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Application Guide Part V: Add macOS Application


Apple supports the distribution of Enterprise and Volume Purchase Program applications for macOS. Enterprise and VPP applications can be configured using the XML standard, as demonstrated in the Application Configuration Guide with some examples for Enterprise applications. Refer to your vendor's documentation for the available application configuration options. Technically, an XML configuration of a macOS Enterprise application installs an additional Managed Preferences profile to the application, which contains the configurations made. For Enterprise applications, the configuration and installation of the Managed Preferences profile is executed automatically in Silverback and applications will set by default to Automatically push to managed devices. For applications purchased through the Volume Purchase Program, a corresponding configuration profile can be created as demonstrated in the Configure VPP Apps for macOS via Managed Preferences guide and additional management options are available. Uploading an Enterprise application requires an additional *.plist file, which should normally be provided by the application vendor or developer. Alternatively, a sample file and additional instructions are included in this guide.

Add Enterprise App

  • Open your Silverback Management Console (e.g
  • Login as an Administrator
  • Navigate to App Portal
  • Select macOS
  • Click New Application
  • Enter a Name
  • Enter a description (optional)
  • Upload your *.pkg file
  • Upload the corresponding manifest *.plist file 
  • Add your custom App Config with Edit (optional)
  • Press Save
  • Press Edit to review the App Information

Uploaded enterprise applications are configured by default with the App Management option Automatically push to managed devices. 

Add VPP App

Applications purchased through the Volume Purchase Program are automatically added and displayed in the App Portal after syncing. All necessary information such as name, URL, version, icon, etc. is automatically imported through the Volume Purchase Program. By editing VPP Applications, you can modify the App Management options and the VPP Operation Mode. Please refer to Configure Import Settings to define the default App Management options available for macOS.

App Information 

In general, the following application information are available and with the Edit button next to App Config, you can configure your Enterprise application:

Setting Enterprise VPP  Description
Type Enterprise VPP Displays the type of application.
Name e.g. Empirum Agent e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint Displays the name of the application being added.
Bundle ID e.g. com.matrix.empirumAgent e.g. Displays the unique bundle / app identifier of the application.
License not available e.g. 1 used of 15 Displays the current license information of the application.
URL not available e.g. Displays the URL of the application in the App Store.
Description e.g. Emprium Agent will create a unique hybrid management scenario for macOS devices.  e.g. Create, edit, collaborate, and share presentations using Microsoft Power Point Contains the description of the application to display. This information will be displayed in the App Portal in Silverback.
PKG File Choose File not available Displays your uploaded *.pkg file.
PLIST File Choose File not available Displays your uploaded *.plist file for the application.
App Config Edit Edit Displays the App Configuration prompt. Please refer to the App Configuration section for additional information.
Icon Choose File not available The icon to display in the app portal. If no icon is specified, a default, blank icon will be used.

App Configuration

With pressing the Edit button next to App Config, a new window will open which gives the ability to perform configurations for your application. The documentation about the App Configuration XML should be provided by the application developer, so please get in touch to receive information about the configuration options for your desired application.

Setting Enterprise VPP  Description
App Config chromeexampleconfig.txt Get in touch with the application developer and use the App Config option or use Managed Preferences as highlighted here: Configure VPP Apps for macOS via Managed Preferences Shows the App Configuration where you can configure your application in a XML format. With the following example you can configure Google Chrome and in addition, you can refer to the Application Configuration Guide for further information and examples. When you add the App configuration in the App Portal section, this will be used every time as default when you add the application into a Tag. However you can at every time adjust and overrule the configuration inside the Tag with the edit button.

App Management

The following App Management options can be configured: 

Setting Enterprise VPP Description
Visible in App Portal Enabled or Disabled Enabled or Disabled Makes the app visible to users in the Silverback App Portal.
Automatically push to managed devices Enabled or Disabled Enabled or Disabled Will automatically start the app installation process on assigned devices. Uploaded enterprise applications are configured by default with the App Management option Automatically push to managed devices. 
Remove App when MDM Profile is removed not available Enabled or Disabled Removes the App from the device when MDM Profile is removed from Silverback. (Same as deleting from Silverback Console)
Prevent Backup of App Data not available Enabled or Disabled When enabled, users can’t back up or restore documents and data for that app. It will prevent Managed Applications from backing up data to the Finder (MacOS 10.15 or later), iTunes (MacOS 10.14 or earlier), or iCloud. Disallowing backup helps prevent Managed App data from being recovered if the app is removed using Silverback but later reinstalled by the user.
Take management if the app is already installed not available Enabled or Disabled If your organization uses an application that you want to manage, but the user has already installed it before enrolling the device, you can convert it to a managed application. To take over management manually, open the Device Info page and where possible the action button will be Manage.
Install as Managed Enabled or disabled not available If this option is activated, the application is installed as managed and can be uninstalled remotely. Please note that the operating system only considers applications installed in /Applications as managed when this option is enabled. In macOS 11 to 13, the operating system requires that the package contains only one signed application. Programs that do not meet these requirements will most likely not be installed if this option is enabled, although the installation command will be accepted. Check whether the application can be successfully installed on some devices with this setting before you start rolling out the application.
VPP Operation Mode not available
  • User preferred
  • Device preferred
  • Device Only
  • User Only
Configures the VPP operation mode separately for this application.

Custom PLIST Creation

Please contact your application developer to provide you the required manifest file. Alternatively, you can also create the manifest.plist using this article: Create a PLIST for Enterprise Applications on macOS. Any manifest file for macOS enterprise applications contains the following information.

  • md5-size (needs to be splitted in several blocks if the application exceeds 10MB)
  • size in bytes
  • download url (will be added automatically by Silverback)
  • bundle identifier
  • bundle-version
  • kind
  • subtitle
  • title

Please download your example *.plist for reference here:  Download

Next Steps

  • Deploy your application via Tags
  • Once you have deployed your applications using one or more different tags, review the version distribution
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