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How to distribute custom apps developed for businesses privately via VPP?

Custom apps are tailor-made apps explicitly designed to meet the business functionalities with at most security to protect the business data. The admin can privately distribute custom apps developed for iOS, macOS or tvOS devices through the Apple Business Manager portal.

To publish an app privately in your Apple Business Manager console, you must first upload the app in Apple Store Connect. Once the app gets approved, it will be available for distribution in your organization’s ABM or ASM console.

Follow the steps to distribute the custom-developed apps for businesses privately,

  1. Publish a custom-made app in Apple Store Connect with set pricing and availability.
  2. Avail the apps from the ABM console.
  3. Distribute apps to targets.

This feature is offered on all pricing plans except Express plan.

Publish an app in Apple Store Connect with set pricing and availability

Create a new app record and configure its build on Apple Store Connect to publish an app. To make the app available for the specified organizations,

  1. Go to the Apple Store Connect homepage.
  2. Click on My Apps and select your app from the list.
  3. Under Pricing and Availability, go to App Distribution Methods section.
  4. Select Private.
  5. Choose Organisation ID or Apple ID as the Type and enter the required information.
  6. To find your Organisation ID:

    1. Sign in to Apple Business Manager/Apple School Manager.
    2. Click Settings > Enrollment Information. The Organisation ID will be displayed under Organization Info.

    On the other hand, if you still use the legacy Volume Purchase Program, you can assign the app to your volume purchasing Apple ID.

  7. Click Save.


If you have already submitted a custom app for review but haven’t got it approved yet, you can follow the same procedure to make it private. However, this option will no longer be available once the app gets approved by Apple.

After setting the pricing and availability, submit the app for review. Once the app gets approved, it will be available for distribution in the specified console.

Avail the apps from the ABM console

To distribute the custom app via Hexnode UEM, you have to first sync your Apple Business Manager account with your Hexnode UEM.

To purchase VPP apps,

  1. On your Apple Business Manager console, go to Content > Custom Apps.
  2. Select the required apps and buy the licenses.

To deploy Apple VPP apps via Hexnode,

  1. Download the VPP token from Apple Business Manager.
  2. Configure VPP settings in Hexnode.
  3. Invite users to VPP.
  4. Sync the VPP account if the VPP account is already added in Hexnode.

Distribute apps to targets

Go to the Apps tab to view the private apps along with the other VPP apps purchased from ABM.

To distribute these apps to iOS/macOS devices,

  1. On your Hexnode MDM console, go to Policies.
  2. Click on New Policy > New Blank Policy, or you can select an existing policy. Provide a policy name and description if you are creating a new policy.
  3. Go to iOS/macOS > App Management > Mandatory Apps.
  4. Click on Configure.
  5. Click on + Add > Add App, select the required custom VPP app, and click Done.
  6. Go to Policy Targets > Devices > + Add Devices, select the target devices to which these apps have to be deployed.
  7. Apart from devices, you can also assign the policy to users, user groups, device groups, and domains by selecting the corresponding pane from the Policy Targets tab.
  8. Click on Ok and Save.

The apps deployed to the endpoints via the mandatory app policy will get automatically pushed to the device, provided the policy remains associated with the device.

You can also distribute custom apps to iOS, macOS and tvOS devices via Remote Actions,

  1. On your Hexnode MDM console, go to Manage > Devices.
  2. Select the devices to which the custom apps have to be installed.
  3. Click on Actions > Install Application.
  4. Select the VPP app that you want to deploy and click Done.

Once the action is executed, the app gets distributed to the devices automatically.

  • Deploying and Managing Apps