TestMDM now supports VPP

After a very kind request from a user, I decided to add basic VPP support to TestMDM.

As of 2 minutes ago, you can now:

  • Add your VPP token.
  • Register new user accounts within your VPP account.
  • Assign licenses to these accounts
  • Install apps from the VPP using the MDM functionality

Adding your VPP token

To get your VPP token, you must first visit https://vpp.itunes.apple.com/ You can then signup your organisation for VPP using a new or existing Apple ID. Once you’ve signed up, open the Account Summary page and download the token.

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Back in TestMDM, open your Account Details page and paste the token into the big text box called VPP Token. Then click Save. You’re good to go.

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Register New Accounts

Under the VPP section, you will now see a list of user accounts and licenses belonging to your VPP account. If it’s an account you’ve used in the past, you will likely see a lot of information here. I expect I’ll need to clean this up a lot, but for now I’m assuming it’s a new VPP account.

Hit the Register User button. All you need here is an email address to represent the user account. This doesn’t have to be an Apple ID. Imagine this account as an employee of your organisation. In my case, I’d use tomas@coldbear.co.uk as this is my organisation email address. Once you’ve registered the user account, you’ll be presented with a link to invite this user to be part of your VPP. When you open the link, you’ll be prompted to sign into iTunes and you then associate tomas@coldbear.co.uk with an Apple ID (in my case, this is a completely different address).

This does make sense, since people’s Apple ID typically isn’t their work email address.

Assign a License

Once you’ve registered a user account, you can then assign a license to them. A license represents one installation of an app. You purchase them via the Apple VPP page where you registered earlier. You select the app and purchase a certain quantity of licenses.

When purchasing, be sure to select Managed Distribution as the Distribution Type. This is the only mode TestMDM supports at this time. As best I can tell, you get a license for each installation allowed e.g. buy 10 apps and you get 10 licenses.

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I’ve purchased two copies of Roomr to illustrate the point.

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On the VPP page, you’ll see two licenses listed.

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I can then assign one of these licenses to the user account I created.

Install app from VPP

With an app now assigned to a user account, it’s possible to install it directly from the App Store using the MDM functionality. To simplify, there is an install option beside each assigned license.

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Clicking it will bring up the familiar “Install An App” dialog, with a small change. There is now a field for an AdamId (an iTunes Store Id for an App). Just choose the device and hit submit. You must be targeting a device that is signed into iTunes using the AppleID you associated with the VPP Account you created in step two. It’s confusing I know, but that’s the way it works!

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Once you hit submit, you should receive a notification on the device asking you to confirm installation. If the iTunes Account doesn’t have permission for this app, you’ll see a “CouldNotVerifyAppId” response on the Commands screen.

Next Steps

Once the app has been installed, you can perform the usual configuration.

It’s also possible to Unassign a license. This removes the license from the User Account and subsequently the iTunes Account. You might even get a notification from the iTunes Store once it has taken effect.

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The VPP functionality is only available to Unlimited users of TestMDM.

PassVerse.com – the end of active support and development

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PassVerse has been part of my life since I first sketched out the idea on a Virgin flight to Las Vegas in the summer of 2012.

It has grown and morphed over the intervening years, taught me lots and made me feel both despair and joy! Alas, all things must come to an end. I’ve been putting this decision off for the past couple of months, but the time has come to procrastinate no longer.

With today’s release of version 1.5.0, I’ll no longer be supporting or actively developing new features.

I have come to realise that  my interest and passion lies in writing code and solving technical problems. This is just who I am and acknowledging I have no interest in advertising, marketing, self promotion or networking is something I needed to do. These things are vital to building a business and simply hoping that technical brilliance will suffice, is just silly.

I have avoided this acknowledgment because I saw it as an one of failure or as something that would prevent me from ever trying again. I haven’t failed. PassVerse didn’t become a sustainable business, but if I’m honest, I never wanted it to. I never committed to it. I actually felt guilty that I wasn’t updating it more frequently. Once I’d admitted that stopping wasn’t the same as giving up, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

I feel that PassVerse still has a lot of potential. The website generates logs of organic traffic and with the Apple Watch supporting Passbook, I’m sure interest will grow after its release. Because of this, I’m going to sell PassVerse, lock, stock and barrel, to anyone interested in taking it forward. I’d rather see somebody take ownership of it rather than let it gather dust. If you’re interested, please drop me a line.

I’d like to end by saying I’m very grateful to all those who have purchased PassVerse and I hope you don’t feel like I have left you down.

From Barcode to Passbook

My prototype app based on the MakeMeAPass website is up and running. You simply select the card type, use the camera to scan the barcode and hey-presto, you’ll have a passbook pass to add.

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The usual issues still apply, such as some scanners being unable to scan barcodes on Passbook.

I’m planning to add simple location awareness too, once I get version 1.0 into the store. It will be available to download for 99p.

Multiple Device Support with TestMDM

This has been a long time coming, but I finally added multiple devices support to TestMDM

MultipleDeviceSupportWhen you issue a command, you’ll now get the option to select the device you want the command to go to. This makes it easier to test your app on multiple devices.

I’ve also removed the Pay-As-You-Go option and replaced it with a single, 30 day unlimited access license. I’d like be able to spend more time working on TestMDM and I can only do that if I can generate some money.

 

Peopler now approved!

After more than one rejection by Apple, Peopler has now been approved for sale. If you want to check people’s calendars in MS Exchange without needing Outlook or messing with Shared Calendars, Peopler might be what you’re looking for! It’s free to download and can be upgraded using an In-App Purchase if you like it.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peopler-check-availability/id950240458?ls=1&mt=8

Please send me any feedback you have and share it around if you do like it!

PassVerse is for sale

After many months of soul searching, I’ve decided to sell my PassVerse product.

I’ve been working on PassVerse for over two years and it has changed from a SaaS product to a standalone software product. I’ve learned an awful lot about selling software and I’ve some happy customers who use PassVerse within their own businesses. As I’m focused on my freelance work at this time (I need to get a mortgage!), I don’t have the necessary time to grow and support PassVerse. I’ve placed it up for Auction and you can check it out at https://flippa.com/3925348-passverse-over-8500-dollars-in-software-sales-since-nov-2013

If you’re interested in becoming the new owner of PassVerse and taking it forward, please check it out!