Enterprise distribution and Over-the-Air installs

Luk Dhondt 24-07-2012 How-To

Apple provides different development programs for its developers:

So how does Enterprise distribution work ?

  • The most common Apple Developer program is the standard iOS Developer Program: This program (at $99/year) allows limited in-house distribution of apps, and allows you to publish (free or paid) apps in the App Store. When deploying apps in-house under this program, you are required to register the unique identifier (UDID) of all your devices. The maximum number of devices that can be added to the list of devices is 100 (keep in mind that this list can contain iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices).
  • If you are looking at easy distribution of proprietary, in-house iOS apps to your employees, then you should register for the iOS Developer Enterprise Program: This $299/year program allows you to also securely host and wirelessly distribute or update in-house apps to employees, keeping them current anywhere, anytime. This program has the added advantage that you are not required to register the unique identifiers of your iPads, and you don’t have a limit in terms of the number of devices the in-house apps can be installed on.

If you want to be able to both publish in the App Store and have easy deployment of in-house apps, then you may need to register for both programs.

So, depending on how you want to distribute your app, there are three types of builds:

  • App Store
  • Ad Hoc
  • Enterprise

1° App Store build

Use the “App Store” provisioning profile created in the iOS Provisioning Portal to create a build that you will be submitting to the App Store. The application will automatically be zipped so it’s ready for upload to iTunes Connect.

2° “Ad hoc” build

iOS Developers enrolled in the Standard program have the opportunity to distribute their application outside of the App Store. Use the “Ad Hoc” provisioning profile created in the iOS Provisioning Portal to distribute a build of your publication internally.

3° “Enterprise” build

iOS Developers enrolled in the Enterprise program have the opportunity to distribute their application outside of the App Store and without the 100 devices limit. Use the “Enterprise” provisioning profile created in the iOS Provisioning Portal to distribute a build of your publication internally.

Both the “Ad hoc” and “Enterprise” builds generated by the Builder app are files with a .ipa extension. These files contain an embedded provisioning profile, and can automatically be added to iTunes.

In order to create any type of build, the Preferences settings for your publication, which you should preconfigure in Twixl Publisher Builder, must contain the relevant provisioning profile.

Synchronizing with iTunes to install an in-house app is one option, but in-house apps can also be distributed wirelessly, which makes it a lot more flexible:

Twixl Publisher provides an option to specify a “deployment” URL when creating an Enterprise build.

NOTE: Enterprise builds can be built with Twixl Publisher Advanced and Professional only

In the “Provisioning” tab of the Twixl Publisher Build Settings, enter a folder location of the web server where you will be hosting the app. When you create an enterprise build, three files will be generated:

  • myApp.ipa (the application file)
  • myApp.plist (a plist file)
  • myApp.html (the page to navigate to)

If you copy the three files to the folder that was specified as the deployment URL, users will be able to navigate to

http://[yourserver].com/[appfolder]/myApp.html

from their iPad to automatically install the application.

If you update your application, you can replace the version on your web server, and optionally notify users that they should download the update.

Tweet this article: Enterprise distribution and Over-the-Air installs

Share this post to your network.

Download the free trial of Twixl Publisher

Start using Twixl Publisher immediately, preview the result on your own device, share your creations with a colleague or client, get started!
Need any help? Visit our Learning & Support site.

Download the trial Check out the documentation today

× Free trial/download