that executes configuration scripts, and an XPC agent that serves as middleware between the plugin and config agent. App configurations are defined with XML configuration files, using a defined set of keys. All of these components can be deployed using Jamf Pro.

Alex showed an example of configuring Outlook with user account settings and desktop background. In this example, the user simply logs in as normal and the configurations are applied automatically. At each step, the user is shown a message window to inform them of the configurations taking place.

This “present” was well received by the community, and during Q&A several ideas for future development were offered. Alex encouraged the community to submit ideas for use-cases or additional features to his page on Github.

Check back here for the video recording and be sure to check out Alex’s repo to download the framework: https://github.com/alex030/UserConfigAgent.