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Setting up Managed Google Play

To utilize Managed Google Play features and configurations, you have to setup Managed Google Play in MDM. Managed Google Play can be configured using either a G Suite account or a Google account. The differences between these methods are explained below:

Admin account to be used for configuring Managed Google Play G Suite account used by the organization. Any Google account
User account creation Created by the IT Administrator, as a part of G suite Automatic creation of accounts
User account addition Requisite account to be manually added to the device Account gets automatically added to the device
User account binding Bound to the specific user and can be reused in other devices Bound to the specific device and cannot be reused
Association of configurations Associated to the account Associated to the device
Ideally used in Organizations extensively using G Suite, having employees who use multiple devices. Organizations without G Suite, having employees who use corporate devices
Example Scenario Users already have device(s) with their G Suite account added. Organizations have given corporate devices to employees and want to automatically Google accounts to the devices and prevent users from adding their personal Google account.

Using G Suite

To configure AfW in MDM, you need the following:

  1. G Suite for Education cannot be integrated with MDM.
  2. It is recommended to assign different G Suite accounts to devices for improved app management but a single Gsuite account can be used for upto 10 devices. If the G Suite account is assigned to more than 10 devices, the apps cannot be distributed to devices
  3. Adding different domains in G Suite can result in the device activation failing.
  4. We recommend the usage of an organizational Google account, rather than a personal Google account, as it will be used for provisioning all Managed Google Play-based features and configurations to the managed devices.

Identifying the domain admin account

To complete the Managed Google Play integration with MDM, you need to provide a few details, one among which is your Domain Admin Account. To know the same, follow the steps given below:

  • Login to Google Admin Console and select Admin Roles from the menu.
  • Hover over Super Admin and click on View admins. Any account listed here can be used as a Domain Admin Account in MDM.

Obtaining the JSON file

  • Login to Google Developers Console and click on Create Project
  • Create a project by providing a Project Name and then click on Create.
  • Once the project is created, click on the Notification icon and click on the project creation notification message.
  • Now, click on Explore and enable APIs available under Getting Started.
  • Click on the key icon present on the left. Then click on Create Credentials and select Service Account Key from the dropdown.
  • Click on the dropdown below Service Account and select New Service Account. Provide a service account name and for the parameter Role, select Service Account from the dropdown and select Service Account Admin.
  • Click on Add Key and select Create new key. Ensure that the key type is set as JSON and then click on Create. Now, a JSON token is downloaded. This needs to be uploaded on the MDM server. After downloading the token, click on Close

Obtaining the EMM token

  • After clicking on Close, click on Manage Service Accounts. Now, click on the ellipsis icon present against the service account name and click on Edit.
  • Copy the 21-digit numeric sequence present under Unique ID and then click on View Domain Wide Delegation Client ID.
  • For Product Name for the consent screen, provide the product name Mobile Device Manager Plus and click on Save.
  • Click on the hamburger icon and click on APIs and Services from the menu and select Dashboard.
  • Click on Enable APIs and Services to enable device management using Managed Google Play.
  • Type in Google Play EMM API on the search box and click on the search icon
  • Now select Google Play EMM API from the search results and Enable the API.
  • Similarly, type in Admin SDK on the search bar and Enable Admin SDK from the search results.
  • Now, login to Google Admin Console and click on Security.
  • Scroll down and select API Controls -> Managed Domain Wide Delegation -> Add New.
  • Paste the Unique ID you copied previously and paste it as Client Name and provide this URL, https://www.googleapis.com/auth/admin.directory.user for the parameter One or More API Scopes.
  • Now, go back to the home page, and click on Devices.
  • Click on Mobile & Endpoints -> Settings -> Universal Settings found on the left side on the page.
  • Click on General -> Mobile management and enable Turn off mobile device management (Unmanaged) -> Save
  • In the Universal Settings tab, click on Data Access -> Android Sync -> Allow work data to sync on Android devices -> ON -> Save
  • Click on Mobile & Endpoints -> Settings -> Third Party Integrations.
  • Click on Android EMM -> Edit icon. Ensure the dialog box Enable third-party Android mobile management is unchecked and click on Add EMM providers.
  • Choose Generate token, and copy the token that is displayed.
  • Now that you have obtained the EMM token and the JSON file, go to the MDM web console, and click on the Admin tab. Select Configure Managed Google Play present under Managed Google Play Settings. Now, select the option Register without G Suite and provide the required details to configure AfW.
  • NOTE: For each Organizational Unit, a single EMM token can be used to manage devices.

Creating user accounts

The next step before starting with Android for Work is to create user accounts. This step is required for pushing Managed Google Play-based configurations to devices. The user must login with the created user account in Google Play Store to have all the AfW-pushed apps and configurations applied in the managed device. For devices enrolled as Profile Owner, the user must login with the created user account in the Google Play Store present in the Work profile.

Without G Suite (Using Google account)

For organizations without G Suite, Managed Google Play can be configured with any Google Account, which is not associated with any G Suite service or EMM services. It is recommended to use the Google account of the organization, as this account will be used for provisioning all Managed Google Play-based features and configurations to the managed devices. Configuring Managed Google Play without G Suite can be done only if MDM is running in HTTPS. If not, an error message is displayed in the browser which is to be ignored. A major advantage in this method is automatic creation and association of the user accounts to the devices.

  • On the MDM Server, click Admin tab and select Configure Managed Google Play under Managed Google Play settings. Click on Register without G Suite and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • On being redirected to Google for Play | Work, sign in with a Google account, not associated with any EMM service.
  • Provide the name of your organization in less than 50 characters. Verify whether the EMM vendor is specified correctly and click on Confirm to proceed with the registration.
  • Click on Complete Registration to finish the registration on which you will be redirected to MDM Server. After the redirection, Managed Google Play is setup in the server, with the specified details.
  • Click here to know how to install apps silently on devices without having to manually add accounts in Play Store.
  • In case you want the users to add their personal accounts in addition to the arbitrary managed account added when Android for Work is configured using a Google account, you need to create a profile, with the restriction Add Accounts enabled. This ensures the users can add accounts.
  • If you are unable to configure Managed Google Play, it could be because the specified domain is already being used in another EMM provider. For this, go to the Google Admin console and navigate to Devices -> Mobile & endpoints -> Third-party integrations -> Android EMM -> Manage EMM providers. In the next step, click on the edit icon, remove the EMM provider and proceed with generating the token as explained earlier.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Invalid details added! Specify the correct values as explained here and retry.
    The error is shown when the specified domain is already being used in another EMM provider (including Google Mobile Management). To verify, go to the Google Admin console and navigate to Devices -> Mobile & endpoints -> Third-party integrations -> Android EMM. If the EMM provider is not ManageEngine EMM, click on the edit icon, remove the EMM provider and proceed with generating the token as explained earlier.
  • The message You have already signed up with this enterprise is shown while configuring Managed Google Play.
    The particular account might be bound to another EMM provider. In your Play For Work portal, navigate to Admin Settings and click on the ellipses icon next to Organization Information. Choose Delete Organization and confirm by clicking on delete in the next step. On the MDM console, retry configuring Managed Google Play without using Gsuite.
    NOTE: Deleting the organization on Play For Work, deletes all the accounts, apps and data associated with MDM.
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