Smart Groups are customizable groups you define that determine which platforms, devices and end users receive an application, book, compliance policy, device profile, video channel or product provision. While geographical location, business unit and department typically define Organization Groups, Smart Groups provide you the flexibility to deliver content and settings by device platform, model, operating system, device tag or user group. You can even deliver content to individual users across multiple Organization Groups.
While you can create Smart Groups when you upload content and define settings, their modular nature means you can create them at any time so they are available to be assigned later.
The main benefit of Smart Groups is their re-usability. Rather than specifying a new assignment every time you add new content or define a new profile or policy, you can configure a Smart Group once and apply it where needed.
Creating a Smart Group
Before you can assign a Smart Group to an application, book, compliance policy, device profile, video channel or product provision, you must first create one.
Take the following steps to create a Smart Group:
1. Choose the applicable Organization Group to which your new Smart Group will apply and be managed from.
2. Navigate to Groups & Settings > Groups > Smart Groups and then select Add Smart Group.
3. Enter a Name for the Smart Group.
4. Configure the Smart Group type by choosing between Select Criteria and Select Devices or Users.
- The Select Criteria option works best for groups with large numbers (more than 500 devices) that receive general updates because the inherent details of these groups can reach all endpoints of your mobile fleet.
- In the Select Criteria type, select qualifying parameters to add in the Smart Group. Parameters include Organization Group, User Group, Ownership Tags, Tags, Platform and Operating System, Model, and Enterprise OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Version. You can also add and exclude specific devices and users in the Additions and Exclusions sections.
- Note: While Platform is a criterion within a Smart Group, the Platform configured in the device profile or compliance policy will always take precedence over the Smart Group's platform. For instance, if a device profile is created for the iOS platform, the profile will only be assigned to iOS devices even if the Smart Group includes Android devices.
- The Select Devices or Users option works best for groups with smaller numbers (500 or less devices) that receive sporadic, although important, updates because of the granular level at which you can select group members.
- In the Select Devices or Users type, which you utilize to assign content and settings to special cases outside of the general enterprise mobility criteria, enter the device friendly name in Devices and username (first name or last name) in Users. You must Add at least one device or user or you cannot save the Smart Group.
- Note: Switching between Select Criteria and Select Devices or Users erase any entries and selections you may have made.
- Note: A 500 device maximum has been placed on the Select Devices or Users option of creating Smart Groups. If you encounter a scenario where you must add more than 500 devices while utilizing the Select Devices or Users option, consider instead enabling the Select Criteria option for the main bulk of devices that share a general criteria and, if required, create a separate Select Devices or Users Smart Group for those devices that fall outside the general criteria.
5. Click Save when finished.
Assigning a Smart Group
Before Smart Groups take effect, you must assign them to an application, book, compliance policy, device profile, video channel or product provision.
Take the following steps to assign a Smart Group:
1. Complete the Assigned Smart Group drop-down field as it appears during the process of adding or creating an application, book, compliance policy, device profile, video channel or product provision.
2. Select a Smart Group from the drop-down list. Smart Groups available for selection are only those managed within the Organization Group (OG) to which the application, book, compliance policy, device profile, video channel or product provision is being added, or to a child OG below it.
3. If no Smart Group matches the desired assignment criteria, then select the Create New Smart Group option. You can assign more than one Smart Group per application, book, compliance policy, device profile, video channel or product provision.
4. Select Save to include the assignment.
Excluding Smart Groups in Profiles and Compliance Policies
Since Smart Groups apply to not only apps, books, video channels and products but also device profiles and compliance policies, the ability to exclude selected Smart Groups provides you with greater flexibility.
For example, if you want a compliance policy for all users in the company except executives, you can easily accomplish this by assigning a Smart Group to the policy that includes all users, and exclude a Smart Group that contains only the executives.
To exclude a Smart Group while adding an app, book, video channel, product provision or creating a profile or policy:
1. Select Yes next to the Exclusion field and a new field will appear titled Excluded Smart Groups.
2. Select those Smart Groups you wish to exclude from the assignment of this profile or policy.
3. Select the View Device Assignment button to preview the affected devices.
Note: If you select the same Smart Group in both the Assigned Smart Groups and Excluded Smart Groups fields, then the profile or policy will fail to save.
Managing Smart Groups
Manage your Smart Groups by Editing, Assigning, Unassigning, and Excluding and Deleting them with the AirWatch Admin Console. Navigate to Groups & Settings > Groups > Smart Groups to view the entire listing of Smart Groups.
