Equinux has updated TARMAC (http://www.equinux.com/us/products/tarmac/demo.html), a provisioning tool tailored specifically for the Apple platform, to version 1.5. With TARMAC medium to large enterprises can securely set up and manage their iPhones and iPads  over-the-air, says equinux CEO till Schadde.

TARMAC now supports the creation of App Catalogs — a way to provide employees with pre-defined groups of applications through the TARMAC web interface. With the App Catalog, TARMAC 1.5 can host internally developed apps and link those apps to specific workgroups. Using TARMAC, companies can provide employees with an app to access internal sales figures or earnings predictions from internal databases – all without going through the App Store. Using the Admin-interface an administrator can upload, delete or update new apps.

Administrators in corporate networks can define user groups and then categorize and restrict access to certain apps based on the user group. Within the App Catalog, users will then only be able to access the apps they need based on their group.

TARMAC 1.5 can even provide an app to a user without requiring a provisioning profile or user group. Educational institutions can provide students with a course directory and museums can offer exhibition guides right to users on their mobile iOS devices.

Businesses can use TARMAC to remotely set up their iPhones and iPads without needing to manually connect them to a machine. TARMAC Server operates within a company’s network and using an existing directory service to automatically create personalized user profiles. TARMAC is installed as middleware on a company’s network, and supports directory services in Active Directory, Open Directory, Open LDAP and MySQL databases.

The configuration settings available in TARMAC guarantee safety in provisioning iPhones and iPads, according to Schadde. To install a profile on their iPhone or iPad themselves, users log in to the TARMAC web interface via the company’s intranet or over a secure Internet connection and follow a few steps.

TARMAC 1.5 with support for App Catalog and Mobile Device Management is available immediately. TARMAC is fully compatible with the current and upcoming iOS releases for the iPhone and iPad. TARMAC Business Server (for Mac OS X 10.5 and higher) is available from authorized partners for a suggested retail price of US$695. Licenses for iPhones and iPads are $78  per user and year; volume discounts are available.