iOS - Distribute your Custom App
The App Store is meant to publish apps for the general public.
If you are building an app for the employees of a specific company, the App Store is not the right place for it.
For apps that are meant for internal use in an organization, there are 2 possibilities:
- In House distribution: Distribute the app out of the app store, but with strict eligibility requirements (more information about In House distribution in this online help ).
- Custom Apps: Distribute your app privately while using App Store Connect and Apple Business Manager.
Apple recommends using the Custom Apps method if you are distributing your apps to partners, clients, franchisees, internal employees, or affiliates. This is the private distribution method that Apple recommends.
In this online help, we will show you how to distribute your Custom Apps via redemption codes.
Get your app reviewed by GoodBarber
When your app is distributed as a Custom App for Business, it is hosted on App Store Connect and goes through Apple's review to verify that it follows their guidelines.
Before your app can be sent to Apple, you are required to go through GoodBarber's review process first, to make sure the app is up to Apple's standards and has the best chances of being approved.
1. Go to the menu Publish > iOS App > Publish
2. Choose "I want to submit my app in App Store Connect" > "First submission".
3. Fill in the brief as you would for the App Store, but specify in your description that the app is meant to be distributed as a Custom App.
Enroll for the Apple Developer Program
If you haven’t subscribed to the Apple Developer program, you must do it first.
Here is the tutorial on how to create an Apple Developer Account .
The account must be a Company / Organization account to be able to distribute Custom Apps.
Enroll for Apple Business Manager
To enroll for Apple Business Manager, go to https://business.apple.com and click Enroll Now.
You will need to provide information about your business including your D-U-N-S number, and an email address that hasn't been used as an Apple ID for any Apple service or website.
The Verification Contact has to be a person that can bind your organization to the Apple Business Manager terms and conditions (i.e. CIO, Director of IT, or Procurement.)
For more information on this topic, you can refer to Apple's documentation: https://support.apple.com/HT208817
Find your Organization Name and Organization ID
1. Log in to Apple Business Manager
2. Click Settings, then click Enrollment Information.
3. Look for your Organization Name and Organization ID
Provide this information to the GoodBarber Review Team before the end of the review.
Request the compilation of your app
In Publish > iOS App > Publish , fill in the Apple Developer credentials and validate the form.
GoodBarber will take care of the compilation of your iOS app, and will provide instruction on how to test the ad hoc version.
You will be able to install your app in real conditions on your registered devices.
When you are ready to distribute your app, move on to the next step.
If you are not ready yet, you can modify your app and come back later.
Request the submission of your app on App Store Connect
Only once your Apple Business Manager account is up and running, you can give the order for GoodBarber to upload the app to App Store Connect for you.
In Publish > iOS App > Publish , validate the app for submission to Apple.
Apple will then review it in the same way as if the app was being published on the App Store, so the app review takes about 3 business days.
Distribute your Custom App
After the app has been approved by Apple, use Apple Business Manager to generate a redemption code.
1.In Settings > Enrollment Information, make sure the Custom Apps are activated.
After activation, the Custom Apps menu will appear on the left.
2. In the Custom Apps menu, select your app.
3. Under the section Buy Licences, choose the option Redemption codes, fill the quantity, and click Get
You can generate several codes at once.
4. Under the section Redemption codes, click Download.
The file will be downloaded as a spreadsheet listing all the redemption codes.
Each code is valid for one install. In order for your employee to download the app again, you will have to generate a new code.
We recommend adding an extra column to that spreadsheet, with the name of the team members who will receive a code.
Doing so, you can keep track of who used which code.
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