Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) expands but changes nothing around supportability for side loading within Configmgr & Intune hybrid or standalone.

10:40 am in Apple, EMM, EMS, intune, Intune Standalone, scc, SCCM 2012, sccm 2012 R2, SCCM 2012 R2, SCCM 2012 SP1, VPP by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

 

Great news for our customers!

There are a number of ways of deploying apps to iOS devices throughout your enterprise. You can purchase and assign apps with MDM through the Volume Purchase Program (VPP), or create and deploy your own in-house apps by joining the iOS Developer Enterprise Program. Additionally, if you are in a shared-device deployment scenario you can install apps and content locally with Apple Configurator or your MDM solutions such as Windows Intune.

As more than an half year ago, when I wrote about the following SCUG acticle : “CM12 and intune : Deploying Windows *.ipa IOS Applications requires a *.plist file” , regarding that Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) was only available in limited countries as Germany and UK . That caused challenges for side loading applications thru your MDM solution such as Configmgr 2012 R2 and Intune on the Hybrid model.

Now Apple has expanded the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) (http://www.apple.com/business/vpp/ ) to a lot of more countries as shown below :

Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.

This will make our life certainly much easier as we have a “Licensed way” of deploying volume licensed apps on IOS and OSX.

Distributing the app with your MDM solution such as ConfigMgr with Intune

To distribute an iOS application, you must have a valid .ipa package and a manifest (plist) file. The manifest file is an XML .plist file that is used to find, download and install any iOS applications that are located outside the App Store. The manifest file cannot exceed 10 KB. For more information, see the relevant Apple documentation.

· The .ipa package must be valid. This means that the package was signed by Apple and the expiration date indicated in the provisioning profile is still valid.

· For iOS applications, Windows Intune can distribute enterprise certificate iOS applications. Not all Apple developer certificate applications are supported.

· Your enterprise must be registered for the iOS Developer Enterprise Program.

· Make sure that your organization’s firewall allows access to the iOS provisioning and certification web sites.

I saw many people having difficulty to upload and deploy the IOS application in the forums and internet. Mainly because they do not have access to a VPP program from Apple, but that is now more or less history. I managed to upload the IOS (*.ipa) application into Configuration Manager 2012 R2, and also manage to download and install the uploaded IOS application to the IPad from the Company Portal however :

GOTCHA: Not all applications have a plist file, it also depends on the MAC OSX (they have been changing the locations in 10.6 and again in 10.9.1. – checkout this thread http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20121101064200135

Currently Configuration Manager 2012 R2 with Intune hybrid is not supporting the whole VPP Program yet. Hopefully they will change that soon!

Hope it Helps,

Kenny Buntinx