The Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) can be used to prepare iPads for use in
security-critical scenarios. This
includes functions such as:
¹There is a grace period of 30 days for devices which have been added manually to the
DEP. After this period the option
“Remove management” will be removed from the devices.
- Using supervised mode
- Making MDM Enrollment mandatory
- Protecting MDM Enrollment from removal¹
- Skipping setup steps when setting up the iPad
To use Relution with DEP, you need:
- A DEP account using a separate Apple ID that is enabled for managing DEP devices
(https://business.apple.com for corporate customers
https://school.apple.com for educational institutions).
- The Apple configurator in its current version (from the Mac App Store)
Manually adding iOS devices to DEP
Since iOS11, iPads can also be added to the DEP program after receiving them – previously,
this was only possible
through specially authorized dealers or apple directly.
- Connect the device to be registered to a Mac using a USB cable and start the Apple
Configurator. The following screen
appears. Select the device and click “Prepare…”:
- In the next dialog, select the following options and click “Next”.
- Then select “New Server…” and click “Next”.
- Now enter the name and URL of your Relution server. The URL starts with https://. For
example, for the Relution test
- Now select the certificate that appears. For multiple certificates, select the first
one. The Apple Configurator stores
these settings so that you don’t have to re-enter it when additional devices are added
- In the following dialog, select “New organization…” and confirm the selection with
- Now a connection to the Apple DEP server is made. Enter the Apple ID and password of
your DEP account. You may need to
confirm this by 2-factor authentication (enter a 4-digit code that you receive via SMS).
- Select “Create new supervision identity” and click Next.
The organization data is also stored by the Apple Configurator, so you can reuse it
later and no longer need to create a
- In the next step, you select the setup steps that should NOT be skipped when starting
the device for the first time. Be
sure to select the Location Services option, otherwise, the iPads are not assigned the
correct time zone.
- You can then assign a configuration profile previously created (via “Storage-new
profile-WiFi) for a WiFi network that
the iPad automatically connects to over after the reboot. If you do not select a profile
here, after the iPad is
restarted, enter the WLAN settings manually (unless the device is connected to a Mac via
USB). Click “Prepare” and the
iPad will restart. It is then automatically enrolled in the DEP program and can then be
assigned to a Relution server in
the DEP portal (by default it is assigned to the Apple Configurator).
Connecting Relution to your DEP account
- First, a DEP account is created in Relution by clicking on “Settings –
Auto-Enrollment”; then select the “Device
Enrollment Program” tab and press the “Create Account” button:
- Relution then generates a server certificate that needs to be downloaded. A new MDM
server has to be defined in the
Apple DEP Portal and the certificate downloaded in Relution is uploaded there. The
Apple portal then offers a
downloadable token, which in turn has to be uploaded to Relution:
This completes the initial configuration of the DEP account and the DEP account is
- You must then create at least one DEP profile. This is done under “Devices – DEP
A DEP profile determines which options are preconfigured on the iOS device before
the MDM enrollment happens. By
clicking on the “Create” button you will see the following page:
Notice: The section with the Buttons “Supervise device” and “User may remove MDM
enrollment “. Supervised Mode is a
prerequisite that an MDM profile can no longer be removed. In the lower part of the
page, you define the screens to be
skipped when the iOS device is reset. This can be used make the device reset Zero
Touch (see point 6.2.). Save the DEP
profile by pressing the “Save” button on the top right.
- “Devices – Auto Enrollments” now lists all of the devices associated with your DEP
In order for these devices to be automatically preconfigured when switched on and
then connected to the Relution server
to enroll, each device must be assigned a DEP profile. In addition, Relution needs
to be specified by the device user.
Optionally, you can directly assign a policy and a rule s set, as with a “normal”
Relution Enrollment too. The device
configuration is saved by pressing the “Save” button.
Pressing the “Save” button will submit the device configuration to Apple. From now
on the device will be configured
automatically after each reset to factory state. As long as the mapping of the DEP
profile is not changed, resetting the
iOS device will always result in a re-enrollment.
When you reset an iOS devices, apps, data, and settings on the device. Are deleted. As a DEP
device, it then
automatically re-enrolls with Relution and receives the associated configuration and apps
again. You can reset iOS
devices in several ways:
In the Relution portal (over-the-air)
This type of reset is meant for individual devices that are not locally available. Select
the device in the inventory
list and assign the “Wipe device” action.
Note: It is important that in the associated DEP profile (see point 5.3.) the option to skip
the location services page
during setup is not selected because otherwise the iOS device will be assigned the wrong
time zone. This cannot be
corrected afterwards on the device.
With the Apple Configurator (USB, Zero Touch)
This method is suitable whenever many iOS devices are to be reset at the same time (e.g. a
set of tablets), which are
connected to a Mac via a USB hub. On the Mac, you should have Content Caching and Internet
Connection Sharing enabled
under System Preferences – Sharing.
Sharing the Internet connection does not work over WiFi – the Mac must be connected by
Ethernet cable. This way, the iOS
device does not require WiFi to be configured, and the apps to be installed come from the
Mac’s cache, which greatly
reduces installation times.
Note: For this method, the option to skip the location services page should be set in the
DEP profile because the
correct time zone is set automatically through the Mac. Select the device (s) you want to
reset, and then click
“Prepare…” – “Automatic Registration”. The following dialogs you can confirm without further
changes. When resetting the devices, no more input on the device
itself is required (“Zero Touch Installation”).
Which devices can be added to DEP (Device Enrollment Program)?
iPads and iPhones that are not older than about 2 years running iOS11 or higher.
My device does not appear in the Auto Enrollments in Relution. What can I
You must define the Relution server in the Apple DEP portal as an MDM server and assign your
device to it.