In order to use the Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP), you will need an MDM solution (Profile Manager, Jamf Pro, MobileIron, Meraki, FileWave, etc). The same program is used for device-based VPP or user-based VPP. There are two programs, which is meant to simplify the experience of setting up an MDM solution and long-term maintenance. The first is the traditional VPP account, available to companies and other non-educational environments that have a DUNS number. The second is the newer Apple School Manager, for educational institutions.
Before starting to buy apps and associating those apps from an MDM solution, there are a few things you should know. The first is that your organization can have multiple VPP tokens or Apple School Manager tokens, and you can hierarchically manage apps this way. The second is that each token should only be installed on one MDM solution or server (if you have multiple instances of the same solution). Therefore, if you’re going to have multiple servers or solutions for managing apps, keep in mind to buy apps for groups based on the VPP account that will be associated with devices for each solution.
Also, note that the traditional deployment mechanism of VPP is user, or Apple ID-based VPP apps. Here, you associate an Apple ID to a VPP account from an MDM and then the administrator sends apps to devices based via the MDM solution. And this is still an option.
In 10.11 and up, we got device-based VPP. Here, you can send apps to devices even if they don’t have Apple IDs associated to the device, and you can send apps automatically, meaning they will not require user interaction. This makes VPP multi-tenant and great for school labs, or shared-use Macs and iOS devices.
But this article isn’t about the fine print details of the new VPP. Instead, this article is about making Profile Manager work with your new VPP token. Before you get started, know that when you install your vpptoken, if it’s in use by another MDM, Profile Manager will unlicensed all apps with your other MDM. To get started, log into your VPP account. Once logged in, click on your account email address and then select Account Summary.
Then, click on the Download Token link and your token will be downloaded to your ~/Downloads (or wherever you download stuff).
Once you have your token, open the Server app and click on the Profile Manager service.
Click on the checkbox for Volume Purchase Program.
At the VPP Managed Distribution screen, drag the .vpptoken file downloaded earlier into the screen. Then click on Continue. The VPP code email address will appear in the screen. Click Done.
Back at the profile manager screen, you should then see that the checkbox is filled and you can now setup Profile Manager.
The rest of the configuration of Profile Manager is covered in a previous article.
Note: The account used to configure the VPP information is not tracked in any serveradmin settings.