The Volume Purchase Program (VPP) is an Apple portal for businesses and schools to purchase apps and books in volume. Systems Manager fully integrates with VPP to easily distribute, revoke, and centrally manage your licenses, supporting both of Apple’s methods of managed distribution and licensing via redemption code. This article will explain how to link your VPP account to dashboard, and details the licensing distribution options.
In order to understand how Apple's managed distribution model is designed, it is strongly recommended to review Apple's Business and Education whitepapers on VPP app distribution before using this tool in Systems Manager.
Enrolling into VPP is free:
To remove a VPP account, use the X at the end of the row:
The following images show where to download the service token within VPP:
There are three options for VPP license distribution. Please see Apple's documentation for a full list of requirements and feature differences.
Assign licenses to specific iOS devices, based on serial numbers. This allows for pushing applications without requiring the device to be signed in with an Apple ID, as well as silently installing apps without any end user input when used with supervised devices.
Assign licenses to a specific users, based on an Apple IDs. This is useful in cases like 1:1 deployments for schools, where students have their own iPads and unique Apple IDs to sign-in with. User assignment can also be used to license macOS applications.
Distribute licenses as redeemable codes, which can be given to end users to claim. This method is deprecated by Apple, and not recommended over the two managed distribution methods.
Note: It is recommended to license apps either by device or user, not both.
The following requirements must be met in order to assign licenses on a per-devices/serial number basis:
In addition to the above requirements, the app itself must support device assignment. This can be checked by navigating to Systems manager > MDM > VPP, and checking the Device-assignable column (shown below). An app with a Y supports device licensing:
To enable VPP device licensing for an app:
In Dashboard, make sure the app has been added under Systems manager > MDM > Apps.
Select the app to view more details.
Enable VPP device licensing:
Free apps: Enable the checkbox for Use VPP device license.
Paid apps: Set the Purchase Method to VPP Device Assignment:
Click Save Changes.
On app install, a license for the app will be associated with the serial number of the device that downloaded it, allowing anyone to use the app on that device.
The following requirements must be met in order to assign licenses on a per-user basis:
Note: Apple limits each Apple ID to 10 devices, so it is not recommended to use a shared Apple ID across all of your organization’s devices.
Configuring user assignment consists of the following steps:
A license can also be reclaimed by revoking a user's app license.
Invited users will receive an email from Cisco Meraki. Accepting the invitation will require the user to sign in to iTunes or the App Store with their Apple ID, and accept Apple's VPP terms and conditions.
Note: Invitation links are unique and can only be accepted once. The Apple ID which is used to accept the invitation is not received or reported by Systems Manager.
The following image shows a list of users with various statuses. Only 'Associated' users have accepted the invite.
At this point, 'licensed' users have been granted a VPP license for the selected app. Licensed users will be able to download this app onto their device by signing in with the licensed Apple ID, and navigating to the 'Purchased' tab in Apple's App Store.
In order for the licensed app to be managed by Systems Manager the app must still be deployed via Systems Manager.
Although Systems Manager can license OS X App Store applications with VPP, it does not push out the downloads for them. See this article for steps on how to deploy OS X through installers.
In order to re-claim a license, the user's app license must be revoked. A license can be revoked for a specific app, or a user's access to all licensed apps can be revoked. As per Apple's policies, a revoked user will be granted a 30-day grace period before any re-claimed apps are removed from the user's purchase history. Once a license has been revoked for one user, it can be reassigned to another user after a brief time (typically about two minutes).
To revoke access to a specific app:
To revoke licenses for all distributed apps by retiring user: