Migrating to Apple Business Manager

Migrating to Apple Business Manager

Introduction

 

Apple Business Manager (shortened as ABM, whose portal is accessible here) is a newer version of Apple Deployment Programs (shortened as ADP, whose portal is accessible here), which consists of Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and Volume Purchase Program (VPP).  On May 2, 2019, Apple announced ADP would no longer be available starting December 1, 2019.  All customers must migrate to ABM before that date.

 

Apple Business Manager helps organizations better manage their:

 

  1. For device management, ABM leverages DEP as outlined in the section “Device Management (DEP)”.
  2. Content (apps and books), For content management, ABM uses VPP in the backend, but introduces some changes as outlined in the section “Content Management (VPP)”.
  3.  The most significant addition to Apple Business Manager is the ability to better manage users by assigning them roles such as “Device Manager” and “Content Manager”, “Staff”, etc.

 

For those familiar with Apple School Manager, this service will be very familiar to you, as this is the enterprise version of that service.

 

In order to start using  ABM to manage your devices and apps, your organization’s ADP administrator needs to invite you to start using ABM.  After you have received the invitation email, you will need to login to the ABM portal (as an ABM user) using the same credentials that you use on the ADP portal (as an ADP user).  There are some differences between ABM and ADP and so some migration is required, but it is relatively straight-forward.

 

Device Management (DEP)

 

For device management, ABM simply leverages the legacy DEP and so there’s no migration required.  All your virtual MDM servers in the DEP portal will be moved over to ABM and are available in the “MDM Servers” in the “Settings” section in the left pane of the window as shown below:

 

 

When you select your MDM server, the pane on the right will display all information pertaining to your MDM server, including a link to download the DEP token for your MDM server.

 

Content Management (VPP)

 

For content management, though ABM leverages the legacy VPP, migration is required.  In Apple’s legacy VPP portal, app licenses purchased under an individual ADP user’s account would only be available to that ADP user, which resulted in “user-based tokens”. ABM introduces the concept of Locations to better manage and de-centralize the assignment of app licenses. App licenses are now assigned to a specific Location, which results in “location-based tokens”. So, in order to use ABM, the app licenses purchased by your ADP users must be migrated to a Location in ABM.  In other words, you must migrate your app licenses from all your user-based tokens to one or more location-based tokens.

 

An ABM user can manage app licenses in one or more Locations. When you go through the steps of migrating your VPP app licenses from user-based tokens to location-based tokens, they will be assigned to a Location that you select during the migration process. For the best migration experience, for each of your user-based tokens, migrate the licenses in those tokens to unique ABM Locations.  For example, User Token 1 would migrate to Location Token 1, User Token 2 to Location Token 2 and so forth.  Since there will be a 1-to-1 mapping between user-based tokens and location-based tokens, assuming only one ABM user has access to one Location, your “location-based tokens” will essentially act as your legacy “user-based tokens”.  More importantly, this will allow both assigned and unassigned VPP licenses in your user-based tokens to be migrated to ABM location-based tokens in one shot.  As a matter of fact, after the migration is complete, the newly generated location-based token is nothing more than a user-based token with an updated expiry date.  As a result, migration is much simpler, because the existing user-based token in MobiControl can simply be updated with the location-based token. If you choose to use this 1-1 mapping, please follow the instructions in “Converting a User-based Token to a Location-based Token”.

 

If you choose not to use this 1-1 mapping or if the conditions mentioned in Apple’s migration article are not met, migration will become more involved, because Apple will only migrate unassigned VPP app licenses from your user-based token to your ABM location-based token.  Then, you must unassign the remaining legacy VPP app licenses from your devices/users and then migrate those licenses separately.  Furthermore, during the migration, the app licenses that are migrated are removed from the user-based token and added to the location-based token.  As a result, you must maintain both the user-based and location-based tokens during the migration, which complicates the process, To perform this migration, please follow the instructions in “Migrating Licenses from a User-based Token to a Location-based Token.”

 

Converting a User-based Token to a Location-based Token

 

To convert your user-based tokens to location-based ones, for each legacy VPP account in MobiControl you will have to perform the following steps:

  1. In the MobiControl console, navigate to “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”.  Select the legacy VPP account (let’s call it “legacy VPP Account”) and click on “Refresh” to get the most up to date license information.  Note down the total number of purchased and redeemed licenses of the “legacy VPP account”.  After you have migrated this legacy VPP account to the ABM account, you can use these numbers to ensure the migration was successful.

       

 

  1. In ABM, create a unique Location for this “legacy VPP account”.
  2. Assign the “Content Manager” role (for the Location created in Step 2) for the ABM user corresponding to the ADP user that owns the “legacy VPP account”.
  3. In ABM, log in as this ABM user and go to “Apps” in the “Content” section in the left pane of the window.  Click on “Get Started.”
  4. Select the ABM Location created in Step 2.

 

 

  1.    After the migration is complete, download your location-based token by going to “Apps” in the “Settings” section in the left    pane of the window.

