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Resolving issues encountered during Apple VPP integration with Hexnode

Volume Purchase Program is a simple, easy-to-use Apple solution for purchasing, distributing and managing organizational apps and books. Through the Hexnode UEM – Apple VPP integration, you can distribute the apps you purchased from Apple to the devices over the air. In addition, you can even revoke the app licenses that you have assigned to the devices via this integration. Listed below are some of the common issues encountered while integrating Apple VPP with Hexnode UEM.

1. The VPP app is not installing on the device

Issue:

VPP app pushed through the Hexnode console fails to install on the device.

Probable Solution:

If the app is associated with a device running iOS 9 or later, ensure that,

  • The app is properly associated with the device.
  • The device can access “vpp.itunes.apple.com” through the proxy/firewall.
  • The VPP sToken used to integrate with Hexnode is not shared with another MDM/UEM. This is to ensure that other MDM vendors will not revoke the licenses assigned to devices in Hexnode UEM.

If the app is associated with a device running versions lower than iOS 9, ensure that the Apple ID used to accept the VPP invitation is used to install the app.

2. Unable to install VPP apps on devices running iOS 9 below

Issue:

The VPP app cannot be installed on devices running iOS 9 below. For the organization to install VPP apps on the device, the user should join the VPP program through an email sent to the users’ Apple ID.

Probable Solution:

This may be because the user might not have accepted the VPP invitation sent to the device from the Hexnode console. Therefore, ask your user to accept the VPP invitation from the device on which the app is to be installed. Note that you should not change the Apple ID on the device until the app installation is complete. Also, make sure to use the same Apple ID to accept the invitation and install the app on the device.

3. Unable to deploy VPP apps to devices via Hexnode

Issue:

The VPP app Install Application command in the Action History fails with an error message “No available application license was found.

Probable Solution:

This may be because of the unavailability of unassigned app licenses. You can revoke the app licenses that are no longer required to acquire unassigned licenses or purchase new licenses for the app from the Apple Business Manager/ Apple School Manager console.

4. Unable to contact the VPP server for app sync

Issue:

The VPP apps purchased for your organizational account cannot be synced to Hexnode.

Probable Solution:

Hexnode server may not be able to communicate with the VPP server from where the apps are purchased.

Try whitelisting the domain “vpp.itunes.apple.com” along with all the other ports and domains in your firewall/proxy to allow access to the VPP server. Also, verify whether the Apple service is available at the moment.

This may also be because of the VPP token expiry. If the VPP token set up on the UEM server is expired, Hexnode and Apple VPP can no longer communicate with each other, thereby hindering the sync operation. Try renewing the VPP token to restore the communication.

5. In-app purchases in VPP apps are blocked

Issue:

Getting an error message “You are not allowed to make purchase”, while trying to purchase additional paid features for VPP apps through in-app purchasing.

Probable Solution:

This happens because Apple does not support in-app purchases for VPP apps.

To allow in-app purchases for an app, you will have to install the app using the Apple App Store instead of VPP. In this case, the users will be able to make in-app purchases with their own Apple ID. The organization will only have to reimburse the users for their expenses.

Another common alternative is to request the developer to create and publish a different version of the same app with the in-app purchases as built-in features. In this case, the developer will have to maintain two different versions of the same app, one with extra built-in features and the other with limited features where additional features can be claimed if required. However, this is completely at the liberty of the developer.