Apple AppStore Institute Purchases

Historically purchasing Institute-owned applications for iOS and OS X devices through Apple's AppStore has been a challenge.  Each computer had to have it's own independent AppleID and email address to properly manage purchases -- this became exceedingly difficult to maintain.

Thankfully things have changed.  We are now migrating to Apple's Volume Purchasing Program for Institute AppStore and iOS purchases.  This gives IT the ability to purchase applications and "check them out" to personal AppleIDs while maintaining appropriate ownership, flexibility, and inventory of those licenses!

Here's how it works: (step-by-step pictures to follow)

  • A ticket is submitted to IT, something like "Need to buy Keynote for Mac", with an accompanying account number.
  • We ask who the application is for (whether it be for one person or more) and send the recipient(s) an invitation for CAIT Apple Software to their CalArts email address.


  • When the invitation link is clicked on iTunes will open and prompt them to login (if they aren't already) to accept the invite.  This is where things get really cool: you can use any AppleID to login, even a personal account!  All we see is the email address we sent the invitation to (i.e., and whether or not the invite has been accepted.
  • After the invite is accepted we can assign the purchased program to their account.


  • If the option to automatically download apps is enabled the program will be, you guessed it, automatically downloaded to their device.  If that option is not enabled the application will just show up as available to download!

keynote_notpurchased.jpg keynote_purchased.jpg

What's even better is that program can be reassigned to different accounts based upon need.  So, if someone doesn't need Keynote for more than a month, it can become a kind of "floating license".

This method of handling AppStore purchases is pretty new, so these instructions may develop further as we refine our methods of deploying Apple software.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!

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