[semi-OT] Distributing apps for iOs outside iTunes

Mark Wilcox mark at sorcery-ltd.co.uk
Wed Mar 18 19:17:02 EDT 2015


I've used ad-hoc provisioning as a free and simple per device licensing mechanism before but it doesn't offer any protection. Devices get lost and stolen and you can't remote kill the app via the provisioning mechanism. Anything with a real data security requirement has to have a user authentication system. Whether you or the client manages that is up to them and their IT capabilities.

Too easy to disagree while talking in generalities though. Every client app is different.

My main point for this thread is that the enterprise developer account is a major convenience and worth considering. I once had a large client that got one just for internal test builds, the app was for consumers and releases were on the App Store. Even then it saved a lot of time and hassle.

Sent from my iPhone

> On 18 Mar 2015, at 16:24, Mike Kerner <MikeKerner at roadrunner.com> wrote:
> 
> The reason for explicitly provisioning (and therefore multiple developer
> ID's), and banning a device is that you get an extra layer of protection
> for your corporate clients from having just anyone with their random device
> get access to the corporate app.  That also means when someone leaves you
> have the ability to explicitly cut them off from updates.  Sure, you can
> hope that the corporate IT department locks them out, as well, but this way
> you have an incentive to communicate with them at least once per year about
> who has access.
> 
> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 11:02 AM, Mark Wilcox <mark at sorcery-ltd.co.uk>
> wrote:
> 
>> I have some points to consider here having done it both ways a few
>> times:
>> 1) I'd definitely have them give you sufficient permissions to manage
>> the certificates, keys and profiles yourself in their account. You still
>> do everything apart from sign-up, pay and sign (click through) contracts
>> with Apple, the account is just in their name.
>> 2) The enterprise account's extra $200/year should be saved in the cost
>> of your time not managing profile updates and issuing new builds when
>> devices change (maybe not for a lot less than 10 people, but still the
>> difference must be almost nothing in the total development cost).
>> 3) It also removes any delay for a new employee/device - the enterprise
>> signed build can be installed automatically without going through the
>> whole UDID collection, provisioning profile update and rebuild process.
>> This is what enterprise accounts are for. Not having to explain why it
>> doesn't work on new devices (which is after all rather technical and all
>> down to Apple) is also of value. Overall a better customer experience.
>> 4) If you build up a decent sized client base over time you will
>> struggle with the 100 device limit, even in multiple standard developer
>> accounts (I have access to 4 accounts at the moment, 2 of them are
>> almost at the limit). I've mostly used ad-hoc builds for demos for
>> potential new clients - even that can fill up your device slots over
>> time.
>> 5) In theory you can remove old devices but do you want your clients to
>> have to tell you when they retire old ones? Will they remember anyway?
>> Analytics can no longer tell you which UDIDs are still in use, since
>> developer access got cut off some time ago.
>> 
>> Technically ad-hoc distribution shouldn't be used to deliver to clients
>> for internal builds but I can confirm that Apple shows no signs of
>> caring about enforcing that.
>> 
>> --
>>  Mark Wilcox
>>  mark at sorcery-ltd.co.uk
>> 
>>> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015, at 12:06 PM, Mike Kerner wrote:
>>> I take this the other way:  I want more control, not less.  I take it
>>> personally when something I build isn't freaking awesome.  I consider
>>> other
>>> enterprises' employees to be part of my team when I write something for
>>> them.  I am their IT guy, so the last thing I want to do is take a chance
>>> on someone "over there" dropping the ball and making something break,
>>> that
>>> I then have to clean up, especially when they're under the gun.  Spoiling
>>> them rotten is my privilege.  They will be in one of my profiles.
>>> 
>>> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 7:58 AM, Matthias Rebbe | M-R-D <
>>> matthias_livecode_150811 at m-r-d.de> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>> Am 18.03.2015 um 12:16 schrieb Colin Holgate <colinholgate at gmail.com
>>> :
>>>>> 
>>>>> I would do a mixed approach. Get your client to join at $99 per year,
>>>> and to have you as a team member. They would include at least one of
>> your
>>>> devices in their list, so you can test installs, and you would be able
>> to
>>>> build for up to 100 devices. If they only need about 10, that would
>> cover
>>>> quite a few employee and device changes.
>>>> And if i remember right every year you can reset that list of devices.
>>>> This would allow you to delete non active devices and it increases the
>>>> number of possible test devices again.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Mar 18, 2015, at 6:23 AM, Mark Wilcox <mark at sorcery-ltd.co.uk>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I've used Ad Hoc Distribution for this a few times before - it can
>>>> become a
>>>>>> bit of a pain because employees join and people get new devices -
>> you
>>>> have
>>>>>> to manage updates to the provisioning profile manually - more often
>> than
>>>>>> you'd think.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> A better option is if you can get the client to join the iOS
>> Developer
>>>>>> Enterprise Program:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> https://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> It's $299/year but then you can get Enterprise distribution
>> profiles/
>>>>>> certificates. These don't have any device restrictions at all, it's
>> just
>>>>>> part of Apple's rules that they're only allowed for internal use
>> within
>>>> an
>>>>>> Enterprise. This removes all the issues with collecting UDIDs and
>>>> keeping
>>>>>> provisioning profiles updated.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Mark Wilcox
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> mark at sorcery-ltd.co.uk
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015, at 06:36 AM, jbv at souslelogo.com wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Hi list
>>>>>>> One of my clients needs an app for his employees that will run
>>>>>>> on their iphones or itabs. Those employees are very few (less than
>>>>>>> 10) and no one else will be interested in the app because it's
>>>>>>> related to a very specific activity, therefore using iTunes doesn't
>>>>>>> seem relevant.
>>>>>>> I took a look at Apple's distribution options, and the "Ad Hoc
>>>>>>> Distribution" looks like the way to go, but I was wondering if
>>>>>>> anyone had already use it, or if there was any better option...
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Thanks in advance
>>>>>>> jbv
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
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> 
> 
> -- 
> On the first day, God created the heavens and the Earth
> On the second day, God created the oceans.
> On the third day, God put the animals on hold for a few hours,
>   and did a little diving.
> And God said, "This is good."
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