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A distribution provisioning profile is used to deploy an app to users via the App Store or other app marketplace, such as the App Catalog. A distribution provisioning profile is associated with a distribution certificate that identifies a team or organization, not an individual team member. It authorizes an app to run on devices without the assistance of Xcode. 

A distribution provisioning profile should use a unique app ID associated with one specific application. 

Unless your organization is brand new to Apperian or app development in general, it's likely that you'll already have one or more distribution provisioning profiles. However, distribution provisioning profiles expire every year so you will periodically need to renew your distribution provisioning profile to prevent apps from expiring. For more information, see Re-sign an App.

When a provisioning profile has expired or is due to expire, you should edit it to generate an updated .mobileprovision file rather than create a new provisioning profile. If you create a new profile and use it to re-sign apps that were previously distributed to users, those users will not be able to install updates of the re-signed apps because iOS will not overwrite an app with an app signed with a different provisioning profile.

Expired Apps

Users cannot install expired apps from an App Catalog, and cannot run expired apps that are already installed. To prevent interruption to your users, you must renew credentials and re-sign apps BEFORE an app expires.

iOS apps with an expired distribution provisioning profile or distribution certificate are highlighted on the Applications page, and Apperian notifies administrators about apps due to expire. Notification emails are sent 60 days before an app expires, 45 days before, 30 days before, and then every day until the app either expires or is re-signed with new credentials.

The following procedures guide you through the process of creating, renewing, and downloading provisioning profiles. The .mobileprovision file that you'll download at the end is the final certificate used to sign an app.

Ad Hoc or In House Distribution

During the following procedure you'll need to choose whether to use Ad Hoc or In House distribution. For typical implementations, you will need to use an In House distribution provisioning profile if you want to distribute apps to an an unlimited number of unspecified iOS devices. You can use an Ad Hoc profile when it is sufficient to distribute apps to a few specific devices (during testing and pilot phases, for example).

Ad Hoc distribution means that the app is bundled with a distribution provisioning profile that identifies specific iOS devices on which the app can be installed (up to 100 iOS devices). The UDIDs (Unique Device ID) for these devices must be registered through the iOS Dev Center.  

In House distribution means that the app is bundled with a distribution provisioning profile that does not limit distribution to specific iOS devices; the app can be installed on an infinite number of iOS devices.

 Learn how to find a device's UDID.
Follow these steps to find a device UDID and copy it to your clipboard:
  1. Connect the iOS device to a computer. This will launch iTunes.
  2. In the iTunes sidebar, click on the name of the device listed under Devices. This will display information about the iOS device, including its name, capacity, software version, and serial number. (If the sidebar is not displayed, click View>Show Sidebar.)
  3. Click on Serial Number to reveal the Identifier (UDID).
  4. From the Edit menu, click Copy Identifier (UDID) to copy the UDID to the clipboard. You can then paste the UDID into a file or email so that it can be used by you or your administrator when registering devices in the iOS Dev Center.

With a standard iOS Developer Program account, you can create an Ad Hoc distribution provisioning profile. With an iOS Developer Enterprise account, you can create Ad Hoc or In House profiles. 

Installing Apps Bundled with Ad Hoc Profiles

When an app is distributed Ad Hoc, the app is listed in the App Catalog for all users with group access to the app—regardless of whether the user's device is in the list of provisioned UDIDs. If the user's device is not provisioned, however, when the user clicks Install, the app downloads and starts to install, but the operating system will terminate the installation and display an “Unable to Download Application” message. 

A progress indicator appears on the app icon until the message appears; this may take some time.

After the message appears, the icon is grayed-out. The user cannot complete the installation unless the app is updated to a version with either:

  • An Ad Hoc profile that lists the UDID for the device
  • An In House profile that does not limit distribution to specific devices.

Manage Provisioning with Groups

In the Admin Portal, you can use groups to organize apps so that users on non-provisioned devices do not have access to apps they cannot install.

