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I joined a company which had one iOS developer who has created one app and put it on the App Store already. Then he left the company. We have an organization Apple developer account. The developer who left has created the development/distribution certificate, provisioning profile, etc. for the app.

I joined the company after that developer left. For the same app, I need to fix some bugs and release to the App Store again. What do I need to do with those development & distribution certificates?

I think the private key is on that developer's laptop right? Do I have to have that private key in order to release an update for that app?

Can I just revoke the development & distribution certificates created by that developer & create all those certificates & provisioning profiles again for the same app, then update the app in App Store? Or does an app update need the same distribution certificate created by the previous developer?

Also, for a new app, can I re-use the same certificates (development & distribution) but re-generate provisioning profiles with new app's bundle ID?

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Revoke the certificates of the old developer and start fresh with your own new certificates.

You must generate a new one if you want to be able to compile your app, to commit an update or submit an app from scratch. Apps already published in the store are not affected. For new apps you use your new generated certificates.

When revoking a distribution certificate the below scenarios will occur for your users:

  1. When you revoke a certificate that means that any app that is not deployed onto a device (not hosted by AppStore) will no longer be valid. Existing users can continue to use the app.
  2. When you revoke a certificate and your App is being hosted on the AppStore; users that have already installed the app will not be affected. New users that go to install the app will not be affected.
  3. When you revoke a certificate and your App is being hosted in-house (internally) and users download it via OTA; users that have already installed the app will not be affected. New users that go to install the app will not be able to install it. Please note this is based off of behavior we have experienced from Apple.
  4. Revoking a certificate will not affect the ability to update existing apps regardless of whether they are AppStore or in-house apps.

Please note that this has been the behavior observed from working with Apple recently and if any updates were made on Apple's end than this is subject to change.

  • Just to double verify, are you saying for the existing app which is in Apple Store, I can revoke the current distribution certificate and create a new one to submit an update for the existing app in store? It doesn't need the original distribution certificate for submitting an update, right? – Leem.fin Aug 7 '17 at 14:56
  • Yes.. see my edit: it explains a bit better what happens after you revoke a certificate. – LH16 Aug 7 '17 at 16:27

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