When acquiring and distributing apps to users, the administrator of an MDM system faces certain challenges. When users obtain an app from the Apple App Store, whether from a school/corporate or personal device, the app must be downloaded individually using a personal Apple ID. The app license then does not belong to the school or company, but is assigned to the private Apple ID.
This is especially a problem with paid apps when the procured app license is reimbursed to the users in the form of cost reimbursement or purchased coupons, as users always remain the owner of the app license via the personal Apple ID. If the school is changed or the company is left, the app license is irrevocably lost with the students or employees. If an app is to be distributed to a large number of devices, the use of personal Apple IDs quickly creates a confusing and difficult-to-control situation for the administrator.
What is the Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for?
To solve the challenges described above and to be able to distribute apps from the Apple App Store via Relution without requiring an Apple ID on the mobile device, there is the Apple Volume Purchase Program, VPP for short. This allows apps to be purchased centrally in large quantities and distributed independently of the user without requiring an Apple ID on the devices. App licenses via VPP, also called VPP licenses, are thus centrally managed without ever changing ownership and can be withdrawn at any time by the administrator.
The Apple Volume Purchase Program is mapped and configured via the Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager. This is also where app licenses are procured centrally using a school or company Apple ID. This applies to both free and paid apps.
How is VPP linked to Relution?
In order to distribute procured VPP licenses via Relution, the two systems must be linked. In Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager, a new location is first created under Locations.
To connect this location to an MDM server, a VPP token must be generated for the respective location under
Settings -> Apps and Books.
Once the VPP token is uploaded to Relution under
Settings -> Volume Purchase Program (VPP) -> User Account, the two systems are linked.
The use of multiple VPP tokens in a Relution organization is described in a separate section.
After pairing, a new menu item
Purchased Apps appears in Relution under
Apps, listing all procured apps via VPP and the corresponding VPP licenses (number). The VPP licenses are automatically synchronized at regular intervals. In addition, the VPP licenses for the organization can also be updated manually via
How are app licenses obtained in VPP?
In Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager, app licenses can now be obtained under ‘Apps and Books’. Thereby, one assigns the App licenses to a configured location.
Once loaded, they are available in Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager. In addition, the app licenses can be distributed to devices in the appropriate organization in Relution associated with the selected location via a VPP token.
Can VPP also be used to manage app licenses for different organizations or locations?
If multiple organizations are managed in Relution via the multi-client capability, as is the case, for example, with a school board with multiple schools, then app licenses can be procured centrally with an Apple ID of the school board and distributed to the respective schools. To do this, a location must be created in Apple School Manager for each school and the VPP token must be stored in the corresponding Relution organization of each school. This applies analogously to Apple Business Manager in the corporate context.
Purchased VPP licenses can be managed in Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager and transferred to other locations. This makes it possible to procure app licenses centrally once for a leading site and then distribute them to other sites in packages.
Is it possible to use multiple VPP tokens within a Relution organization?
Within Relution, it is possible to store multiple VPP tokens under
Settings -> Volume Purchase Program -> User Account. The purpose of this is to link different Apple School Manager accounts, e.g. if a school is equipped with VPP apps by a school board, but at the same time also owns and uses its own VPP licenses. Analogously, this also works with Apple Business Manager.
The sum of all app licenses from multiple VPP tokens for an organization is displayed aggregated in the
Purchased Apps view. A drop-down list can be used to filter VPP licenses by location from Apple School Manager.
VPP licenses can be assigned to devices in Relution via
Purchased Apps -> Select individual App -> Assign License. If the app license exists in more than one stored VPP token, you can select from which token the app license should be used.
Can VPP licenses in Relution also be automatically assigned to devices?
If apps are automatically installed on devices via auto-deployments or a policy (app compliance), Relution checks, if a VPP license is stored for this app. If so, the VPP license is automatically assigned to the device. If multiple VPP tokens are stored for the organization and the app license is present in all of them, the VPP license from the first VPP token in the list is used. Under
Settings -> Volume Purchase Program -> User Account the order of the VPP tokens can be changed to determine from which token the VPP license should be used in case of automatic assignment via auto-deployments.