With Esper, you have two options to manage your iOS fleet’s applications. You can use your Apple Business Manager(ABM) account to approve applications, or Esper’s iOS Apps section to upload your enterprise applications.
After approval or upload, you’ll be able to install applications via a blueprint, individually, or through a group.
In this article:
- What are VPP and Enterprise Apps?
- Using Apple Business Manager to Add Applications
- Using Esper’s iOS Apps to Add Applications
- Installing iOS Applications
- Installing via a Blueprint
- Installing via the Device
- Installing via a Group
What are VPP and Enterprise Apps?
Esper allows you to add two types of apps to iOS devices: Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Enterprise. VPP apps include apps purchased through the App Store and Custom Apps. The following table breaks down what these apps are and their intended uses. The difference between VPP apps and Enterprise apps lies primarily in their intended use, distribution method, and management features.
|Volume Purchase Program (VPP) by Apple® lets businesses and educational institutions purchase applications in bulk and distribute the apps via users, MDMs, etc. VPP apps are more about purchasing and managing commercial App Store® apps in bulk.
|Enterprise apps are custom apps for internal use within an organization. An organization develops and manages these apps for various purposes. They do not need to be published in the App Store.
|Purpose and Target Audience
These apps are available in the App Store and are meant for a broad audience. VPP allows purchase or redemption for these types of apps. Examples may include productivity tools or educational software.
|These are custom-developed applications not available in the App Store. They're meant to be used by internal users for specific business needs.
|Once purchased through ABM, these apps can be distributed to different MDMs or users. Updates are managed through the App Store.
|Your organization controls the app, including updates, security features, and usage policies. Updates are deployed without the App Store approval process.
|Development and Approval Process
|These apps must go through the Apple App Store's approval process.
|These apps do not need to be approved by the App Store but still must comply with Apple's guidelines for enterprise apps.
|Management and Control
|Your organization has control over license management through ABM and apps can be assigned to different users, MDMs, etc, through ABM.
|Your organization fully controls the app, including security features and usage policies. Updates can be pushed internally without the App Store.
|Security and Privacy
|The app's security and privacy must adhere to the Apple App Store guidelines.
|Your organization manages the app's security and privacy.
Using Apple Business Manager to Add Applications
If you use ABM to manage your devices, you can do the same for your applications. Applications added this way are VPP apps. See Apple’s official documentation for adding applications to ABM.
When purchasing an application, or using a custom app, ensure you select the same organization as your tenant.
After adding applications to ABM, they appear in the Esper console under Apps > VPP Apps.
After adding applications, you can choose how to assign them to devices. See the Installing Applications section in this article for more information.
Using Esper’s iOS Apps to Add Applications
To add iOS IPA files to Esper, go to Esper’s Apps section and click on Esper iOS Apps. Applications added this way are enterprise apps.
Then click on Upload Apps and upload an IPA file.
Maximum file size: 2 GB.
After adding applications, you can choose how to assign them to devices. See the Installing Applications section for more information.
Installing iOS Applications
There are a variety of ways to install applications on an iOS device. A blueprint provides one of the most efficient ways to install, push updates, and remove applications from a device.
Another way to install applications is to push an application to a device or group of devices.
In this section:
Installing via a Blueprint
To install an application in a blueprint, go to the Blueprints Manager section in Esper and create or modify a blueprint. Then navigate to the Apps & Configuration section and click on Add Application. Search for or upload the application.
After you save and publish the blueprint, ensure you converge devices so that they match the latest blueprint. You can do so in Devices & Groups. Click on the ellipsis (...) next to the device and press Converge.
Allow a few moments for the device to converge.
Installing via a Device
To install an application on a device, go to Devices & Groups, click on the device, and navigate to the Apps section.
Click on Install New App and choose from Enterprise or VPP Apps. Select the app and its version and select Install.
Installing via a Group
To install an application to a group, locate the group in Devices & Groups. Click on the Actions button next to the group and select App Management.
Then select the following:
- App Platform: Select the OS
- App Type: Enterprise or VPP
- App Action: Install or Uninstall
- Select App: Select the application
- Select Version: Select the application version (also known as the build)
- Queue requests for offline devices: Choose whether or not to queue an app install for devices that are not communicating with Esper.
Then press Install. The application will be installed.