iOS Enterprise Program: Distribution certificates

By: on May 8, 2013

To develop apps for iOS you need an Apple Developer Account. There is the normal developer program which costs $99/year and allows you to distribute apps publically through the app store. However, there is also the Enterprise account which costs $300/year. With the Enterprise account (which only businesses can apply for) you are unable to distribute via the app store, but you can distribute to devices belonging to your organisation directly (“in-house”), without passing through Apple’s approval process, and without having to deal with ad-hoc provisioning.

A client of ours has an Enterprise Account and I was tasked with using their account to distribute the app for testing. To do this I needed to create a Distribution certificate (as opposed to a Development certificate). However, the option was greyed-out – disabled. What to do?

Eventually I tried Apple Support. They initially couldn’t figure out what was wrong either. They suggested that I didn’t have enough permissions (I did) or that the option was disabled because Enterprise Accounts can’t distribute through the app store – but they then confirmed that I needed that option to create an in-house app as well. After a few days I received the following email:

After discussing the issue with our specialists, I confirmed that there can only be two distribution certificates at one time. In order to create a new one, you would have to revoke one of the existing ones.

I presume that somewhere buried in the documentation this is mentioned, but certainly googling and my attempts to scan through the documentation from beginning to end didn’t turn anything up. So here for your googling needs:

Why is the option “App Store and Ad Hoc” disabled? It is because iOS Enterprise Developer accounts have a limit of two distribution certificates at a time.



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