Apple Business Manager for App Deployment

Gokulkrishnan Sivasubramaniam
Apple Business Manager for App Deployment

Organizations' objective with existing Apple Developer Programs is to publish their apps in the App Store for public users. What we have here is Apple Business Manager, an alternative which an enterprise can take advantage of, to have their apps published privately to the employees, without signing up for the Apple Enterprise Developer Program

Apple Business Manager(ABM) account is free to sign-up for any enterprise having a D-U-N-S identifier number and it can be enrolled in https://business.apple.com/#enrollment. Once registered, any enterprise can purchase and deploy their iOS, iPadOS apps with MDM or as redemption codes. In the past, this was also known as Volume Purchase Program (VPP). ABM enables to create managed Apple IDs and assign specific roles for employees to login into their Apple device or designated programs. We can also provision iOS, iPadOS and macOS devices to directly enroll with the enterprise’s MDM. Traditionally known as Device Enrollment Program (DEP), this allows the MDM to preload the enterprise apps when you purchase a new device from stores. 

 

Here is a quick guide on How to Publish a Custom B2B app with ABM: 

  1. Build an iOS application using regular Apple Developer Program which is usually designated to submit apps to App Store 

  1. Create a New App in AppStore Connect 

  1. The newly created app goes to the “Pricing and Availability” section in the App Store tab, ref below image. 
     

pricing
  1. Under app distribution methods, select “Private”. This will not publish the app for the public in the App Store. This will also request to add an organization ID or Apple ID for which the app will be available privately. Please note that public distribution will not be available for macOS or tvOS apps. 

  1. Login to the ABM account and identify the Organization ID from Settings -> Enrollment Information.  
     

enrollment information

 

  1. Go back to the App Store, connect and include the organization ID for private distribution.  
     

organization ID


 

  1. Once all the App’s metadata details are updated, proceed to submit the app for Apple Review. 

  1. Upon approval, the app will be made available in the specific ABM account Custom apps section.  
     

back to work



The Apple Business Manager account is now in a ready state to start purchasing the app with a managed license and distributed via MDM. Small or medium businesses without MDMs can purchase the redemption codes and distribute it via email or other mediums where the employees can redeem the code using their Apple ID. 


Summary 

Organizations with existing Apple Developer Programs publish their apps in the App Store for public users. Still, now firms can use ABM (Apple Business Manager) and publish their apps privately to employees, without signing up for the Apple Enterprise Developer Program

An ABM account is free to register for enterprises with a D-U-N-S identifier number, following which apps can be purchased and deployed with MDM or redemption codes. ABM enables employees to then login into designated programs and assigns roles.  

 To publish a custom B2B app, you begin building an iOS application using Apple Developer Program and then creating a new app. Under app distribution methods, choose “Private”. Then add an organization ID or Apple ID to continue the process.  

Once the App’s metadata details are updated and submitted, Apple reviews it; approves it and makes it available under the specific ABM account Custom Apps section. 

The Apple Business Manager account can now be purchased with license and be distributed via MDM, where employees can redeem the code using their Apple ID. 

Learn more about Apple Business Manager and how it can help your business' productivity.