MAS Subscriptions - Recommendations on setting up

I have a macOS desktop app that I’m considering putting on the Mac App Store under the subscription model.

It looks to me (reading Apple docs, and looking into 3rd party solutions) like its pretty much required that one also set up a back-end server to handle record-keeping tasks related to the subscription model.

For those who have done this with Xojo applications, do you have any recommendations on approaches or solutions for this (with regard to setting up the back-end server, and any experience with third-party solutions for MAS)?

I have pretty much no experience with setting up servers, and only a small bit of knowledge of node.js. Are there any solutions that have been implemented on Xojo Cloud using Xojo on the server?

Also, if there are alternate solutions outside of Apple’s MAS, I’d be interested in hearing any comments regarding pros/cons, or recent experience with those.


I added subscriptions to HDRtist in the Mac App Store last this year, under advice from Apple.

  1. Unless your application features streaming content, you are not allowed to use Auto-renewing subscriptions (Yes, I pointed out that one of Apple’s most promoted apps is a coloring book without streaming content).
  2. You can use non-renewing subscriptions, which means at the end of the term the user must purchase again. You are responsible for managing the period in code (Auto-renewable have options for free-trial, time periods and such, while non-renewing do not).
  3. You can still create a FREE-Trial, but having a zero cost non-consumable item.
  4. Non-renewing subscriptions can not be “extended” or repurchased on several versions of Catalina, so you must also prepare a non-consumable item that you can present to your customer when extending fails, otherwise your customer is locked out of your application and can’t give you any more money.
  5. You do not need to manage the subscription yourself, as the entries are written in the receipt on purchase on the computer hat purchased them. However you can choose to store the information on a server, and avoid handling the receipt.

Why is my subscription to Evernote auto-renewable? I had to really search to get rid of the subscription which is very well hidden.

I can not answer that question, but I was told I couldn’t use Auto-Renewing subscriptions, meanwhile I see plenty of others that are allowed to do so. Especially “Coloring Book” apps that charge 100s of dollars a year, but don’t contain any streaming content!