question

Larry R. avatar image
Larry R. asked ·

Does the future hold a full stack OneAgent for mobile devices?

I am wondering if Dynatrace has thought about (if even possible) developing a full stack OneAgent for iOS and Android?

I know that the capability to instrument OneAgent within a mobile app is possible, but that is only if the app code is open. Also, it only would be focused on the app and not the device as well.

Specific industries have employees with company issued devices for many different reasons. While I do not see any real value in placing such a thing on every single mobile device issued by a company for things such as just because they are an employee and supplied a smart device, there are specific industries where such devices are critical to job function.

Use case

In our case, we have transportation drivers who 100% depend on the company issued device (Android and Apple) and the apps on them (both proprietary and non-proprietary). Some of those apps are from our SaaS cloud vendors.

There is an industry need to not only monitor the performance of a custom mobile application, but also vendor apps, and just as important - the mobile device itself including OS.

I am guessing there are many challenges when it comes to trying to get insight into these devices on such a level with Apple most likely being the biggest.

But it makes me wonder if this need has been recognized and if discussions have taken place with the likes of Apple and Google to meet this need?

Also curious how many others out there would find value in this if available for the industry you work in.

Let the think tank begin! :-)

Thanks!

oneagentmobile monitoringandroidiosapplication monitoring
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Antonio S. avatar image
Antonio S. answered ·

I can talk with some inside knowledge on this, because I'm also in the security area. And we have been doing special projects in this domain.

Doing what you ask for requires rooting/jailbreaking the devices. That is particularly easy for Android devices (at least, some). Until some months ago, that was virtually impossible for iOS devices on the latest versions. This has changed since late 2019, and since then a series of iOS devices are almost guaranteed to be jailbreakable for life, independent of the iOS version. Newer hardware versions don't have this possibility though...

What you are asking for has a lot of value. There are a lot of use cases, and the future being mobile, will lead to an even bigger usage of mobile devices.

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Just to complement three things:

  1. Gathering information at the OS level does not need rooting/jailbreaking for some of the CPU/memory/network stuff.
  2. Recovering Purepath data, with no app instrumentation, is clearly possible in rooted/jailbreaked devices. In security tests it is a standard operating procedure to hook on methods that do web requests,so it would be possible for Dynatrace to get *ALL* data, as in a Windows/Linux machine. One major problem is obfuscation of mobile apps, which is also being a lot used nowadays, especially by financial apps.
  3. Rooting/Jailbreaking devices is not a trivial task. I imagine that such developments would be more interesting in a developer scenario, or controlled environment.
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Chad T. avatar image
Chad T. answered ·

Thats a very good use case and definitely worth a RFE!

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I debated on question or RFE :-)

I thought first I would try to better understand the current limitations that might prevent this currently either from the device vendor, OS vendor, or Dynatrace. I also was curious how many others would see value in this capability for the industry they work in.

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Patrick H. avatar image
Patrick H. answered ·

What you are asking for ist not really possible without rooting the devices - and requiring your customers to root their devices is nothing you want (unless you are in the forensics industry...). This would impose a big security risk onto the customers and also could lead to failure of that agent at any OS update that invalidates the jailbreak. Also there are some Apps, especially banking apps or other security sensitive apps that intentionally cease to work when they detect to be run on a rooted/jailbroken device. The mobile OS are designed with their sandboxing architecture to prevent exactly that one process spies on all other apps/processes. So summary in theory it would be possible with tremendous effort, but to be realistic see this happening for the mobile agents.

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Correct, which is my point really. This is not so much just a Dynatrace question, but one for the smart phone industry as well. Also keep in mind, I am not talking about personal devices here. I am talking about devices that are issued by a company to its employees with company apps and specific industries.

It's probably more of a question of the mobile industry recognizing this need than it is companies like Dynatrace. I was just curious if this has been thought about and to what level.

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