10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 2, 2013 9:27 AM by univadmin

    iOS 7

    dmwaters

      I am running the latest Mobile Admin available via Apple App Store (v8.0.3) and are having issues logging in.

       

      Once you launch the application, and select "Connect to a MA Server", and select "Connect" you only get a blank screen.  Usually, you would go to the credentials screen to authenticate.

       

      This issue only occurs with iOS 7 devices.

       

      Any suggestions?

       

      Added screenshot of blank screen.

        • Re: iOS 7
          dsbalcau

          Hi dmwaters,

           

          iOS 7 support is coming shortly. In the meantime, you can register for the MA 8.1 Beta which includes support for iOS 7.

          • Re: iOS 7
            afsfire

            I am seeing the same.

            • Re: iOS 7
              univadmin

              I'm still confused as to Solarwind's position on this.  While other developers have been preparing their apps for iOS7 using the iOS7 Beta which has been available for months, Solarwinds was just waiting around for it to break?  I don't think they get the importance of this.  The tool is called MOBILE ADMIN.  This software has basically been rendered useless by iOS7.   I had about 20 updates for other apps the day after iOS7 was released so I know other developers were on top of this and were ready.

               

              And what is Solarwinds doing?  Inviting us to posthumously Beta-test a software product we already paid for?  Software that was working up until a few weeks ago.  Um - we bought the software because we were already very busy - certainly too busy to beta-test software for free.  Keep your new features to yourself for now and just fix the version we already have - thank you.

               

              OK - rant over.  I feel better now.

                • Re: iOS 7
                  dsbalcau

                  Hi univadmin,

                   

                  First, let me announce that the iOS 7-compatible MA client should be live on the App Store within the next 24 hours. For users in the Beta program, this is the same version of the client that they have been validating and everything looks good, so no need to update. When we have the official 8.1 release, users who installed via TestFlight will need to uninstall the Beta client and download from the App Store - automatic updates don't usually work with non-App Store distributed versions.

                   

                  Now, let me give you some insight into some of the reasoning of why we did not release the day of availability of iOS. This is not meant to be an argument; I would just like to give some insight into the challenges, risks, and thinking that went into this release cycle. 

                   

                  While other developers have been preparing their apps for iOS7 using the iOS7 Beta which has been available for months, Solarwinds was just waiting around for it to break?  I don't think they get the importance of this.  The tool is called MOBILE ADMIN.  This software has basically been rendered useless by iOS7.   I had about 20 updates for other apps the day after iOS7 was released so I know other developers were on top of this and were ready.

                   

                  The initial announcement of the MA Beta was posted on 7/20/2013 and users have been receiving updates on their phones via the RMAP screens (the screen that pops up when you first launch the app) that the product was available for iOS 7 (Betas and GA versions) since then as well. All SolarWinds software goes through defined stages of release that are gated by feedback from customer engagement. This is because before we make software Generally Available (GA), we need to make sure it does not break existing functionality in real live environments. This is accomplished usually by engaging customers in Customer Acceptance testing. While we saw problems early on with the Apple iOS Betas and were actively fixing and testing them, pushing out an update that would potentially break customers on all existing iOS (pre-iOS 7 or existing MA Server) platforms would have been irresponsible on our part. The situation is further complicated by a) the depth of Mobile Admin’s functionality and b) the requirement of the Mobile Admin Server. I can understand small consumer apps with no server component that are not held to a standard of being the critical must-have “always on” tool being able to ship apps they are not quite sure  whether or not they work. We unfortunately needed feedback from our AMAZING group of Beta testers that everything looked OK, giving us a comfort level commensurate with the aforementioned standard of quality. It’s very hard to validate that everything is working until we have a final build of the OS. This makes it nearly impossible for us to ever to release on Day 1 of an OS being available. This is further exacerbated by Apple’s secretive policies where they don’t provide GA more than a week in advance (pretty much have to sniff around Apple fan blogs for rumors).

                   

                  …  Software that was working up until a few weeks ago.  Um - we bought the software because we were already very busy - certainly too busy to beta-test software for free. Keep your new features to yourself for now and just fix the version we already have - thank you.

                   

                  This is where things get hairy. The “software was working until I updated the Operating System” argument really shows where the world of BYOD collides with traditional Enterprise software delivery. I doubt that any of the members of the Thwack community are going to rush out and upgrade all of their production Windows Servers to Windows Server 2012 R2 (10/18 GA by the way) on Day 1 and “just see what breaks”; however, smartphone OS’s are part of your personal life and as such the same standard is not applied. I recently did a survey of our customer base and over 1/3 of Windows Servers in production are still Windows Server 2003. Contrast that with iOS 7 adoption which surpassed 50% of iPhone OS’s within its first week of launch. It’s pretty crazy when you think about the dramatic difference in adoption curves between Enterprise IT environments and consumer mobile devices.

                   

                  Again, I don’t say the above to argue, but rather to explain and make sure you understand that we definitely understand your pain and are trying to be responsive as best as our standards of quality allow.

                   

                  Now go enjoy your new MA app on iOS 7 and let me know if you find any problems

                    • Re: iOS 7
                      univadmin

                      First - thank you for the response.  It's the first real communication I have ever received from Solarwinds regarding this entire upgrade.  As a software developer, I am certainly sympathetic to challenges of keeping up with Apple and their upgrade cycles.  That said, I there are some lessons learned from this exercise that might be helpful in the future.

