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 3 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 ).
- Unlisted distribution: Release your apps that aren’t suited for public distribution as unlisted on the App Store, discoverable only with a direct link. Apps for partner sales tools, employee resources, or research studies are examples of good candidates for unlisted distribution .
- Custom Apps : Distribute your app privately while using App Store Connect and Apple Business Manager.
With Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager, you can privately and securely distribute to specific partners, clients, and franchisees. You can also distribute proprietary apps to your internal employees.
In this online help, we will show you how to distribute your Custom Apps via redemption codes.
Choose your publication mode
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.
A / Select the GoodBarber's review process via our service GoodBarber Takes Care (GBTC).
Our team will help you make sure the app is up to Apple's standards and has the best chances of being approved.
GoodBarber's team will then compile your iOS app and submit it to the App store for you:
1. Go to the menu Publish > iOS App > Publish and select "I'd rather GoodBarber do it > I enter my info"
2. Select "Request the review of your iOS app > New app"
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.
B / You build and publish your iOS app yourself (Solo mode)
1. Go to the menu Publish > iOS App > Publish and select "I'll do it myself"
2. Follow the onscreen instructions.
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
GBTC: Provide this information to the GoodBarber Review Team before the end of the review
Solo process: If you build and publish your app yourself, keep those information safe, you'll need them later on.
Compilation / Publication of your app
Reminder: your Apple Business Manager account must be up and running in order to publish your app.
GoodBarber Takes Care service:
1. Go to the menu Publish > iOS App > Publish , fill in the Apple Developer credentials and validate the form.
2. A submission ticket will be generated automatically.
3. GoodBarber team will take care of the compilation of your iOS app then submit it to the App Store for you.
Once the binary file of your app has been processed by Apple, the owner of the Apple Developer account will receive an email from Apple with instructions on how to test the app with TestFlight.
Publish your iOS app yourself (Solo mode)
1. Go to the menu Publish > iOS App > Publish , follow onscreen instructions to compile (generate) your binary file (.ipa)
2. Publish your app to the App Store:
The process is nearly the same as a regular app published on the App Store described here , but once you've created your app on App Store Connect:
- Go to the menu General > Pricing and Availability Tab
- Under Distribution for Business and Education select "Available for private distribution to specific organizations on Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager" option.
- Fill in your Organization Name and Organization ID you saved earlier on
- Complete the app submission as any other regular App as described here.
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.