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I need to manage (assign, store, notify, etc.) the unlock code for thousands of mobile devices (iPads). How to manage optimally this unlock code?

Maintenance users should be able to access the unlock code specific for a device whenever they need and all the codes should be managed in a centralized application.

I would like also to be able to send easily the unlock code to a user, for example, by SMS.

The alternative is to have for all the devices the same unlock code...

EDIT: Please, have in mind that my main problem is not to know the passcode. In my case is acceptable to reset it when needed but I have a problem setting different passcodes for thousands of devices the first time.

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You are looking for a MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution:

Mobile device management (MDM) is an industry term for the administration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and desktop computers. MDM is usually implemented with the use of a third party product that has management features for particular vendors of mobile devices. (Wikipedia)

Examples of such third-party tools can be found here.

These tools typically allow you to change/reset a user's passcode from the management console (example). However, most of these tools do not store the passcode in a central location. As administrator, you are able to change the passcode or to unlock the device, not to view the actual passcode.

In reply to the edit

These MDM policies will typically also allow to enforce passcode policies (see for example the answer here).

  • I don't see how an MDM would help me in managing such a great quantity of devices passcodes. For example, do any MDM would help in mass setting random passcodes for thousands of devices and then inform the user of the changed passcode? Do any MDM would allow an IT technic to see the passcode in order to enter de device and do his job? – Eloy Roldán Paredes Jan 18 '16 at 15:17
  • @EloyRoldánParedes, MDM would help you in achieving your underlying objective: managing a large number of devices. So no, as I said in my answer, it will usually not be possible to view the passcode, but it will be possible to reset the passcode upon the user's request. This is better from a security viewpoint: imagine a user utilises the same passcode for its ipad and for his personal cell phone. This user would not like you to see his/her password. An analogy with best-practice password storage can be made: admins of web apps do not see your password, they can only initiate a reset. – Michael Jan 18 '16 at 15:26
  • OK. Reading your comment I see that my main problem is not to reset/know the passcode but to set different passcodes for thousands of devices the first time (although then they are changed by the users -> This is acceptable in my case). I'm going to edit the question. – Eloy Roldán Paredes Jan 18 '16 at 15:31
  • @EloyRoldánParedes, a passcode enforcement is usually standard functionality of a MDM solution. I edited my answer to specifically reply to that question. However, I think you should start looking into those MDM solutions yourself, as they probably will cover most of your requirements out of the box. – Michael Jan 18 '16 at 17:07

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