                       

                      1.  First - many of us in IT support don't have the luxury of not upgrading the moment a new OS is released.  We literally will be hit hours after the update with support calls so we have to get ahead of the changes so that we can provide support to our users.  The argument of "well, you upgraded so you deserve what you get" are over.  I wish we could wait 3-4 months for all the app developers to get their act together but we can't - a few days maybe but not weeks.  I guess we could all buy two phones - one we upgrade and one we don't but that seems equally silly.  Here's a tactic I've seen from other apps: instead of upgrading the current app for iOS7 simply publish a new app specifically for iOS7. This way - we could install the version of the app we need based on the iOS platform in place.  If I want to keep using the iOS6 version of the app - great.  But if I want to run iOS7 - I just go to the store and download the iOS7 platform version of the app.  Here is an example from another app vendor who used this approach with the iOS5/6 upgrade and it worked brilliantly: https://help.instructure.com/entries/21927984-Canvas-Mobile-2-0-Featuring-New-Dashboard-Modules-and-Quizzes

                       

                      2.  I considered the Beta but after I read that it could not be used in any production environments - well - that pretty much ended that.  I'm glad some folks are able to spend their time helping to work out the bugs - good for them and I'm glad they're around.  In the old days - we had a QA department for that and we paid them to do this so our customers didn't have to. 

                       

                      3.  As I mentioned earlier - a little communication from Solarwinds would go a long way.  I noticed they don't have any problem sending me marketing materials and attempting to cross-sell me every other product they have but somehow I never received anything regarding iOS7 and the fact that it would break the app or that Solarwinds was even working on an upgrade.  A little warning would have gone a long way - along with the comfort of knowing that a fix was on the way.  A quick look at the recent reviews of the Mobile Admin app on the App Store confirms the frustration many users were feeling.  I have not suffered alone apparently.

                       

                      Unlike a lot of folks - I will not let this experience sour me on the Mobile Admin product.  I still like the product and actively recommend it to others.  I think a little communication and preparation in this case would have gone a long way. 

                       

                      Also - thanks for taking the time to respond.  I'm not trying to give a counter-point to your explanation - I'm just giving you the customer perspective.  Well - one customer anyway.

                        • Re: iOS 7
                          dsbalcau

                          I'll take your feedback into account in adjusting our processes in handling smartphone OS upgrades in the future.

                           

                          I am curious about point #3. There were several communication avenues that were attempted regarding iOS 7 development. As I mentioned in my initial response, an update announcing the Beta was posted on Thwack and to the RMAP screens inside of the app. The RMAP screen itself has a link to an email address to inquire about participation in the Beta, which is a direct line to our product team. Many other customers leveraged this email address to ask questions about the Beta including inquiring about iOS 7 support that was listed as one of the bullet points. From a conversation that I had with another customer, it might be possible you never saw this screen? I'm wondering if there is a bug here, or if maybe the text was just easily overlooked (usability problem on our end)? Furthermore, we did include notice of the Mobile Admin Beta in our August Customer Newsletter, which is another standard way we communicate product updates and news to our customers (besides Thwack of course which is primary), and goes to every customer that has not opted out of our emails.

                           

                          I'm very interested in ways we could better communicate this information better.

                            • Re: iOS 7
                              univadmin

                              Sure.  I had absolutely no idea of the existence of Thwack until I began to search your site for a solution to this problem.  I searched the site in vain for product updates, news, kb, and anything else to tell me what was going on.  It wasn't until I went to Thwack that I actually saw other users having the same problem (besides the nasty reviews on the Apple App Store).  There was literally nothing on the "official" site to inform users of this problem that I could find.

                               

                              I checked and I have received no newsletters from Solarwinds.  All I have is a series of "End of Quarter Incentives" and "Upgrade your RoveIT to Mobile Admin" type of communications so I know I am on a mailer somewhere.  It is also clear that *someone* knows I am a Mobile Admin customer.  At the very least - the complete loss of functionality of a product in the event of an OS upgrade should be warned to all known customers.  I even checked our discovery logs (in case I deleted the Newsletters) and found nothing. 

                               

                              I'm with you - let's just find out what the broken chain is in the communication stream and get it addressed.  I think the most simple approach is to inform all known customers directly of something as critical as this - before and after the "fix" is released via a short, concise email alert.  It would be best if it was not buried inside a Newsletter or other aggregated communication which usually contains marketing materials anyway. 

                               

                              Chip

                                • Re: iOS 7
                                  dsbalcau

                                  Chip,

                                   

                                  Well, welcome to Thwack I agree that it's an unfortunate situation that caused you to stumble upon it, but hopefully its for the best. Thwack is THE WAY we communicate directly with end users about these types of situations. From Beta and RC Forums, Product Blogs (including some classics that describe the why's behind our release processes), and general discussion, this is the primary avenue by which SolarWinds communicates about Product Direction and Product Issues to customers. When it comes to Product Direction, you can see what our Engineers are working on through our What We're Working on Posts for every product in the company, including Mobile Admin. I do apologize, I did notice that for some reason iOS 7 wasn't on the latest version of the WWWO post, but we most certainly have been and I've updated that post. Thwack also provides the ability for you to leave your feedback directly in terms of what we should be working on with our Idea Forums. You will never see this information on SolarWinds.com as that is more of the front-end business-side of our web presence and messaging is tailored appropriately.

                                   

                                  I am still worried if you never saw the RMAP screens, as that was viewed as the best, most targeted (and certainly Marketing-free) way of reaching MA customers who rely on the product everyday like yourself. Let me know if you still don't see it when you launch the new client.

                                    • Re: iOS 7
                                      univadmin

                                      I see the RMAP screen on the version that went out yesterday.  I don't recall ever seeing one before - but it's possible that in the thick of battle I skimmed over it.  ;-)  If there was an issue with the RMAP screens not showing - it looks like the new version resolved it.