IBM Security MaaS360

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Benefits of moving to MEG3.0 based gateway

By Prasad Balasubramanian posted Fri April 01, 2022 07:25 AM

  
As MaaS360 team is rolling out newer gateway service to all the iOS customers who have gateways configured and deployed in their environments, we learnt that many of the customers have a question - Why should I move to this newer service. We wanted to elaborate the benefits of moving to WKWebView and newer gateway technology
Mainly  following are the strong reasons why I a customer should consider moving to this newer service:
  1. UIWebview is deprecated officially and Apple will not allow  apps to be submitted to app-store if they are built using UIWebkit in near future
  2. WKWebView, the newer webkit used in Secure browser has better stability and performance compared to UIWebview .  To take advantage of migrating to WKWebview requires using newer gateway service along with it to support remote access use-case on mobile devices.
  3. Newer gateway offers better performance and gives more flexibility to configure MaaS360 SDK, wrapped apps and third party apps to use Mobile enterprise gateway.
  4. Unlike the older gateway technology, newer gateway is less susceptible to website specific issues and adds support for web-sockets and apps which use long standing connections.


Migration to WKWebview

Apple has  deprecated the UIWebView libraries and has  advised us to move to WkWebview for any issues we raised with UIWebview. Eventually apple is going to stop accepting any apps using this technology to Appstore. This deadline was set initially for Dec 2020 but apple moved the date and hasn't set a final date yet. When this happens MaaS360 will be forced to remove all UIWebview code from it's apps to push an update of the app. MaaS360 secure browser is going to be impacted due to this since it uses UIWebview for rendering web-pages. Once MaaS360 updates its code, customers who haven't migrated will not be able to access their internal websites using MaaS360 secure browser if they aren't migrated to newer gateway service.
Using deprecated technology could mean rendering issues in webpages, poor performance,  security vulnerabilities in applications using it. Also with Every o.s release we might be discovering newer problems which may not be resolved at all since UIWebview is deprecated.  From MaaS360 perspective, supporting older technologies that are not actively supported by the vendor, makes it difficult in multiple ways to maintain our SLA's.  
MaaS360 upgraded it's secure browser to use WKWebview as a new and upgraded technology over UIWebview has multiple benefits as given below: 
  • The WKWebView loads web pages faster and more efficiently than UIWebView, and also WKWebview doesn’t have much memory overhead
  • Compared to UIWebView, the WKWebView has higher and more efficient performance and is available to the developers all the way from iOS 8
  • WKWebView has extra support  like IndexedDB and ObjectStore ArrayBuffer, compared to UIWebView
  • WKWebView can render ~8500 objects while UIWebView renders about ~3500 objects and WKWebView’s performance is twice good as compared to UIWebView
  • The percentage of usage shows that WKWebView uses 25% CPU to render an object, whereas UIWebView uses 90% CPU for the same object
  • WKWebView is much stable now and is secure libraries to use in the apps


Newer gateway performance benefits

Newer gateway solution is architected and implemented as an VPN extension much like other VPN solutions but it still retains same simplicity as our older gateway  in terms of configuration. Newer gateway  performs better and is considered to address several limitations we had in the past primarily around web-sockets and long standing connections.
Newer implementation can take advantage of per app capabilities of a MDM provider and is 20% faster in rendering web pages. It can work without an MDM as well unlike MaaS360 VPN solution or any other VPN Solution. Minimal configuration changes are needed to try out this newer service.


Beta program

Apple has currently pushed the deadline for stopping app updates for apps using UIWebView deprecation from December 2020 to an undetermined date. There is a very likely chance that apple might give us a new date once pandemic subsides. 
To avoid any last minute rush to move to WKWebView & Newer gateway, it is recommended to ensure things are working efficiently, before rolling it out to the entire organization.  This will ensure that if there are any concerns while trying out, MaaS360 team can fix those. It can be a breaking change if we have to rollout without much notice. Please refer to following KB for additional info on enabling this service (https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/maas360?topic=module-mobile-enterprise-gateway-meg-support-apple-wkwebview
Lastly, MaaS team will be focusing on adding new functionalities on top of this new gateway and not on the  one with the older technology stack.  Please try it out and let us know if you see any concerns or gaps, either in terms of performance or scale or in any other areas.  We'd be happy to work with you and get you ready for a total rollout. You can reach out to Prasad.bala@in.ibm.com to share your feedback. 
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