Manage volume-purchased iOS apps with System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

The Apple iOS app store lets you buy multiple licenses for an app that you want to run in your company. This ability helps you reduce the administrative overhead of tracking multiple copies of apps that you bought.

Configuration Manager helps you deploy and manage iOS apps that you bought through the program. You can import the license information from the app store, and track the number of the licenses that you're using.

Manage volume-purchased apps for iOS devices

You buy multiple licenses for iOS apps through the Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP). This process first involves setting up an Apple VPP account from the Apple web site. Then upload the Apple VPP token to Configuration Manager, which provides the following capabilities:

  • Sync your volume purchase information with Configuration Manager

  • Sync apps from both the Apple Volume Purchase Program for Business, and the Apple Volume Purchase Program for Education

  • Associate multiple Apple volume-purchase program tokens with Configuration Manager

  • Apps that you bought are displayed in the Configuration Manager console

  • Deploy and monitor these apps

  • Track the number of licenses used for each app

  • Configuration Manager can help you reclaim licenses when required by uninstalling volume-purchased apps that you deployed

Before you start

Before you begin, you need to get a VPP token from Apple and upload it to Configuration Manager.

  • If you previously used a VPP token with a different MDM product in your existing Apple VPP account, you must generate a new one to use with Configuration Manager.
  • Each token is valid for one year.
  • By default, Configuration Manager syncs with the Apple VPP service twice a day to ensure that your licenses are synced with Configuration Manager. Only changes to your licenses are synced. A full sync is performed once every seven days. When you choose Sync to do a manual sync, this action always does a full sync.
  • If you need to recover or restore your Configuration Manager database, we recommend that you do a manual sync afterwards. This process ensures that your synced license data is up-to-date.
  • Additionally, you must have imported a valid Apple Push Notification service (APNs) certificate from Apple. This certificate lets you manage iOS devices, including app deployment. For more information, see Set up iOS hybrid device management.
  • Configuration Manager supports adding up to 3000 VPP tokens.

You can deploy licensed apps to both devices and users. Depending on the apps ability to support device licensing, an appropriate license is claimed when you deploy it, as follows:

App supports device licensing? Deployment collection type Claimed license
Yes User User license
No User User license
Yes Device Device license
No Device User license

Step 1 - To get and upload an Apple VPP token

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, choose Administration > Cloud Services > Apple Volume Purchase Program Tokens.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Apple Volume Purchase Program Tokens group, choose Add Apple Volume Purchase Program Token.

  3. On the General page of the Add Apple Volume Purchase Program Token wizard, configure the following settings:

    • Name - Enter a name for this token to display in the Configuration Manager console.

    • Token - Choose Browse, and then choose the VPP token that you downloaded from the Apple web site.

      Click the See Apple VPP account link. If you haven't already, sign up for the business or education volume purchase program. After you're signed up, download the Apple VPP token for your account.

    • Description - Optionally, enter a description to help you identify this token in the Configuration Manager console.

    • Assigned categories to improve searching and filtering - Optionally, you can assign categories to the VPP token to make it easier to search for in the Configuration Manager console.

    • Apple ID - Enter the apple email ID associated with the VPP Token.

    • Token type - Select the type of VPP token you want to use. You can choose Business and EDU token types.

  4. Choose Next, and then finish the wizard.

From the Apple Volume Purchase Program Tokens node, you can now view information about the Apple VPP token. This view includes when it was last updated, when it expires, and when it was last synced.

You can fully sync the data held by Apple with Configuration Manager at any time by choosing Sync in the ribbon.

Step 2 - Deploy a volume-purchased app

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, choose Software Library > Application Management > License Information for Store Apps.

  2. Choose the app that you want to deploy, and then, in the Home tab, in the Create group, choose Create Application. The Configuration Manager application that is created has the Microsoft Store for Business app. You can then deploy and monitor this application as you would any other Configuration Manager application.

    Important

    You must choose a deployment purpose of Required. Available installations are not currently supported.

    When you deploy the app, a license is used by each user, or for device installs, each device that installs the app. If you target a device collection with an app that supports device licensing, a device license is claimed. If you target a device collection with an app that doesn't support device licensing, a user license is claimed.

    When you create an app from the License Information for Store Apps node, the app is associated with licenses from the token for the app you selected. For example, you might see two versions of the same app in the node. This behavior is because each version of the app is associated with a different Apple VPP token. You could then create apps from each token, and deploy them separately.

    To reclaim a license, you must create a new deployment for the app with a deployment action of Uninstall. You can't change the deployment action in the original deployment. The license is reclaimed after the app uninstalls.

Step 3 - Monitor iOS VPP apps

The License Information for Store Apps node of the Software Library workspace displays information about your volume-purchased iOS apps. The information includes the total number of licenses that you own for each app and the number that have been deployed. Additionally, the view shows which VPP token the app is associated with, and the type of the token

You can also monitor the license usage of all VPP apps that you bought by using the Apple Volume Purchase Program apps for iOS with license counts report.

This report shows the name of each application together with the total number of licenses that you bought, the number of licenses available, and more.

For help with running Configuration Manager reports, see Reporting in System Center Configuration Manager.

Delete an Apple VPP token

Use the following process to delete a token from Configuration Manager:

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Administration workspace. Expand Cloud Services and select Apple Volume Purchase Program Tokens.

  2. Select the token you want to delete.

  3. Click the Delete option in the ribbon.