Mac App Store Apps

The Jamf Software Server (JSS) allows you to distribute Mac App Store apps to computers and users. You can also use the JSS to update Mac App Store apps that have been installed by the JSS.

The JSS provides two Mac App Store app distribution methods: make the app available in Self Service, or install the app automatically/prompt users to install the app. When you distribute a Mac App Store app, you add it to the JSS and configure settings for the app, including the distribution method. Then, you specify the users and computers that should receive it (called “scope”).

Mac App Store apps purchased through Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP) can be distributed to computers or users with VPP-managed distribution. For more information, see VPP-Managed Distribution for Computers and User-Based VPP Assignments.

As an alternative to VPP-Managed distribution, the JSS also supports distributing Mac App Store apps to computers using redeemable VPP codes. For more information, see VPP Code Distribution for Computers.

Mac App Store apps distributed with user-based VPP assignments or with VPP codes are not managed by the JSS. Users can update apps using the Mac App Store or uninstall the apps from their computers.

Requirements

To allow users to install Mac App Store apps from Self Service via MDM, or to allow Mac App Store apps to be installed automatically you need:

  • A push certificate in the JSS (For information, see Push Certificates.)

  • The Enable certificate-based authentication and Enable push notifications settings configured in the JSS (For information, see Security Settings.)

  • Computers that are bound to a directory service or local user accounts that have been MDM-enabled (For information, see Binding to Directory Services and the Enabling MDM for Local User Accounts Knowledge Base article.)
    Note: If a Mac App Store app is configured to be installed automatically and the user has a local user account that is not MDM-enabled (and there are no other MDM-enabled local user accounts on the computer), the user is prompted to enter local administrator credentials to enable MDM for their account. After the account becomes MDM-enabled, the app is installed and subsequent apps can be installed automatically.

  • Apps assigned to computers or users via VPP-managed distribution

    • For device-based assignments, you need:

      • Computers with macOS 10.11 or later

    • For user-based assignments, you need:

      • Computers with macOS 10.9 or later
        Note: If a computer does not have macOS 10.9 or later and the “Install Automatically/Prompt Users to Install” distribution method is selected, the app will instead be made available in Self Service.

      • Users registered with VPP and the apps assigned to them using VPP assignments (For information, see VPP User Registration and User-Based VPP Assignments.)

      • Users must be logged in to iTunes or the Mac App Store with the Apple ID used during VPP registration
        Note: If the scope for a Mac App Store app is configured to include a computer and the user is not assigned to that computer in the JSS, the app will instead be made available in Self Service.

To allow users to install apps from the Mac App Store (linked from Self Service), you need:

Distributing a Mac App Store App

  1. Log in to the JSS with a web browser.

  2. Click Computers at the top of the page.

  3. Click Mac App Store Apps.

  4. Click New images/download/thumbnails/15181885/New_icon.png .

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To add the app by browsing the App Store, enter the name of the app, choose an App Store country, and click Next. Then click Add for the app you want to add.

    • To add the app by uploading a VPP code spreadsheet, click Choose File and upload the Excel spreadsheet (.xls) that contains VPP codes for the app.

    • To add the app by manually entering information about it, click Enter Manually.

  6. Use the General pane to configure settings for the app, including the distribution method. For apps distributed using VPP-managed distribution, you can also enable automatic app updates.

  7. Click the Scope tab and configure the scope of the app.
    For more information, see Scope.

  8. (Optional) Click the Self Service tab and configure the way the app is displayed in Self Service. You can customize the text displayed in the description for the app in Self Service by using Markdown in the Description field.
    For information about Markdown, see the following Knowledge Base article:
    Using Markdown to Format Text
    Note: The Self Service tab is only displayed if "Make Available in Self Service" is chosen in the Distribution Method pop-up menu.

  9. (Optional) If you want to distribute the app directly to computers via VPP-managed distribution, do the following:

    1. Click the VPP tab, and then click the Device Assignments tab.

    2. Select the Assign VPP Content checkbox.

    3. Choose the VPP account that has purchased the app to distribute to computers.

  10. (Optional) If you want to associate VPP codes with the app and have not already uploaded a VPP code spreadsheet, do the following:

    1. Click the VPP tab, and then click the VPP Codes tab.

    2. Upload the Excel spreadsheet (.xls) that contains VPP codes for the app.

  11. Click Save.

If users were added as targets to the scope, the app is distributed to the computers those users are assigned to the next time the computers check in with the JSS.

Updating a Mac App Store App

The JSS allows you to update an individual Mac App Store app in the following ways:

  • Enable automatic Mac App Store app updates–This automatically updates the app description, icon, and version in the JSS and on computers. This update happens once a day depending on the time of day you specify.

  • Force a Mac App Store app to update–You can force an app to update immediately on computers if there are updates available in the JSS. This applies only to apps distributed using VPP-managed distribution for computers.

  • Distribute a Mac App Store app update–You can distribute an update for a Mac App Store app by manually updating the version number and URL for the app in the JSS. The update is distributed to computers the next time they contact the JSS.

Note: The JSS also allows you to enable automatic updates for all Mac App Store apps, or force all Mac App Store apps to update immediately. For more information, see Mac App Store App Update Settings.

Enabling Automatic App Updates

  1. Log in to the JSS with a web browser.

  2. Click Computers at the top of the page.

  3. Click Mac App Store Apps.

  4. Click the app for which you want to enable automatic app updates.

  5. Click Edit.

  6. Select Automatically update app.

  7. To select a country or region to use for syncing apps with iTunes, choose an option from the iTunes Country or Region pop-up menu.

  8. To specify a time of day to sync apps with iTunes, set the time using the iTunes Sync Time pop-up menus.

  9. Click Save.

The app is updated in the JSS and on computers in the scope based on the time you configure the app to sync with iTunes.

Forcing an App Update

  1. Log in to the JSS with a web browser.

  2. Click Computers at the top of the page.

  3. Click Mac App Store Apps.

  4. Click the app you want to update.

  5. Click Edit.

  6. Click Force Update.

  7. Click Save.

The app is updated immediately on computers in the scope if there is an update available in the JSS.

Distributing an App Update

  1. Log in to the JSS with a web browser.

  2. Click Computers at the top of the page.

  3. Click Mac App Store Apps.

  4. Click the app you want to update.

  5. Click Edit.

  6. Enter the new version number and URL.
    Important: Do not change the bundle identifier. The JSS uses the existing bundle identifier to distribute the update.

  7. Click Save.

The update is distributed the next time computers in the scope contact the JSS.

Related Information

For related information, see the following sections in this guide:

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