Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I work as a developer in a company, The company I work with has to deploy the app I made to their client. Number of clients are 3 and each client has around 100 iPads. Now my question is,

  • What different ways we can use in order to deploy and distribute app seamlessly?
  • How good is AppCentral to distribute applications?
share|improve this question
3  
If you've already asked on Programmers SE, there is no point asking it again here. Especially since this isn't programming related. –  Abizern Jan 26 '12 at 10:37
    
I didn't know you could distribute apps outside the appstore. Do the devices have to be jailbroken though? –  Mihalis Bagos Jan 26 '12 at 11:13
    
@Abizern , I always want to be good citizen, but my question was not totally about programming but mostly related to developers and stackoverflow has more traffic than programmers. I am aware of the fact that I shouldn't but sometimes you don't have an option...at the end we come here to get answers, am I right? –  doNotCheckMyBlog Jan 26 '12 at 11:14
    
@MihalisBagos , there are options like Ad-Hoc distribution but not really worth as I don't want my client to get enterprise developer account and other way is to distribute by B2B but thats only for USA. –  doNotCheckMyBlog Jan 26 '12 at 11:17
2  
Just because it has more traffic is no reason to ask your question here. You could use that to justify asking other types of questions here as well, which doesn't make it right. And you do have an option; not asking the question. You're acting as if you have a right to get your questions answered, and if it gets no traffic at one site you can ask at a different one. Have you asked on the Apple Developer Forums? That has a lot of traffic, and some insider knowledge. –  Abizern Jan 26 '12 at 12:14
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are three options:

  1. If it's more than 100 devices, get the client to sign up to an Apple Enterprise account then they can deploy the app via an ad-hoc build to all their employee's devices without needing to individually add each device UDID to the provisioning profile. (If it's less than 100 devices they can just get a regular developer account, but it's still a lot of hassle provisioning and maintaining that number of devices individually).

  2. You could get the company to bulk-buy the app from you using the B2B bulk purchase program (US only - http://www.apple.com/business/vpp/).

  3. You could deploy the app to the app store as normal and require a login to use it. Give the login to all employees at the company, but don't make it available to the general public.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks Nick, and do you have any idea of AppCentral? Is it worth? –  doNotCheckMyBlog Jan 26 '12 at 11:11
    
I've not used it, but from what I can tell it's just a fancy way of managing devices that are distributed using an AdHoc Enterprise build - so basically it's an optional extra on top of option 1. from my list. It seems like you'd use it with your own Enterprise account though instead of using your client's account - I was under the impression you weren't supposed to do that (bypass the app store by selling app binaries directly to customers without giving Apple 30%) but maybe AppCentral have a special agreement with Apple or something. –  Nick Lockwood Jan 26 '12 at 11:18
    
ohh okay cool, Thanks –  doNotCheckMyBlog Jan 26 '12 at 11:21
    
I doubt option 3 is viable -- it won't get through the review process. –  piobyz Jan 26 '12 at 16:13
1  
It's been done plenty of times before. As long as you give the reviewer a login, it doesn't seem to be a problem. –  Nick Lockwood Jan 26 '12 at 16:29
show 2 more comments

You may consider the use of some Mobile Device Management (MDM) software. Generally, they are subscription-based (per month/annum) per user (device) license, and allow for remote monitoring and management of the device.

Two such products in this area are Fiberlink's MaaS360 or Air Watch, and allow for both app types (public/enterprise) to be distributed from within their main admin portal area. You could upload or point the portal to your .ipa file (no provisioning file needed) and then get it to push your app OTA to any devices registered with the software.

Hope this is of some help as to the alternative app distribution methods out there.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The cheapest (and perhaps the easiest too) way is:

  1. Subscribe to Apple's enterprise developer program: $299.

  2. Develop your app. Hard to say how much that might cost in terms of your time, but the amount that you have to justify to the purchasing folks is $0.

  3. Stick your app on a web page. The page can be simple or fancy, but to keep on Apple's good side it should be a page that's only accessible to people in your enterprise. Cost: $0.

Any way you slice it, you'll need an enterprise license, so the $299 is non-negotiable. (Unless you want to try to make due with ad hoc distribution. The whole ad hoc thing is really meant for testing, not for product distribution, and just managing it will cost you a lot more in time than the price difference between the standard and enterprise program subscriptions.) There's more that you can do, such as using MDM to install your app(s) automatically on all the devices that you manage, or creating an "app store" that hosts all your apps. Whether these things make sense for you depends a lot on your circumstances. In general, I think you'll know it when you've reached a point where going with a third party service is going to make sense for you. Keep it simple for now and move up to something fancier when you have a real problem.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You could use an Ad-hoc distribution.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.