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At the recent WWDC19 seminar, Apple made some drastic new changes to the Enterprise program, and Apple is making it now mandatory that all clients use the new Apple Business Manager process.

Without going into specifics, for about 80% our clients, we are using two umbrella Enterprise licenses to create provisioning profiles for our clients. Apple used to be relaxed about this and ... although not recomended ...noone really said anything, but now Apple is really cracking down on this. With this risk in mind, my dev team and I are trying get the respective clients to enroll themselves (with our guidance) with a new Enterprise license for themselves. The client would fully own the license themselves, and just add my Tech lead and myself as developers to the group. However, this process has not been successful.

I am just curious what others experience has been? Others in this forum that are mobile app contractors must be impacted by this as well, and proactively investigating contingency plans. Are you getting your clients to purchase their own Enterprise licenses, or are you going down this Apple Business Manager Path? As I mentioned above, we have tried getting one of our clients to enroll for an Enterprise license for their internal employees, but it seems the mere mention that a 3rd party contractor is building them an app, raises alarm bells for Apple and they instantly reject the client’s application. I suspect that this same negative result will come from all our client’s requests.

In short, I am curious how others are handling this dilemma, and what has your success has been moving clients to use Apple’s new Business Manager?

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Apple did not make drastic changes to the Enterprise program at WWDC19. I don't know where you have that from. The only change I can think of is that they changed their terms to include that they can review internal apps - i.e. they want to be able to check your apps in case of suspicion of malware, bad practices, etc. This is a natural development when taking into account that there recently has been several public cases of companies misusing the enterprise program - breaking the rules - to install apps that are malicious or deceitful to customers.

You seem to be convinced that your situation is similar to the majority of other app developers out there - but that isn't the case. The majority of app developers, as far as I can tell, are playing by the rules.

It has always been totally clear that enterprise distribution is for distributing apps to your own employees. Not to customers. You should have been aware of this for years - I cannot see that coming as a drastic change that surprised you.

Apple makes it perfectly clear that this is not for 3rd party developers on the front page of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program web site:

Your proprietary app must be developed by you for use on Apple platforms.

The fact that you have broken the rules for a long period of time, and it wasn't discovered by Apple, doesn't mean that Apple have allowed you to do so and suddenly changed their mind.

For your purposes you should really be distributing your apps through the App Store (for public apps), or through Apple Business Manager (for private apps) - or possibly through Ad Hoc distribution, if it's a limited amount of devices.

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  • Thank you for your feedback. – Derek Megyesi Nov 27 '19 at 3:34

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