Software Distribution Methods

Workspace ONE UEM supports a few different methods for delivering software to managed macOS devices.   The distribution method you choose is highly dependent upon the type of software you wish to choose.   This section is simply an overview of each different method and the caveats associated with each method.

Software Distribution encompasses delivery of a few different classes or types of software:  

  • Applications delivered from the macOS App Store
  • Applications delivered by 3rd-Parties outside the App Store
  • Scripts (such as Python or Shell scripts)

NOTE:   Script deployment is outside the scope of this lab and will be included in a later release of the lab.

App Store Applications

Workspace ONE UEM has supported application deployment from the macOS App Store via the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for a number of releases.   This support has also extended to VPP apps purchased through Apple School Manager (and now Apple Business Manager - shown above).  In this case, Administrators may purchase licenses for macOS App Store applications and distribute them to users via device-based licensing.  This allows administrators to deploy these apps to devices, without the need for the user to have an Apple ID.

Some applications that are commonly deployed this way include (but are not limited to):

  • xCode
  • Slack
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop
  • Pages, Numbers, etc (Apple's iWork suite)
  • TextWrangler
  • F5 Access (VPN)
  • iBooks Author
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Quickbooks

3rd-Party Non-Store Applications

Workspace ONE UEM has also supported 3rd-Party Non-Store application deployment for a number of releases.  Previous to Workspace ONE UEM (or AirWatch) 9.3, the primary method of deploying non-store applications was to use the Products engine.   WIth the release of version 9.3 (and macOS Agent 3.0), Workspace ONE UEM included functionality to perform application install/uninstall using a built-in integration with the open-source framework Munki.   You can optionally pair the munki integration with Workspace ONE UEM's CDN integration to enable in-region delivery of these non-store apps to the endpoint.  

VMware has put considerable effort into making this integration "consumer simple" for admins which are new to Munki and/or macOS as a platform.   This ensures administrators which are not experienced with Munki do not need to learn the framework to leverage its features and functionality.  

Some applications that are commonly deployed this way include (but are not limited to):

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Microsoft Office 2016 for macOS
  • BlueJeans
  • Camtasia
  • Audacity

Content Delivery Network (CDN) integration (via Akamai) is enabled by default for Workspace ONE UEM SaaS customers.