Catalina and the App Store and AppleScript

I’m looking for any guidance for publishing a Xojo app on the MacOS App Store that uses AppleScript.

So much has changed since the last time I sold an app, and it was sold through my own website. Now I don’t know anything about signing apps or sandboxing or writing for Catalina. If I create this app, it would use AppleScript to modify open files. So it wouldn’t have to ever write anything to a database or to a file, but it would have to be able to interact with other apps (and open documents) using AppleScript.

Can an app that uses AppleScript even get accepted on the App Store? Does anyone have a link to a checklist for the steps to get such an app published?


Depends on what applications that you’re trying to control via Apple Script, and if they support “Scripting Contexts” or not. Most do not, Apple Mail supports only one, create e-mail (which is dumb). Not to mention that scripting Finder, System Events, System Preferences or Terminal is prohibited from the App Store.

Apple themselves are advising developers to NOT use Apple Script, either use API or URLS.

I’ve got some stuff I want to try to do with Numbers, Keynote, and Pages. And maybe with OmniGraffle, too.
I’ve used the MBS functions in the past to call AS to control apps. Do they still work with Catalina?

I’m not familiar with the term “scripting contexts.” I just searched Google for that phrase along with AppleScript but didn’t find anything. Is it saying that there has to be a scripting library?

I’m not aware of any APIs to call these apps.

[quote=475901:@Sam Rowlands]
Apple themselves are advising developers to NOT use Apple Script, either use API or URLS.[/quote]
So crippling
Applescript was Apples best hidden tool for a long time
About the time I discovered CrossBasic I was also looking at FaceSpan - a GUI builder tool for Applescript applications

Sorry I used the wrong term, they’re called “Access Groups”. I just used App Wrapper to check if these apps support Access groups.

Numbers: No.
Pages: No.

I don’t have Keynote or OmniGraffle, so I can’t check these.

Yes you can still use these with an applications you sell on your own site and macOS Catalina, but the Mac App Store is not for this application.

For fullness, it’s important that I add there are App Sandbox entitlements that will technically allow your application to work in the confines of the App Store environment. However these are unofficially deprecated and most people who’ve tried to use them recently have their application rejected. I would recommend if you’re serious about this, that you contact Apple App Store review team, and ask if there is a way that they can grant you permission for this, before you start down the rabbit hole of trying to make your application suitible for the Mac App Store, otherwise you can frustratingly waste weeks of effort and have nothing but anger to show for it.

I love the way how the Apple Developer documentation says that’s it’s easy to add “Access Groups” to applications, yet doesn’t add any to it’s own apps, except Mail.

I wasn’t able to get any AppleScript to work after Sandboxing. The Access Group for Mail is a joke.