iOS app provisioning during member center outage

How to manually create and install certificates and provisioning profiles

While most of the services related to the Apple Developer Portal outage have been restored, there is still one component left dark on the live status page that can cause you some problems. Xcode Automatic Configuration.

Xcode Automatic Configuration is a service which allows the notoriously convoluted process involving device registration, app identification, security certificates, and provisioning profiles to be largely automated and handled by the Xcode IDE. This process is necessary for the deployment of iOS applications, whether it be for test purposes of production launches.

When the Xcode Automatic Configuration service was release, iOS developers everywhere rejoiced as the process became far more simplified. Now that the service is down, many have forgotten how to manually complete the process and in some cases, people never bothered to learn it in the first place.

If you need to get an app update out, submit a new app, or prepare an app for a test deployment, here’s what you need to know.

1) Head over to the Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles portal

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2) Click on Certificates and click the + icon to add a new certificate if you don’t already have one.

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The type of certificate depends on what you’re trying to accomplish so read each option carefully. Proceed through the 4 step wizard to build the certificate signing request, upload the CSR file, generate the certificate, and download the certificate. Once you’ve downloaded the certificate, double click it on your Mac to add it to your keychain.

Note: you may also need the Apple intermediary certificate if you’ve not already added it to your key chain.

3) If you’re publishing an app you’ll need an application identifier if you don’t have one. You can generate an App ID by clicking the + icon in the Identifiers section and complete the registration form.

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4) If you’re working on a development version of the app, you’ll need to register your testing devices using the Devices section. Click on the + icon in the Devices section to register each test device using the UDID of the device. You can also upload a text file containing the UDID and name of the device in bulk.

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Note: you can skip this step if this is a production deployment to the app store.

5) Create a provisioning profile. Click the Provisioning Profiles section and click the + icon to add a new profile. Choose the appropriate type of profile, Development, App Store, or Ad Hoc. Continue through the wizard selecting your App ID that you created in step 3 as well as attaching your certificate that you created in step 1. Once you’ve completed the wizard, download the mobileprovision file to your Mac and double click it to install it into the Xcode Organizer.

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6) The final step is to configure your build settings for the app in Xcode to use the provisioning profile you just established. It should show up in your project build settings under the Code Signing Identity section.

Conclusion

If all went smoothly you should see your new provisioning profile in the Xcode organizer and its status should be “Valid profile”. If that’s the case, you’re good to go and you’ve successfully performed an app provisioning manually. It’s a good thing to know while we wait for the rest of the Apple Developer Portal services to come back online.

Read more of Matthew Mombrea's ByteStream blog and follow Matt on Twitter (@mombrea) and Google+. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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