Tech

Bork to school: Apple kit management service Jamf pulls a sickie for IT crews trying to get pupils on iPads

While UK parents looked forward to weeks more of home education for their poppets, iDevice management service Jamf School has taken a tumble for some users.

“Our Jamf School MDM has been down for days,” grumbled one Register reader trying to deploy a fleet of Apple fondleslabs at an academy in the north of England.

The borkage, which appears to have started in the eu-central-1 region on 28 January and is still ongoing, days later, is a “service interruption for the VPP service (used for licensing apps and books) that is preventing app assignment within Jamf School”, according to the company’s status page.

The upshot is that affected users running under the system and trying to rollout Apple’s gizmos to students, er, can’t. “It is very disruptive and is stopping us getting DfE iPads rolled out,” we were told.

“We don’t have any workarounds,” explained our reader. “We have to go through Apple School Manager to purchase apps, even free ones.

“And then there is only one method of getting them onto our devices which is via our MDM which is Jamf School. We could turn off restrictions on iPads and download the apps direct but we don’t have the time to do all this.”

Indeed, the whole point of going down the MDM path is to control those devices. Having to set things up manually defeats the point. “Jamf School,” the company breathlessly intones, “gives you the ability to deploy and manage Apple devices – the best learning technology – with ease, so you can focus on your mission of teaching students.”

Except when it doesn’t. And heaven forbid that customers might ponder an alternative (such as Microsoft’s Intune for Education) or perhaps decide that an inability to manage the things might make Apple’s hardware a little less use than an expensive doorstop.

Jamf did not respond to The Register’s questions. Apple, you’ll be shocked to know, also stayed quiet. We asked the UK’s Department for Education for its thoughts, too, and will update with any reply. ®

* Tottering IT System Undermines Pupils




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