I have searched for & cannot find anything that describes the process for deploying an app created with the FileMaker iOS SDK onto the devices of my customer's various employees. I have seen references to "MDM", "TestFlight", "Apple Configurator" but I am still not sure what needs to be done. I want to deploy an app I have built for one of my customers. I presume that submitting it to the App Store is not necessary/appropriate as it is not for general release - it is just for my customer.
Can anyone point me in the direction of how I get the app onto the customer's employees devices?
Here is a good place to start. Below are a couple of links to some Apple documentation.
You can also installed the software via xcode. You can test Apps with the simulator or on a device.
These references seem to be applicable to larger corporate environments. Is there nothing for smaller organisations/deployments where there is no centralised IT structure and BYOD is prevalent?.
When you click on test in xcode the app / database is copied to the device as if it would download from the App store.
I'm looking for the easiest way to perform a small scale roll out of an app into production to maybe 25 iPad users half of whom I have no easy physical access to.
The App Store is not really appropriate and the MDM system seems over the top just to distribute an app. My client tried MDM to manage the iPads and found it more trouble than it was worth; so they abandoned it.
Deployment of a app into a limited production environment seems to be a challenge.
That is the only options available. Small scale you have to installed to device using xcode, other than that you use MDM or you publish the app to the App store. This is a method that Apple uses to control virus / spyware and quality of software. I have not used but I believe you can setup users as beta tester then the app can be emailed to them.
Instead of going through the hassles of the iOS sdk why not just use FileMaker Go and call it a day. You could email the file to the users or use Dropbox to distribute the file or make the file available through a web link.
If you use the method suggested by rgordon then you can use the App Maker Database can create icon (webclip) for your ios device. I have been updating the App Maker Database, but I have not tested with FMGo 15 yet.
depends IMHO on the number of clients (of this customer)
- install via a database loaded from FMS, containing Your FMGo app in a container-field
- install by dropbox, by mail, by iTunes, etc.
- via iOS SDK and mdm (mobile device management, some resources might be needed from Your customer)
-> small number of clients: Method 2
-> more automtism: Method 1
-> bigger company: Method 3
Thanks for the various replies. When I raised this question, I felt like I was asking a dumb question but it appears there isn't a good answer. This seems odd as I thought the purpose of the iOS SDK was exactly what I am trying to achieve - give a customer their own iOS app for their employees to use.
I'd rather deliver an iOS app than use FM Go - when I say to my customers "I can set it up so that you open this FileMaker Go app & then open your file" I get a puzzled face that says "why does it work that way". When I say "I can give you your own app" their faces light up & they "wow - that'd be great".
Deploying via Xcode doesn't seem a viable way of delivering the app to each of my client's employees devices - every time they get a new device they are dependent on me turning up with my laptop to deploy the app onto their device.
MDM seems to be the only option but I have no knowledge of MDM. Is Apple Configurator an MDM tool? Can anyone share experiences of deploying iOS SDK apps via MDM?
Carl, I currently have over 1000 FMGO users for my solutions and I can tell you installing FileMaker Go has never been a concern. What really matters is if the solutions works. If it does what the users want, they don't care about needing to use FileMaker Go. Here is something to think about. In the SDK the file never truly closes. This has implications for files corrupting and memory problems (FMGO has a significant history of memory problems). Since the file never closes, I'm not sure if the temp folder every clears out because in FileMaker Go the temp folder only clears if all files are closed and you restart the App or the iDevice. What are you going to do if a iOS SDK file needs recovered (FMGO files do corrupt). In FMGO it is now fairly easy to send a file to the cloud or via email. Not so much in the iOS SDK. Also the App Maker that schamblee mentioned does a nice job of created a home screen icon.
This link might be helpful, although it already confirms what you have discovered - that there is no easy quick simple way to distribute iOS apps to SME's.
"Here is something to think about. In the SDK the file never truly closes. This has implications for files corrupting and memory problems "
Thanks for the heads up on this potential problem.
Maybe iOS app made with SDK is better used as just an opener file? I've noticed that a file opened with a link in an iOS app seems to close ok, leaving the original app still running.