Managed Distribution

Managed Distribution makes it easy to distribute apps across your schools and classes. Use the Mobile Manager Managed Distribution page to configure Apple Managed Distribution to distribute free (non enterprise) and paid apps from the App Store.

Tip:

See Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for Education page, which includes steps for enrolling, and Apple’s knowledge base article “Volume Purchase Program: Migrating from redemption codes to managed distribution” for more information.

Notes about Managed Distribution

  • As of January 21, 2014, Managed Distribution tokens can be turned on per group. Only the active token will be shown to install an app with.
  • While Managed Distribution is supported by Mac OS X applications, these are not pushed automatically to the device. The license is assigned to the user but they need to go to the app store on their Mac and pull down the available applications.
  • Managed Distribution is only supported on iOS 7 and later and OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and later. You must use redemption codes for earlier releases.

Important:

For Managed Distribution user assigned apps to fully work you must associate a user to a device. See Adding Devices to Users and Admins for more information.

How App Assignments and Tokens Work

Tokens are designed to work so that each user puts a single token into the group that they are a direct admin of. This way, whatever group the user goes to, on the same branch, the user will have access to their token to install apps at that lower level.

For example, if you are a district admin and have a token at the organization level, you can use that token to install an app at any level since you have access to the entire organization structure. If you want to use a token that is in another group, you must have your account modified so you are also listed as a direct admin of that group. This is to prevent users from using someone else’s token.

If you are an admin of many groups on different branches, you can only use tokens that you are a direct admin of and in the same branch as the group you are installing the app.

You can create Multiple Managed Distribution Services that can have one active token at a time. Each service represents one Apple Volume Purchase Plan account.

Note:

To install a managed app on an iOS device, the Mobile Manager server sends an installation command to the user’s device. Unless the device is supervised, the managed app then requires a user’s acceptance before it is installed.


Managed Distribution Overview

Follow the steps below to view the Managed Distribution page.

  • Log into Mobile Manager.
  • Navigate to the appropriate level.
  • Click Settings.

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The following will be displayed:

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    • Write Icon: Allows you to edit the Managed Distribution token name. Click the write icon, edit the token name, and then click Save.
    • View Token: Allows you to view the service token within the service.
    • View Licenses: This will display the licenses for this token, which can also be found on the Licenses tab in the Managed Distribution Report.
    • View Users: This will display the users that can be invited/registered/associated with this token, which can also be found on the Users tab in the Managed Distribution Report.
    • Invite Users: Invites all users with devices attached to use this service token. The following options will be displayed.

Invite Users Options

    • Select/deselect the options as needed and then click Invite Users.

Note:

Selecting the Send Email Invitations option will send an email to every user within that group the token is applied.

  • Poll Licenses: Polls licenses for this service token. Please note organization admins have a 15-minute timer for this poll.
  • Poll Users: Polls users to see status of whether they are invited/registered/associated. Please note organization admins have a 15-minute timer for this poll.

Steps to configure Managed Distribution

Step 1: Download the Service Token from your Apple Education Store account

mdm-next-vpp-login

  • b. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  • c. Click Sign In.
  • d. Navigate to Account Summary and click Download Token.

Step 2: Copy the Service Token into Mobile Manager to Create a Managed Distribution Service

    • a. Log into Mobile Manager.
    • b. Navigate to the level where you want to associate the token.
    • c. Click Settings.

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    • d. Enter a name for the new Managed Distribution Service.
    • e. Click Create Service.

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    • f. Open the service token file you downloaded from Apple in a word processor or text editor and copy and paste the service token code into the Service Token window.
    • g. If you want to make this the active service token select (check) Make Active.
    • h. Click Add Token.

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This will take all users that have devices in the current group and below and invite them by email into the Managed Distribution program.

Note: Emails will be automatically sent if there is Apple ID tied to a device or if you are installing the iBooks or ASM apps. 

Users will be sent an email similar to the following.
Sample Managed Distribution Email
Users then need to click the link to join Managed Distribution.

Note:

Users must have iTunes installed on their devices in order for the Managed Distribution invitation to work.