Apple Business Manager (ABM) allows you to distribute your apps outside of the public Apple App Store.
With ABM, your app can be distributed via:
1. Mobile Device Management (MDM) for company-owned devices
2. A Redemption Code download link for external and private mobile devices.
With the MDM approach, you have full control over who can access your app - however, every user's device must be registered within your MDM system in order for them to receive the app.
This is often not practical if you need to give app access to sub-contractors or clients outside of your MDM.
The more flexible route is the Redemption Code option since anyone you provide with a download link can download the app. We recommend this approach if you do not have an MDM or if you need to distribute more widely than your employee devices.
The downside of Redemption Codes is that they are only available in the country in which your Apple Business Manager account is registered. If you have users in multiple countries, this might not be the best app distribution solution for your company - consider the Enterprise or App Store routes instead.
Benefits of App Distribution with the Apple Business Manager
- You don't need an Apple Developer account
- Display of your app to the general public is optional
- No reviews/ratings from the general public
- A less intensive app review process
- Automatic app updates (assuming the option is enabled on the user’s device)
- Works for MDM-controlled company devices as well as for external/private devices outside of your control
Steps for creating a custom app for ABM distribution
Use our Branding Center to set up your custom app's branding and other information.
Simply follow the checklist provided in the Branding Center and submit to us for review once done.
If you are a direct Enterprise customer with us, then there is nothing further to do - you can move onto the "Setting up Apple Business Manager" section below.
We will create your app under our Apple Developer account and link this to your ABM account.
For Vendor customers, you will likely want to make the custom app available via your own Apple Developer account.
Let us know about this when you submit the app for review and we will create/upload the app to your Developer account with Apple's "Private distribution via Apple Business Manager" option.
Setting up Apple Business Manager
Below are the basic steps to follow in order to distribute your custom app via ABM.
These steps should be followed by direct Enterprise customers of ours and also by end customers of Vendors.
- Enrol for an Apple Business Manager Account
- Configure your Apple Business Manager Account
- If using MDM, then add MDM server to your Apple Business Manager
- Provide your ABM details to us in order to link your custom app to your ABM account
- If using download links, then create and download redemption codes in ABM
- Distribute these links to your users.
NOTE: We will soon add the capability to manage this step automatically within our Branding Center.
For now, you will need to handle providing the links manually to users.