Apple Developer Program: Creating iOS certificates for test versions of the app

This article explains how to create the certificates needed to build a test version of the app when you using the Apple Developer Program.

There are two types of Apple Developer programmes you can enroll in: Apple Developer and Apple Developer Enterprise. You're only eligible for an Enterprise account if your company has at least 100 employees. In that case, follow the steps to create the certificates for the Apple Developer Enterprise Programme.

If your company has less than 100 employees, you can use the Apple Developer Program. You can then follow the steps in this article.

This article explains how to create the following files that you will need to add when building the app.

  • In-House certificate - Apple requests that the apps are signed with a valid in-house certificate. You can sign all your apps with a single certificate.

  • Bundle ID - The Bundle ID is used to identify the app.

  • Provisioning profile - The provisioning profile saves the configuration of the apps for different devices and must be used together with the in-house certificate and bundle ID to sign the app.

The following steps must be performed on a Mac OS machine, as the Keychain application is used to create the certificates. The files will be used in the Sign step while building the app.

Access your dashboard

If you do not yet have enrolled to the Apple Developer Program, please follow the steps in this article.

After enrolling, go to developer.apple.com and sign in by choosing Account on the top menu bar. This will open your dashboard.

Create inhouse distribution certificate

To distribute the app within your organisation as a test version, a distribution certificate must be created. This file has the extension .p12 and contains the certificates necessary to sign the app during its construction. This certificate is valid for nine months and can be used for all your apps.

In the section Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, select Certificates. Click the blue plus button to create a new Distribution Certificate. 

When prompted about the type of certificate you need, choose Apple Distribution in the Software section and click the blue Continue button.

In the next step, you will have to upload a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) file. In this article you can find how to create this file. Open the Keychain application, available on any Mac OS, and follow the steps described on the page. A file with the extension .certSigningRequest will be saved to your computer.