Developing an app for iOS devices takes more than just a good idea and some coding skills.
Before you can put your app into the world, you need to ensure it’s properly signed with a provisioning profile.
But what is a provisioning profile, and why does it matter? In this blog post, we’ll look at what provisioning profiles are and how they affect the success of an app.
Ad-Hoc vs. Enterprise Provisioning Profiles:
Ad-Hoc and Enterprise provisioning profiles are two different types of profiles that serve different purposes.
Ad-Hoc provisioning profiles are used when distributing an app to a limited number of devices for testing purposes.
These profiles limit the number of devices the app can install to 100, making it ideal for internal testing or distributing beta versions to select testers.
On the other hand, Enterprise provisioning profiles are used to distribute apps to employees of a specific organization. These profiles allow the app to be installed on any device registered under the organization's Apple Developer account, making it suitable for in-house distribution.
Obtaining Provisioning Profiles:
To obtain an Ad-Hoc or Enterprise provisioning profile, a developer must first enroll in the Apple Developer Program. Once enrolled, they can create and manage profiles through the Apple Developer portal.
For Ad-Hoc profiles, developers must add the UDID numbers of the devices they wish to distribute the app. For Enterprise profiles, they need to register their organization and obtain a DUNS number.
Using the Appropriate Development Profile:
When developing an app, it's essential to use the appropriate development profile for the intended distribution method. If the wrong profile is used, the app may not install or function correctly, causing frustration for both the developer and end-users.
Developers should also ensure that their provisioning profiles are up-to-date and valid. Provisioning profiles typically expire after a certain period, so updating them regularly is crucial.
What is a Provisioning Profile?
A provisioning profile is a digital certificate that links apps to the Apple Developer Program.
A valid provisioning profile ensures that an authorized developer or organization created any app released on Apple’s App Store.
It also ensures that the app was built using the same code as the version submitted to Apple for review.
Why Do Provision Profiles Matter?
Provision profiles are important because they allow developers to control which devices their apps can be installed on.
For example, if a developer wants to make their app available only to internal employees of their company, they can create an Enterprise provision profile that will limit access to those specific users.
On the other hand, if a developer wants their app to be available for anyone in public to download from the App Store, they would need to create an Ad-Hoc or Developer profile instead.
In addition, when developing an app, developers must use a valid provisioning profile during every step of the process, or else their testers won’t be able to install it on their devices.
If your testers receive an error message stating, “The provisioning profile used has expired,” then either your current IPA is not signed with a valid Ad-Hoc or Enterprise profile, or it is not linked with a non-expired certificate.
To resolve this issue, upload a new IPA file that has been appropriately signed with either type of profile and includes all applicable information, such as UDID numbers and bundle IDs, before submitting it for final review.
In conclusion, provisioning profiles are an essential aspect of iOS app development that controls which devices an app can be installed.
By using the appropriate Ad-Hoc or Enterprise profile and ensuring it's up to date, developers can streamline the app development process and ensure a smooth distribution experience for their users.