For example, if you want to distribute the HR app with an Ad Hoc distribution provisioning profile that allows the app to be installed on five specific devices only, you can add a user group called “HR Ad Hoc” that includes the users of the five provisioned devices. You can then assign the HR app to the HR Ad Hoc group so that only those five users see the app in their App Catalog. For more information on using groups, see Managing Groups.

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Before You Begin

Before you can create a distribution provisioning profile, you need the following:

  • A distribution certificate. For more information, see Manage Distribution Certificates
  • A registered App ID. If you are signing the iOS App Catalog, you will need an explicit App ID registered for the App Catalog. If you are signing another app, you can use either an explicit App ID for that app or a wildcard App ID that can be used for any app. For instructions, see Manage App Identifiers.

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Create a Distribution Provisioning Profile

The following procedure describes tasks that are performed outside of Apperian's systems. The UI or procedure may change without notice. For the official Apple documentation, see Maintaining your Signing Credentials and Certificates. In Apple's official documentation the terms distribution certificate and production certificate are synonymous.

To create a distribution provisioning profile
  1. Log in to the iOS Dev Center with the Apple ID and password for your Apple Developer account. 
  2. In the left column, click Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles
  3. Under the iOS Apps section, click Provisioning Profiles
  4. Under Provisioning Profiles, click Distribution to display the iOS Provisioning Profiles (Distribution) page. 
  5. Click Add (+) to display the Add iOS Provisioning Profile page where you can select the type of profile you need.

  6. If you are registered for the iOS Developer Enterprise Program, choose In House or Ad Hoc as the distribution method. If you are registered for the standard iOS Developer Program, choose Ad Hoc as the distribution method. 
  7. Click Continue
  8. On the Select App ID page, select the App ID and then click Continue. You can select an explicit App ID if you want to use the profile with a specific app, or you can select a wildcard App ID if you want to use the profile with any iOS app. 

  9. On the Select certifications page, select a certificate and then click Continue.

  10. If you are doing Ad Hoc provisioning, the Select devices page displays. Select the check box next to each of the devices you want to authorize to use the app and then click Continue.

  11. On the Name this profile and generate page, enter a name in the Profile Name field. This is the name that will be used to identify the profile in the portal.



  12. Click Generate to create the profile.  
  13. When the page indicates that "Your provisioning profile is ready," click Download to download a profilename.mobileprovision file to your Downloads folder. 



  14. Click Done.

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Renew a Distribution Provisioning Profile

To renew a distribution provisioning profile
  1. Log in to the iOS Dev Center with the Apple ID and password for your Apple Developer account.
  2. In the left column, click Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles.
  3. Under the iOS Apps section, click Provisioning Profiles.
  4. Under Provisioning Profiles, click Distribution to display the iOS Provisioning Profiles (Distribution) page.
  5. Select the provisioning profile you want to edit. In this example, the profile is expired.

  6. Click Edit to display the Edit iOS Provisioning Profile page.
  7. Select the certificate you want to associate with the profile, if there is more than one.
  8. Click Generate and then click Download to download a new profilename.mobileprovision file to your Downloads folder.

You are now ready to upload this updated distribution provisioning profile to Apperian so that you can re-sign apps that were signed with the previous version.

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Download a Distribution Provisioning Profile

Follow this procedure to download a distribution provisioning profile as a .mobileprovision file.

If you followed the procedure above to Create a Distribution Provisioning Profile, you will have already done this.

To download a distribution provisioning profile
  1. Log in to the iOS Dev Center with the Apple ID and password for your Apple Developer account.
  2. In the left column, click Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles.
  3. Under the iOS Apps section, click Provisioning Profiles.
  4. Under Provisioning Profiles, click Distribution to display the iOS Provisioning Profiles (Distribution) page.
  5. Select the provisioning profile you want to download and then click Download to download a profilename.mobileprovision file to your Downloads folder.

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