Product Documentation

Distributing iOS Volume Purchase Program Apps

May 07, 2015

The Apple Volume Purchase Program allows you to purchase iOS apps and books in volume and distribute them to your employees, either as free apps or apps for purchase by using Device Manager.

Distributing apps purchased through the Volume Purchase Program requires following general steps:

  • Purchase apps by using your Volume Purchase Program account on the Apple Volume Purchase Program website.
  • Download the Volume Purchase Program app purchase license spreadsheet containing the app license redemption codes.
  • Add the app information and import the license spreadsheet into the Device Manager file repository.
  • Build an app package and deploy it to your users' devices.

Before you begin, make sure you have the following information about the Volume Purchase Program apps you want to distribute with Device Manager:

  • App Store Web address for each purchased Volume Purchase Program app you want to distribute.
  • iOS 6 and previous: Licensing spreadsheet with redemption codes for the Volume Purchase Program apps that will import into Device Manager. You can import license spreadsheets one time, or multiple times if you purchase new licenses at a later date.
  • iOS 7: The license code for your Volume Purchase Program apps (one code). When you enter this code in the Device Manager Options dialog box, the purchased app defintions will populate inside of the Device Manager Apps tab, under iOS.

After you import Volume Purchase Program license codes, the codes are initially considered to be "Unused." Each code is reserved and will switch to "Pending" status during deployment as they are sent to devices. The device can determine the following:

  • The code is not necessary (for example, the app was already purchased by the specified iTunes account), in which case the code status will be switched back to "Unused."
  • The device can determine that the code was invalid (for example, the code was already used for a purchase), in which case the status switches to "Invalid."
    Note: If an app installation fails because the code was invalid, the code is not sent to the device until the next deployment.
  • The code is applied successfully to the purchase of the application, in which case the status goes to "Used."

Distributing Volume Purchase Program apps (iOS 6)

  1. Click the Files tab and then on the New menu, click New external iOS app.
  2. In the new app dialog box, enter the Web address of the Volume Purchase Program iOS app. This is the Web address you used to purchase the app at the Apple app store.
  3. Click Go Device Manager locates the Web address for the app and then populates the dialog box with the app details.
  4. Click the VPP Licenses tab and then click Import a license spreadsheet.
    Note: You can also update Volume Purchase Program license redemption codes by adding a new license spreadsheets with new licenses at a later date. For example, if you first buy 100 licenses for an app and then eventually have more target devices to deploy to, you can purchase more licenses at the Apple Volume Purchase Program site and then add them to the existing Volume Purchase Program app definition in Device Manager.
  5. Browse to the location on your system where you have saved the license spreadsheet and then click OK.
  6. Click Add to complete the file configuration.
  7. Next, you will create a deployment package so you can push the Volume Purchase Program apps to your users' devices. Select the Deployment tab.
  8. On the New Package menu, click New iOS package.
  9. On the Package Name page of the Create New Package wizard, enter a name for the iOS Volume Purchase Program app and then click Next.
  10. On the Groups of users page, select the users on whose devices you want to receive the Volume Purchase Program app when you push the app and then click Next.
  11. On the Resources to be deployed page, in Available Resources, select the Volume Purchase Program app from the External iOS list, click the right arrow button to add the app to the package and then click Next.
    Note: With Volume Purchase Program app deployments, you can only choose to push these apps as External iOS apps, and not as Enterpise App Store apps.
  12. On the Deployment schedule page, configure to push the app Now or at a specified time in the future and then click Next.
  13. On the Deployment rules page, specify any deployment rules you want to associate with the app and its deployment and then click Next.
  14. On the Package summary page, review the iOS Volume Purchase Program app packaged deployment and then click Finish.
  15. To deploy the iOS Volume Purchase Program app package, select the package and then click Deploy. Connected devices receive the package as soon as scheduling rules are met. Reconnecting devices receive the package as they reconnect subject to other rule criteria. When you push external apps to a store, the device user is prompted to enter their Apple ID credentials in order to install the app. You will see a message after installation that the user account on the device will not be charged for the app.

After you deploy the app, the purchased app becomes the property of the iTunes account entered on the device. The owner of the account used to install the app on the device can later install the application on the device of their choosing without having to pay for it.

Running a code inventory report on Volume Purchase Program apps

The Apple Volume Purchase Program code inventory report in Device Manager provides a detailed list of all of your Volume Purchase Program app purchases, the number of purchased licenses for each app, whether or not the license is being used by a device, the associated device ID, and more.

  • Click the Reporting tab and then click AVPP code inventory to run the report.

    The code summary report results appear in a new tab.