by Derek Lu
Table of contents
19 March 2012
User level: All
Additional required other products (third-party/labs/open source)
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Increasingly, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite customers want to deploy viewer applications directly to employees or to members of their organization rather than through the application store. Apple allows you to distribute iOS applications using an enterprise distribution provisioning profile. When you use this profile, you do not have to distribute an application through the application store. Rather, your end users can download and install an application from a web page. This tutorial explains how to create an enterprise viewer application and set up a web page for authorized users to download and install it. To make use of enterprise distribution, you must have a web server that can host three files: enterprise_viewer.plist, index.html and your .ipa (viewer app).
Follow the steps below to learn how to create an enterprise viewer using Viewer Builder.
- Read more about using Viewer Builder if you’re just getting started using Digital Publishing Suite.
- Enroll in the Apple iOS Developer Enterprise Program. This step is required to create an enterprise viewer. Within the iOS Developer Enterprise Program, create an enterprise mobileprovision file.
- Create an enterprise viewer using Viewer Builder.
a. Create a viewer like you normally would except on the provisioning screen, select the “Enterprise
signed build” option (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Provisioning your viewer for enterprise distribution
- Create the enterprise_viewer.plist file. Use the XML below to create a file named enterprise_viewer.plist or grab the file from the ZIP that you downloaded from the Requirements section at the beginning of this article.
- Open any text editor to create or edit the file. If you are creating the file, enterprise_viewer.plist, copy and past the following code into the file.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>items</key> <array> <dict> <key>assets</key> <array> <dict> <key>kind</key> <string>software-package</string> <key>url</key> <string>absolute-path-to-ipa</string> </dict> </array> <key>metadata</key> <dict> <key>bundle-identifier</key> <string>com.adobe.dps.enterpriseViewer</string> <key>bundle-version</key> <string>22.214.171.124.0</string> <key>kind</key> <string>software</string> <key>title</key> <string>Enterprise Viewer</string> </dict> </dict> </array> </dict> </plist>
url(line 14) to replace “absolute-path-to-ipa” with the absolute URL to where you will host your IPA file.
bundle-identifier(line 20) to replace “com.adobe.dps.enterpriseViewer” with the bundle identifier of your application. If you do not have the bundle identifier, open Viewer Builder and find the Bundle ID in the Build Details column for your viewer.
bundle-version(line 22) to replace “126.96.36.199.0” with the Bundle Version of your application. If you do not have the Bundle Version, open Viewer Builder and find it in the Build Details column for your viewer (example in Figure 2).
You are now ready to host your viewer application and its associated files for distribution.
In the following section, you will learn how to create the HTML page for users to download your application, upload files for that page, and test the files.
- Create a new HTML page or use the index.html file that accompanies this article in the downloadable ZIP file available in the Requirements section of this article.
- Open the HTML page in any text editor.
- If you are creating your own HTML page, add the following code:
<a href="itms-services://?action=download-manifest&url=<absolute-url-to-plist>">Download and install</a>.
<absolute-url-to-plist>with the absolute path location where you are hosting the enterprise_viewer.plist file.
- Upload enterprise_viewer.plist file to the URL you specified in your HTML page for the
- Upload your IPA file to the URL you specified in enterprise_viewer.plist.
- Upload your HTML file to your web server.
- In a browser from the iPad, navigate to your HTML page and tap the “Download and install” link to initiate the installation process.
- If you have problems, verify that you have specified the correct URL for your IPA file in the PLIST file, and that your HTML page refers to the correct URL for the enterprise_viewer.plist file.
When using this method to distribute your applications, Apple requires that you authenticate users or host the files behind a firewall. Your authentication can be as simple as using basic authorization or a directory-based authentication. The following links detail how to set up basic authentication for common web servers:
This tutorial provided step–by-step instructions on how to create an enterprise-provisioned viewer application and an HTML page for enterprise distribution. For more information and tutorials about Digital Publishing Suite.