Distributing Apps with ABM and MDMHow we distribute our Apps, and what you should do to get ready
We publish new builds for our applications every four weeks. To support distribution for these applications, we use Apple Business Manager (ABM). This document explains the process and what you should do to ensure your organization's access to the Apps.
Any distribution setups that were already in place before September 2023 are outdated. Please move over to the new "Unlisted" variant of the Apps, as described on this page, before Drop 70, April 1, 2024.
Registering with ABM
Your first order of business is requesting access to ABM.
In order to install Apps on your devices, your devices need to be enrolled in your ABM. There are two methods of enrollment:
- Automatic (Authorized Apple resellers only)
When your devices weren't bought through an official Authorized Apple Reseller, the devices cannot be automatically enrolled onto your ABM. Here, the only option is to manually enroll the devices to your ABM.
This means the devices need to be physically reset and reconfigured via the Apple Configurator. Add devices from Apple Configurator to Apple Business Manager – Apple Support (UK).
Authorized Apple resellers are able to automatically enroll your devices onto your ABM. There are a few steps to take to arrange this.
First off, ask your reseller to provide you with their official Reseller Number. Then add this number in your ABM under Profile → MDM Server Assignment → Customer Numbers → Reseller Numbers. Additionally, your reseller should have your ABM Organization ID and Organization Name.
Your ABM Organization ID and Organization Name should be supplied as an exact match. Spaces, dots, and/or capitals matter!
When this is done, newly bought devices at the reseller will automatically appear in ABM and MDM (if configured). Resellers are also able to do this for past orders upon request.
EVA Apps are Unlisted
As of the official launch of our App Suite on the 26th of September (as a replacement for the Companion), we are also changing how we deliver our Apps and their updates to you.
Our EVA Apps will be made available to you via the unlisted method. What this means in practice is that you will be able to find the Apps in ABM via specific IDs - to be delivered by New Black.
Supervised or unsupervised
Before you head out to discovering the EVA Apps however, you have a decision to make: do you want to supervise all of the Apps which are downloaded, or not?
- The former entails that you link an MDM of your choice to ABM and manage the distribution and updating of the Apps via that MDM.
- The latter - unsupervised - means you do not manage the Apps at all: you simply provide the App's download link to your employees and do not keep tabs on their versions for example.
Although the unsupervised method can be useful in BYOD scenarios, the unreliability of your employees' various iPhone and iOS versions - along with inconsistent update schedules - leaves your Apps prone to unreliability. The unsupervised method may also limit some of EVA's functionalities.
If this is something you are considering nonetheless, please contact your PMO.
Because we urge and expect our customers to make use of an MDM, the following section will only go into the steps to undertake to get our Apps ready for use with an MDM.
- Login to your Apple Business Manager account with administrator rights.
- Go to Apps and Books and search for the App ID provided by New Black. (See table below for the corresponding IDs.)
- Click the App and then assign a number of licenses. Make sure you assign these licenses to the correct entity. As for the number of licenses, pick any number, e.g. 1000 - there are no costs related to the number of licenses.
Since our Apps can run on different versions, you will receive IDs for both the Main and Beyond versions of the Apps. This means you have to perform the steps above for each ID (read: App).
Check out the following table for an overview of IDs for each App.
Setting up your MDM (optional)
When everything above is in place, you need to set up a Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool - we recommend JAMF. An MDM ensures your devices are provisioned with the correct App(s) and configuration profile(s). The MDM setup heavily depends on the MDM you choose.
We want to highlight the following three general steps to take in your MDM.
Link MDM to ABM
Generally, you choose to link your MDM server to your ABM instance: In ABM, go to your Profile and choose Add MDM Server. This will then tell you to name the MDM server, and upload the public key of the MDM (retrieved from the MDM).
When this public key is in place, it will allow for a server token to be generated. Upload that token into your MDM server to finalize the link between your ABM and MDM.
Most MDM tools require you to add an additional App configuration file for each EVA App. This file contains your EVA endpoint.
To make this easy, this is what that would look in JAMF for example.
Convert unmanaged App to managed
In your MDM, make sure to enable the option Convert unmanaged App to managed (or similarly named).
Now that your basic configuration is finished, you may want to think about setting up smart groups in your MDM. This allows you to make store sets with different App versions, such as a dedicated pilot group running on Beyond for example.
Pre-existing MDM users
If you already had your MDM set up before the App Suite launch, be sure to create new profiles in your MDM for each EVA App now that we've changed our App distribution methods.
You need to make some changes in EVA
Now that you're all set up, there are few changes you need to make in your EVA environment to account for the switch to the unmanaged Apps.
- SSO Callback URLs
- You have to update your SSO Callback URLs.
- Scandit license key