The columns Name, Assignments, Exclusions, and Devices each feature selectable links, which you can use to view detailed information. Selecting links in the Assignments or Exclusions columns display the View Smart Group Assignments screen.
Selecting a link in the Devices column loads up the Devices > List View with only those devices included in the Smart Group.
Editing a Smart Group
Any edits you apply to a Smart Group will affect all policies and profile to which that Smart Group is assigned.
For example, a Smart Group for executives is assigned to a compliance policy, device profile, and two internal apps. If you wish to exclude some of the executives, then simply edit the Smart Group by specifying Exclusions. This action will have the effect of removing not only the two internal apps but also the compliance policy and device profile from those excluded devices.
The Console Event logger keeps track of changes made to Smart Groups, including the author of changes, devices added, and devices removed. See Console Event Logger for detailed information.
Take the following steps to edit a Smart Group:
1. Navigate to Groups & Settings > Groups > Smart Groups.
2. Select the Edit icon from the Action menu to the right of the listed Smart Group that you want to edit. The Edit Smart Group screen will display with its existing settings.
3. Make changes to either the Criteria or the Devices and Users (depending upon which type the Smart Group was saved with).
4. Select the Next button and the View Smart Group Assignments page displays, allowing you to review which profiles, apps, books, provisions, and policies may be added or removed from the devices as a result.
5. Save your Smart Group edits by selecting the Publish button on the View Smart Groups Assignments page. All profiles, apps, books, provisions and policies tied to this Smart Group will now changes its device assignment based on this edit.
View Smart Groups Assignments
As a convenience, you can confirm the specific profile, app, book, channel and compliance policy that are included in (as well as excluded from) the assigned Smart Group.
Navigate to the Smart Group listing in Groups & Settings > Groups > Smart Groups and locate a Smart Group that has been assigned to at least one device. Look in the Assignments column for a clickable, hyperlinked number and select it to open the View Smart Groups Assignments screen.
Only those categories that contain Assignments or Exclusions in the Smart Group are displayed.
Above the header row in the View Smart Group Assignments screen are three new tools to help you confirm the specific profile, app, book, channel and compliance policy.
- There is a Refresh button, which re-sends a query to retrieve an up-to-date listing of assignments and exclusions.
- An Export button enables you to produce a full listing of profiles, apps, books, channels or policies to a .csv file (comma-separated values) that you can view and analyze within Excel.
- A Search List bar helps you locate a specific assignment or exclusion.
Researching Smart Group Events Using Reports & Analytics
You can easily determine which changes get made to Smart Groups (as well as when they were made and by whom) by utilizing the Console Event logger. Take the following steps to product a listing of Smart Group-related events.
1. Navigate to Hub > Reports & Analytics > Events > Console Events.
2. Select "Smart Groups" from the Module drop-down filter at the top of the Console Event listing.
3. Apply additional filters as you may require including Date Range, Severity, and Category.
4. Where applicable, select the hypertext link in the Event Data column which will contain additional details that may assist with your research efforts.
Deleting a Smart Group
Navigate to Groups & Settings > Groups > Smart Groups and locate the Smart Group you wish to delete from the listing. Select Delete (X) from the actions menu.
Note: You cannot delete a Smart Group if it is currently assigned.
Unassigning a Smart Group
You may unsaying a Smart Group from an application, book, channel, policy, profile or product because you wish to remove the Smart Group from those settings or because you simply wish to delete the Smart Group.
1. Navigate to the edit screens (paths below) to unsaying Smart Groups from applications, books, compliance policies, device profiles or product provisions:
- Applications - Navigate to Apps & Books > Applications > List View and select the Public or Internal tab.
- Books - Navigate to Apps & Books > Books > List View and select the Public, Internal, or Web tab.
- Channels - Navigate to Content > Video > Channels.
- Compliance Policy - Navigate to Devices > Compliance Policies > List View.
- Device Profile - Navigate to Devices > Profiles > List View.
- Product Provision - Navigate to Devices > Products > List View.
2. Locate the content or setting from the listing and select the Edit icon from the actions menu.
3. Select the Assignment tab or locate the Assigned Smart Groups field.
4. Select Delete (X) next to the Smart Group you wish to unsaying. This action will not delete the Smart Group, rather it simply removes the Smart Group assignment from the saved setting.
5. Take the normal steps to Save your changes.