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Send app feedback to EMMs

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers offer solutions for organizations to manage Android devices and the apps installed on them. These solutions are typically available as web consoles, called EMM consoles. Using an EMM console, IT admins perform device and app management tasks on behalf of their organization.

Apps targeting enterprise organizations can send feedback to EMMs in the form of keyed app states. APIs are available for EMMs to retrieve keyed app state data, which they can then display in their EMM console. This communication channel allows IT admins to receive feedback about the status of the apps installed on the devices they manage.

For example, an email client app could use keyed app states to confirm that an account was successfully configured, report when sync errors occur, or send any other status updates the app developer thinks is appropriate.

Components of a keyed app state

A keyed app state is comprised of the following:

  • Key: Unique identifier for the app state. Maximum 100 characters.
  • Message: Optional message describing the app state. Maximum 1000 characters. Note: Typically messages should be significantly shorter than this.
  • Data: Optional machine-readable value intended for EMMs to allow IT admins to set up alerts or filters based on the value. For example, an IT admin could set up an alert if the data field battery_percentage < 10. Maximum 1000 characters.
  • Severity: The severity of the app state. Allowable values are SEVERITY_ERROR and SEVERITY_INFO (default). Only set severity to SEVERITY_ERROR for genuine error conditions that an organization needs to take action to fix.
  • Timestamp: When a keyed app state is set, it's automatically sent with a timestamp in milliseconds since epoch.

Send managed configurations feedback

If your app supports managed configurations, sending keyed app states is recommended as a way to update IT admins on the status of the configurations they set. The following example workflow describes one way to do this.

keyed app states for managed configurations
  1. IT admins use their EMM console to set and send managed configurations for an app installed on a fully managed device or inside a work profile. For example:
    • Volume: '50%'
    • Currency: 'USDD'
  2. The app attempts to apply the configurations. The volume is set successfully to 50%, but the currency code is invalid and can't be applied.
  3. Based on the status of each configuration, the app sets a keyed app state. Each keyed app state contains a unique key and a message with details of the state. We recommend matching the managed configurations key where possible. For example:
    Key Message Severity Timestamp
    volume Set to 50% SEVERITY_INFO 1554461130
    currency Currency 'USDD' not recognized SEVERITY_ERROR 1554461130
  4. The EMM provider retrieves the keyed app states set by the app and displays them in its EMM console. For example:
    Configuration Status Action required Time
    Volume Set to 50% No April 5, 2019; 10:45:30 AM
    Currency ERROR: Currency 'USDD' not recognized. Yes April 5, 2019; 10:45:30 AM

    The EMM provider should also explicitly flag any received states with SEVERITY_ERROR to the IT admin. IT admins can view the information in their EMM console and take action to rectify any errors in the configurations they set.

Report resolved errors

After an error is resolved, immediately send a follow-up app state to prevent EMMs from displaying the error message indefinitely. This follow-up state should include:

  • The same key as the initial error message.
  • A severity of SEVERITY_INFO, which indicates that the state isn't in an error condition and doesn't require the organization to take any further action.

Add support for keyed app states to your app

The steps below describe how to integrate keyed app states in your app.

Step 1: Add Google's Maven repository to your build.gradle file

Add Google's Maven repository as a repository location in your project's top-level build.gradle file, as shown below:

repositories {
     google()
}

Step 2: Add the enterprise feedback library to your build.gradle file

Add the following dependency to your build.gradle file:

dependencies {
    implementation 'androidx.enterprise:enterprise-feedback:1.0.0-alpha02'
}

Step 3: Get an instance of KeyedAppStatesReporter

In your onCreate() method, get and store an instance of KeyedAppStatesReporter. This enables a communication channel between your app and EMM providers.

Kotlin

val reporter = SingletonKeyedAppStatesReporter.getInstance(context)

Java

KeyedAppStatesReporter reporter = SingletonKeyedAppStatesReporter.getInstance(context);

Step 4: Create a collection of keyed app states

Follow the best practices outlined below when creating keyed app states:

  • Never include personally identifiable information (PII) in a state—keyed apps states aren't suitable for sensitive data.
  • Keep keyed app states within the limits defined in MAX_KEY_LENGTH, MAX_MESSAGE_LENGTH, and MAX_DATA_LENGTH.
  • Only set the severity of a state to SEVERITY_ERROR if a condition exists that an organization needs to take action to fix.
  • When sending an app state containing errors, ensure that you also send a follow-up state when the errors are resolved so the EMM can stop flagging the errors in their console.
  • For the follow-up state, use the same key as the initial state that returned the error and set severity to SEVERITY_INFO.

The snippet below creates a collection of keyed app states:

Kotlin

    val states = hashSetOf(KeyedAppState.builder()
             .setKey("key")
             .setSeverity(KeyedAppState.SEVERITY_INFO)
             .setMessage("message")
             .setData("data")
             .build())
    

Java

    Collection states = new HashSet<>();
    states.add(KeyedAppState.builder()
     .setKey("key")
     .setSeverity(KeyedAppState.SEVERITY_INFO)
     .setMessage("message")
     .setData("data")
     .build());
    

Step 5: Set the keyed app states

The setStates() method immediately sends keyed app states to the Play Store app (package name: com.android.vending) if it's installed on the device, as well as any admins of the device or work profile.

Kotlin

keyedAppStatesReporter.setStates(states)

Java

keyedAppStatesReporter.setStates(states);

Test keyed app states

For detailed test instructions, see Test app feedback.