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We're developing an app for internal employees for easy communication. Now we want to remove all potential barriers for our employees (1500+) to install the app.

Therefore we would like to host the app within the AppStore - employees can then download it like they are normally used to download other apps.

Of course there will be a login screen in advance to make sure that only employees see the right information.

The app got rejected with the following:

Guideline 3.2 - Business

We found that your app is an in-house app, intended for employees or members of your organization. As such, it is not appropriate for the App Store.

For information on distributing proprietary, in-house apps, please refer to the Apple Developer Enterprise Program.

We tried to use the Enterprise path, but when the employee downloads the app you're getting to this part:

https://support.apple.com/en-vn/HT204460

We see the Manually install and trust an enterprise app as a big barrier for getting our employees to download the app. Is there any way to solve this?

Is there an 'AppStore' for internal business apps?

How are huge companies with 15.000+ users handling this when there is a Bring your Own Device policy?

  • Huge companies likely are using various MDM solutions to push apps without any user interaction. My company uses Munki (not an MDM) to manage software deployment for MacOS. – Fyrefly Apr 18 '18 at 19:55
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First, it is not possible for an organisation to get an internal app into Apple's App Store.

Most large organisations manage both corporate and BYOD devices using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system.

My organisation uses AirWatch but others include JAMF, Microsoft InTune, SimpleMDM and Meraki.

An MDM can either deliver the app automatically or provide some form of self-service for internal apps.

All of the MDMs listed above have an associated cost. There are some open source MDMs available but at the moment they all seem more focussed on Mac management than iOS.

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Therefore we would like to host the app within the AppStore - employees can then download it like they are normally used to download other apps.

Of course there will be a login screen in advance to make sure that only employees see the right information

Simple answer No. Not without the app being also accessible publicly.

There is no way to host private/enterprise apps on the App Store, without being publicly discoverable. App Store doesn't support this mechanism of authentication for enterprise apps. If your app is on the App Store, it is publicly available in the region where it is published.

The appropriate solution in this case is to host the app on a web server. You will be able to pass the URL where the app is hosted to your employees. The app can be simply installed by opening the website in Safari. Having control over the programming of the website, it will be relatively straightforward to implement user authentication. (That way the website can even be accessible over public Internet)

A good answer explaining steps to take can be found here. This approach doesn't involve MDM, and the users won't be seeing the alert that you are concerned about. The users will simply need to install a specially created provisioning profile, which will also be hosted on the app web-page.

This approach doesn't involve any costs and can be deployed for free (considering that your company manages it's own internal server infrastructure).

How are huge companies with 15.000+ users handling this when there is a Bring your Own Device policy?

In my experience the aforementioned approach is quite common in companies with BYOD policy.

Note: Credits to the original author of the answer.

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