How to Provision Your iPad App for the App Store

By Neal Goldstein, Tony Bove

To get the iPad app you design into Apple’s App Store, you need to provision it. To provision your iPad application, you start at the Provisioning Portal.


1Go to the iPhone Dev Center Web site (which offers all of Apple’s resources for iPad development).

After you log in to the iPhone Dev Center Web site, log in with your developer ID if necessary. The iPhone Dev Center appears. You can see the iPhone Provisioning Portal link, along with the iTunes Connect and the Developer Support Center links, in the iPhone Developer Program section on the right side of the Web page.


2Click the iPhone Provisioning Portal link.

The iPhone Developer Program Portal screen appears.


3Click the Distribution link on the menu on the left side of the page.

The Prepare App tab of the Distribution page appears, where you can find an overview of the process, as well as links that take you where you need to go when you click them.

4Obtain your Distribution Certificate.

Clicking the Obtaining Your iPhone Distribution Certificate link on the Prepare App page leads you through the process.

5Create your Distribution Provisioning Profile for App Store Distribution.

To build your app successfully with Xcode for distribution via the App Store, first you have to create and download an App Store Distribution Provisioning Profile, which is different from the Development Provisioning Profiles.

6Click the Create and Download Your iPhone Distribution Provisioning Profile for App Store Distribution link.

Scroll the Prepare App tab of the Distribution page to find the link, which leads you through this process.

7When you’re done creating the Distribution Provisioning Profile, download it and drag it over the Xcode icon in the Mac OS X Dock.

Your Distribution Profile loads into Xcode, and you’re ready to build an app you can distribute for use on actual iPads.

8(Optional) Click the Creating and Downloading a Distribution Provisioning Profile for Ad Hoc Distribution link.

Going the Ad Hoc Distribution route enables you to distribute your application to up to 100 users without going through the App Store. Clicking this link leads you through the process. (The iPhone Provisioning Portal has more info about this option.)

9Click the Building Your Application with Xcode for Distribution link.

After you download the distribution profile, you can build your app for distribution. Clicking this link starts a well-documented process.

10On the Prepare App tab of the Distribution page, click the Verifying a Successful Distribution Build link to get the verification process started.

The documentation tells you to open the Build Log detail view and confirm the presence of the embedded.mobileprovision file.

11Choose Build→Build Results to open the Build Results window in Xcode.

Depending on the way the Build Results window is configured, you may see a window showing only the end result of your build.

12Change Errors & Warnings Only in the drop-down menu in the scope bar to All Messages.

This change gets the actual log of the process and confirms the presence of the embedded.mobileprovision file.