      

 

  1. In the MobiControl console, navigate to “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”.    Select the “legacy VPP Account” and click on “Edit”.  Upload the location-based token downloaded in Step 6.  If you are presented with an error indicating that the location-based token does not match the existing user-based token, ABM has not allowed you to convert the user-based token to a location-based one and you will have to follow the instructions in “Migrating Licenses from a User-based Token to a Location-based Token”. Otherwise, click “OK” to save the “legacy VPP Account”.
  2. Ensure that the Expiry Date for the “legacy VPP Account” is one year from today.
  3. Ensure that the total number of purchased and redeemed licenses of the “legacy VPP account” matches the values noted in Step 1.
  4. Ensure that MobiControl can assign a license from the “ABM Account” by creating a temporary App Catalog Rule that targets one device with a new application licensed using a device-based license from “legacy VPP Account”.  The device logs will say that a license for the application was assigned to the device.
  5. Ensure that MobiControl can unassign a license from the “ABM Account” by deleting the temporary App Catalog Rule created in Step 9.  In “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”, select the “legacy VPP Account” and click on “Advanced”->”Reconcile VPP Licenses”.  The device logs will say that a license for the application was unassigned from the device.

 

Migrating Licenses from a User-based Token to a Location-based Token

 

To migrate all your app licenses from user-based tokens to location-based ones, for each legacy VPP account in MobiControl you will have to perform the following steps:

 

 

  1. In the MobiControl console, navigate to “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”.  Select the legacy VPP account (let’s call it “legacy VPP Account”) and click on “Refresh” to get the most up to date license information.  Note down the total number of purchased and redeemed licenses of the “legacy VPP account”.  After you have migrated this legacy VPP account to the ABM account, you can use these numbers to ensure the migration was successful.
  2. In ABM, assign the “Content Manager” role (for at least one Location) for the ABM user corresponding to the ADP user that owns the “legacy VPP account”.
  3. In ABM, log in as this ABM user and go to “Apps” in the “Content” section in the left pane of the window.  Click on “Get Started.”
  4. Select the ABM Location where you wish to migrate the VPP app licenses. If at least one of the VPP app licenses is assigned to a device/user, you may get a warning.
  5. After the migration is complete, download your location-based token by going to “Apps” in the “Settings” section in the left pane of the window.
  6. In the MobiControl console, navigate to “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”. Click on “Add” and upload the location-based token downloaded in Step 5.  If you are presented with an error indicating that the location-based token is the same as an existing VPP account in MobiControl, ABM has allowed you to convert the user-based token to a location-based one and you will have to follow the instructions in “Converting a User-based Token to a Location-based Token”.  Otherwise, specify a name for this account (let’s call it “ABM Account”) and click “OK” to save it.
  7. Select the “ABM Account” and note the total number of purchased licenses. If it matches the values noted in Step 1, all VPP app licenses were successfully migrated to the location-based token and you can skip Steps 9 to 13.  Otherwise, you have some assigned VPP app licenses that have not been migrated from your user-based token.
  8. For all applications in all iOS App Catalog Rules that currently use licenses from “legacy VPP Account”, modify them so that they use licenses from “ABM Account”.

      

 

  1. In “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”, select the “legacy VPP Account” and click on “Refresh” to get the most up to date license information.  Only assigned VPP licenses should be present in this account (ie. the total number of purchased licenses should equal the total number of redeemed licenses).
  2. In “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”, select the “legacy VPP Account” and click on “Advanced”->”Reconcile VPP Licenses” to unassign all VPP app licenses in the “legacy VPP Account” from devices/users.

     

 

  1. In “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”, select the “legacy VPP Account” and click on “Refresh” to get the most up to date license information.
  2. There should be 0 redeemed licenses for all applications in the “legacy VPP Account”. If there is at least 1 redeemed license, repeat steps 8 to 11, paying special attention to identify all App Catalog Rules that may still be referencing the “legacy VPP Account, until there are 0 redeemed licenses in this account.
  3. To migrate the remaining unassigned licenses from the user-based token to the location-based token, repeat steps 3 to 7. You have successfully migrated all app licenses if there are no licenses remaining in the “legacy VPP Account”.
  4. In “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”, select the “legacy VPP Account” and click on “Refresh” to get the most up to date license information. Ensure there are no licenses in this account.  If there is at least 1 license remaining in this account, repeat steps 3 to 7.
  5. To ensure your iOS devices have all the necessary app licenses from the “ABM Account”, request all iOS devices targeted by the App Catalog Rules identified in Step 8 to check-in.
  6. After all devices have checked in, navigate to “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”, select the “ABM Account” and click on “Refresh” to get the most up to date license information.
  7. Ensure that the total number of purchased and redeemed licenses of the “ABM Account” matches the values noted in Step 1. If for some reason either number doesn’t match, repeat the process starting from Step 1.
  8. Now that all app licenses have been successfully migrated to the location-based token, you can safely delete the “legacy VPP Account”. In “All Platforms”->”Servers”>”Global Settings”->“Apple Volume Purchase Program”, select the “legacy VPP Account” and click on “Delete.”

 

 

For more information about Apple Business Manager, see Apple’s Help.  Apple has also published an article with more details on how to successfully migrate apps from ADP to ABM.

 

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