The small dev company that I work for has been contracted to build an app for client. This client is using Apple Business Manager and wants us to publish to it.

I have built the app and deployed it for review to the Apple Connect. It passed and I see it is now in the client's Apple Business Manager account.

Here is where I am confused. Our client DOES NOT have a MDM. How can I use Apple Business Manager in this case?

From the apple site (https://developer.apple.com/business/custom-apps/), it says "Alternatively, organizations can choose to provide redemption codes to authorized users to download the app on the App Store.".

How do redemption codes work?
How does our client use redemption codes to download our app from the app store?

Our client simply wants its employees (1000+ employees) to download the app that we built (whitelabelled to the client obviously).

Does the client have to add each of its users device UIDD's to its ABM? (which would be ridiculous)!

How do these VPP codes work then?

How do they redeem these codes on the Apple App Store, and therefore install the app on their device?

2 Answers 2


I am also using Apple Business Manager for my company but we have an MDM also with it. However, on your question, I think you have to go through the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Apple Developer Account connect your App to the client’s Apple Business Manager account by adding their Organization ID and Company Name for distribution. See the highlighted blue area below.

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  1. This connection is immediate. Once your App is connected to the client’s Apple Business Manager Account, it will be visible under the Custom App section of the ABM account.

  2. By selecting that custom app, you can generate 1-time use redemption codes and links for employees to download your app.

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Once the codes are created, you can download the list.

enter image description here

You can use these codes and proprietary processes to enable your client’s employees to access your application.


Your customer logs into Apple Business Manager, find the app - and then choose "Redemption Codes" from the "License Type" drop-down. Then they can input that they want 1000 codes and click buy. They'll get a spreadsheet with all the codes and direct links for installation.

The process is also described by Apple here: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/apple-business-manager/asmc21817890/web

The end user either opens the link on the device, or uses the redemption code in the App Store using the "Redeem Gift Card or Code" button.

Your customer does not need to enter UIDDs. It's not ridiculous.

VPP codes are codes generated through the Volume Purchase Program for bulk purchases of an app. You do not need to concern yourself with VPP here.

Just so you're aware: It sounds a bit odd to have 1000 employees with phones wanting to use internal apps, and then not be running a MDM. But that's their choice ofcourse.

Note: You seem to be asking many different questions over several months about this same problem with the work project you have. It would seem a good idea to invest the time in reading the Apple Business Manager Guide here:


  • 3
    I feel you are attacking me here a bit, and that is uncalled for. I am simply asking for assistance. I have done much reading on the ABM program, but the information is very dislocated, and not concise. I have searched Udemy, Udacity, and Linked-in learning for video courses and examples, and I have yet to find a concise solution. All the examples I have found assume that readers have used the VPP program before and are MDM users. I am neither. I am simply trying to understand the basics amidst a forest of complicated examples, most of which are not relevant to my situation at this time. Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 7:36
  • I'm not attacking you - I don't know why you think that. I have replied to many of your questions with helpful answers - why would I do that, if I wanted to attack you. I'm just giving you links to the offical guides from Apple, so that you can get an overview instead of asking many seperate questions.
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 9:01
  • Alright. I apologize then. I am just really struggling to quickly understand all this and I have pushing as hard as I can to understand this. I am sorry again. I appreciate all your help. Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 23:02
  • Circling back to this post. I am still struggling to understand the logic here. What about contractors that require a corporate app? Surely, there has to be a way to use the Managed Licensing aspect of ABM without using a MDM. Please help I am really struggling to figure this out. :( Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 4:42
  • The method I described in my answer specifically does not require an MDM. If you use my answer, you can do "managed licensing" without your customer having MDM.
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 9:40

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