Apple Developer Enterprise Program

Has anyone here signed up for the Apple Developer Enterprise Program?

If you have what is your experience with it?


I have clients who have done so. The first was several years ago when Apple relaxed the restriction where the enterprise must have at least 10,000 employees. AFAIK, it still must be listed with Dun & Bradstreet and goes through a review / approval process. That took about 4-5 months with my first client. I had another one do last year in under a month. YMMV.

Be aware there are rules to what usage is allowed, and if Apple becomes aware of you breaking those rules they may revoke the Enterprise license and apps will quit working. Famous examples of that happened last year with Facebook and Google.

The apps do not go through any review process; not even like Test Flight. So you compile your *.app and sign with the Enterprise license, and it can immediately be installed on unlimited devices. It is by far my favorite way to distribute “in house” applications for corporate use, because I can make changes and install immediately to devices. No collecting UDID values, no review process, etc. There is no automatic checks for version changes; you must control that yourself. It is possible to install over the air, provided the hosting server is HTTPS. I’m told some even use Dropbox for that. I just use the corporate host server TLS certificate.

Also, Xojo for iOS builds do not currently automate the enterprise signing process. They assume you are building for the App Store. There are forum threads with suggestions on how to accomplish it though.

The Enterprise License is NOT a way to just install anything you want on anybody’s devices. The licensee must qualify for the license – it is not automatic – and must agree to abide by the license terms which restricts permitted uses. Failure to do so can get the license revoked, including making already installed apps quit working unless the device is never connected to the internet to verify the license is still valid.

That’s why Android is king. We just need to download our app into a device, the user needs to set “accept apps from unknown sources” in the device there, and install it. Done.

Its also why Android has rampant issues with people private info being lifted and many other issues
Its not all sunshine :slight_smile:

It’s all sunshine. Very few stupid people have problems. Just use “apps from unknown sources” from “known sources” and you are ok. :smiley:

“When ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.”

“Unknown sources” is just another name for direct from the dev bypassing the app store. Apple wont accept people selling apps bypassing their “fee collector” system. Google “don’t care”, they just want to serve to all use cases, and is king in the enterprise systems due to this. Once installed you disable the “accept from unknown sources” again.
And there’s a “Corporate” way too.

In the case of enterprise “in-house” apps (where the Apple Enterprise license can be used), the “fee collector” has nothing to do with it – as the apps would be distributed free to employees anyway.

But I also take issue with the “king in the enterprise system” – at least here in the USA and for my clients. Almost all of my enterprise apps are targeted to tablet sized devices (but can run on phones too) and frankly the iPad is a much better tablet than anything available in Android. Or at least my customers think so. That is at best anecdotal evidence, but it is my experience. And my personal opinion too.

“apps would be distributed free” after a company with 10000+ employees have been accepted $ ?

Your world is too small. Google or bing something like “tablets enterprise”. I don’t know if you will see apple in the results, but Android, for sure.

Probably. I am in the USA, plus I mostly only work with my own clients wanting custom code. I have nothing in any app store – for any platform – so can’t do personal sales comparisons of those. What I can tell you is that virtually 100% of my clients prefer the iPad series. So I don’t even make Android versions for them.

Just as an arbitrary example, according to The 8 Best Tablets for Business in 2019 the best overall is the 12.9" iPad Pro, and the best compact is the iPad Mini. Though the runner up in each of those categories is Android. And the Surface Pro shows up in the results too.

But this thread started with the OP asking about experiences with the Apple Enterprise program. And I still consider it by far the nicest way to distribute in-house enterprise programs. When first introduced, Apple did not let you even apply unless the enterprise had at least 10,000 employees (which is why I mentioned that number). It was somewhere around iOS 5 or so they decided smaller companies could benefit from it too. All of my clients are under $100M USD in sales and much smaller than that. But the Enterprise license is still my preferred method to distribute.


I would love to offer iPads as options to my clients. They are the best tablets available for sure. But when they see the TCO and how hard is the process comparing to other options, the “other options” wins every time. I made a general comment, a global, light response, not focused on you and your clients, not focused in the USA market only even, no need to feel whatever you are feeling. My “mileage” is very extensive, kind of 40 years on the road.

I will add this - around 18 months back, we needed an app for a specific school system in the US Midwest. We started down the iOS iPad Mini route, but they discovered that you could side-load non-Amazon apps on the $149 FireHD 10 and that was the end of the iPad in that district. Additionally, because they could not meet the requirements of the Apple Enterprise program, we were going to be forced to go through the App Store to provide the solution (no cost for the user, so no Apple revenue).

It was also much easier to create the specific tool that they needed to communicate with our client/server system using Android Studio.

Note that Apple has something in between normal Accounts for App store and Enterprise Accounts, they now have something called Business Accounts. Where you can deploy your targeted custom Application to a certain company.

Though you have to dig a bit to find much about it.

Couldn’t find a clue. Can someone point me a link?

No experience with this but this may be what he is talking about.

Hmm, this would seem to exclude any of my clients from using the above model:

[quote]How does the custom B2B App Store work?

The custom B2B App store allows you to offer custom B2B apps directly to business customers who have a Volume Purchase Program account. [/quote]

I’l be sticking with Enterprise licenses…

That article sent me to this Apple more extensive info:

I think that is talking more about MDM for managing a fleet of devices, but I think apps would still need to be installable via adhoc profile (awful for business purposes, and device count is limited), Enterprise license, app store (or b2b app store?, etc

So I don’t think the MDM aspect has any effect on what you can install – just how easily you can manage devices.

Well, in only skimming it, this has the advantage of being able to legitimately distribute outside the organization. The Enterprise license is specifically for “in-house” use. Which is one of the things that Facebook and Google got in trouble for in 2018. Of course, they also chose that model because it had no app review by Apple, and the apps they got in trouble for would never have passed an app review…