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How To Create Enterprise iOS Apps, No App Store Required

Enterprise iOS apps no app store required

Today (December 21st 2022) you can join us as we continue Embarcadero’s two-day Enterprise CodeRage event which focusses, as you might expect, on enterprise development topics using your favorite IDE software. I am presenting two sessions – this blog post describes the second session: Enterprise iOS apps, no app store required. The first session aired yesterday (December 20th 2022) and there is a separate post to accompany that too which you can find here: https://blogs.embarcadero.com/how-to-make-mysql-your-sql/ I’ll update both of these articles with links to the replays in case you miss them.

Why is the Apple Enterprise iOS App program different?

The Apple Enterprise iOS App program is designed for companies. Apps written as a part of this program do not go into the regular Apple App Store. Those apps also do not need to undergo the Apple approval process either. iOS Enterprise apps also do not pay the 15% – 30% Apple commission either. In fact, Apple has very little to do with the iOS Enterprise apps other than curating the signing certificates and collecting a chunk of cash from iOS Enterprise members every year.

Does the Apple Enterprise iOS App program really mean I can create apps for iOS without going through the app store?

Before you whoop for joy and plan your new career as an undetected billionaire Apple iOS virus writer you should know that there is, however, an approval process for developers wishing to join the Apple Enterprise Developer scheme. Applicants must be a recognized company and Apple will validate that through public records such as the Dun and Bradstreet index.

Apple are also quite strict about the criteria. At least one of my Enterprise customers was temporarily removed from the iOS Enterprise Program after they changed company status from a charity to a non-profit. It was quickly fixed on appeal but for a nail-biting 24 hours they could not use any of the custom iOS I had written them and on which they had come to rely as a part of their day-to-day business.

If you a ‘sole trader’ or similar single entity you may find it an uphill struggle getting approved. Apple always has kept a tight stranglehold on the iOS app ecosystem and they’re fully aware of the potential for rogue developers to abuse the iOS Enterprise app system’s generous freedoms and lack of oversight for nefarious purposes.

Why is RAD Studio with Delphi the best option for iOS Enterprise apps?

RAD Studio works ‘out of the box’ with Apple’s iOS Enterprise app program. You simply write your cross-platform apps as you do normally. The IDE will then pick up the relevant distribution certificates and code signing resources directly from XCode. All you need to do is compile, deploy, and then distribute the app. I go into the various ways you can do that in the session – but, briefly, you can either copy the iOS apps directly to the iPhone or iPad devices of the Enterprise customer’s employees and authorized users. Or you can deploy the apps to a web server and the users can simply go to a specially written web page and it will download the apps and Enterprise certificate to the iOS devices like that.

As I explain my presentation, MySQL is everywhere. Literally. It has become a hugely popular ACID-compliant relational database management system. It is behind hundreds of thousands of websites and corporate software stacks. Even to this day, despite Oracle’s ownership, MySQL is freely available as open source and runs on almost every possible platform and configuration you can imagine. Sooner or later, in the enterprise software world you are going to find you need to work with a MySQL database server.

Where can I get the slides for the Enterprise iOS apps presentation?

The slides from the session are here: https://github.com/checkdigits/EnterpriseiOSApps

Here are the slides as images:

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About author

Ian is the Embarcadero Developer Advocate, a professional writer, presenter, and host. He is a prolific software developer, voice actor, designer and poet. Ian is British American, born in London, now living in Dallas, Texas. "I get up early every day and write code".

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