My team developed custom application for a company, and now we are trying to deploy the application to the employee owned devices. We decided to use the Apple Business Manager and some MDM solution for managing the devices.

1.Using the Apple Developer Program is the only way to make the application available on the Apple Business Manager account for further distribution, is this correct?

2.Once the application is distributed, from the Apple Developer Account to the Apple Business Manager, in case there are no updates needed for the application, there is no need to renew the Apple Developer account and pay the fee. Meaning the application will still be available for distribution and using on the Apple Business Manager Account. Is this also correct?

  • Anything I might be able to clarify in my answer?
    – bmike
    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:06
  • Hi @bmike , the answer to the first question confused me a bit, but I think I need to make the question more clear. As far as I know there is no other way than having Apple Developer Program to build, sign the app and then to sell it(or give it for free) to the specific organisation(when i say organisation i mean the Apple Business Manager Account)? -And yes the MDM solutions should be used later for distributing to the employee devices, once the app is provided to the Apple Business Manager Account.
    – NikolaM
    Apr 10, 2021 at 17:26
  • Ok, I’ll hopefully address those with an edit to my answer
    – bmike
    Apr 4, 2022 at 1:28

1 Answer 1


Apple Business Manager is the buy side of things (as is Apple School Manager) and you don’t need MDM but it sure enhances your capabilities if you associate one.

Apple Developer is the sell side and you don’t need a MDM to sell into ABM or ASM.

  1. No - there are multiple avenues for distribution. MDM can assist with many and it depends on the MDM and the app entitlements and where and how you upload the app.
  2. When a developer account expires, you lose control and can’t renew signing certificates. Currently, Apple doesn’t pull these apps, but there’s no reason they couldn’t in that case from my reading of our contracts in the US.

With B2B custom store, public store with private SKU pricing and more, you have diverse options here.

My recommendation is to keep your developer account always active since Apple does and will likely continue to require that apps adhere to privacy and security changes even if you don’t bump the SDK as new ones arrive yearly.

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