Jamf Blog
A Mac Admin uses Jamf Pro App Installers on a MacBook.
March 23, 2022 by Justin Clark

Getting to know App Installers

App Installers is part of Jamf Pro 10.37, saving Mac admins time and ensuring that end users have the most up-to-date versions of the apps they need.

App Installers Basics

App Installers is an important new way for Mac admins to stay on top of app lifecycle management.

Part of the Jamf App Catalog, App Installers is a curated collection of Jamf-managed and Jamf-provided installer packages that automate and streamline updating and deploying third-party apps. Jamf Pro automatically sources these packages from vendors, repackages them if necessary and then updates and deploys these titles to designated Mac machines in a Smart Group.

App Installers FAQs

Who can use App Installers?

We are supporting the use of App Installers for Jamf Pro Cloud customers only. We don’t support it for subscription on-premises customers as we rely on Cloud infrastructure.

When will App Installers be released?

App Installers shipped as a preview feature in the Jamf Pro 10.37 release.

Why is App Installers being released as a preview feature?

Getting App Installers into the hands of our customers as quickly as possible, and at a far larger scale than we can reproduce in testing, helps us to collect feedback from the get-go. We have a few improvements and adjustments we already know we'd like to make, such as the ability to publish a title to Self Service. These will be rolled out in future releases of Jamf Pro.

What will App Installers cost?

App Installers is being included at no additional cost for any Jamf Pro Cloud subscription customer, including Business and Enterprise plan customers.

Will I need to repackage App Installers titles?

No. If an original vendor package is suitable for deployment via MDM, it will work without repackaging. If not, Jamf will repackage them for you. All packages created by Jamf are code-signed by Jamf to make them suitable for MDM deployment.

Will uninstallers be offered as part of App Installers?

No. As removing software from a user's device is not an optimal user experience, it is unlikely that we will offer them.

What software titles will be offered as an App Installer?

We currently have approximately 700 actively-updated software title patch definitions available in our app catalog. We are currently reviewing all of these titles' policies to ensure that we may publish them as an App Installer.

How can a customer make a software title request?

Submit a new title feature request as you would request new titles for patch management. Some, we can add quickly. Those with more complex processes for approval will take a longer time to be added.

If an admin descopes a Mac from App Installers, will the software title be uninstalled?

If a machine is de-scoped from an App Installer, the title remains installed on the Mac. However, it will stop receiving updates from App Installers.

If the software title is removed or deleted from a Mac, will it be automatically reinstalled using App Installers?

It will not automatically reinstall the deleted version. However, a new version will be installed when an app releases an update. We hope to give a Jamf Pro admin control over this behavior in a future release.

Does App Installers support both Intel and Apple Silicon installers?

Yes, App Installers supports both Intel and Apple Silicon.

Will the Jamf Pro admin need to create separate workflows for each architecture?

No. If the original software vendor provides a suitable universal installer package, we will deploy that installer with App Installers. When a vendor provides separate installer mechanisms for Intel and Apple Silicon architectures, we will repackage the installer with our own custom wrapper that detects the architecture of the target Mac and deploys that appropriate payload for that architecture.

How will an admin know when new software titles are available as App Installers? How will an admin know if their Macs using App Installers are running the latest version of a software title?

While later releases will include this information in the App Installers interface, we suggest that customers create a report in Patch Management for each title that they want to track. Customers should also adjust the default inventory update for their machines to once per day.

How soon after a software vendor releases a new version of a software title will it be available as an App Installer?

In most cases, we publish updates to App Installers within one business day of an update being detected. For titles with large package sizes, which require more QA time, within two business days.

The software title an admin wants to use is available in different languages, which language version will Jamf be providing as an App installer?

If the original vendor provides a multi-lingual installer, we use that. If that’s not available, we use the en_US option in App Installers.

Can a Mac admin tell which of their enrolled Macs are compatible with a given App Installer?

App Installers performs a number of validations in the background. For instance, MDM commands are sent only to computers from the target Smart Group which have supported chipsets and that do not have the latest version of a given software title installed yet.

We are developing an expanded set of metadata that will provide admins information within the interface about a given version of a software title such as chipset architecture, minimum supported macOS versions and more. Our intention is that with subsequent releases, an admin won't need to verify if scoped computers are compatible.

Until this feature releases, if Mac admins are unable to perform these checks themselves, the installer package will be sent to the computer but the installation on the computer will fail.

Will current customers of the Kinobi Pro service continue to receive packages after App Installers launches?

Customers with active Kinobi Pro subscriptions will continue to receive the service until the end of their current subscriptions.

After that, we are retiring this service assisting customers with the transition to App Installers.

Need to know more?

Contact your Jamf Pro representative for more information.

Photo of Justin Clark
Justin Clark
Justin Clark, a founder of Mondada, is a director of product strategy in our Melbourne office.
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