Apple School Manager
Apple School Manager is a simple, web-based portal for IT administrators to deploy iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac computers all from one place. When used with your mobile device management (MDM) solution, you can configure device settings and buy and distribute apps and books. And Apple School Manager integrates with Student Information Systems (SISs), SFTP, and federated authentication with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) so you can quickly create accounts with school rosters and classes.
When you first sign in to Apple School Manager, a Setup Assistant walks you through the steps, such as creating roles for your staff and connecting to your MDM solution and supported Student Information System.
Apple School Manager requires MDM and some MDM vendors offer enhanced support beyond the basic functionality for Apple School Manager.
Apple has received certifications of conformance for Apple School Manager.
Note: To learn whether Apple School Manager is available in your country or region, see the Apple Support article Availability of Apple programs for education and business.
You use federated authentication to link Apple School Manager to your instance of Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD). As a result, your users can leverage their Microsoft Azure AD user names and passwords as Managed Apple IDs. They can then use their Microsoft Azure AD credentials to sign in to their assigned iPad or Mac and even iCloud on the web. Students can also use it to sign in on Shared iPad.
Microsoft Azure AD is the Identity Provider (IdP), which contains the user names and passwords for the accounts you want to use with Apple School Manager. Federated authentication uses Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) to connect Apple School Manager to Microsoft Azure AD. See About federated authentication.
Link with your Student Information System (SIS)
Apple School Manager allows you to securely integrate with your Student Information System (SIS). After you’ve authenticated and connected your SIS, specific information—such as management, staff, teacher, student names, and classes—is copied into Apple School Manager. You can then assign roles to your staff, teachers, and students, and set their initial passwords. Apple School Manager periodically updates changes from your SIS. At no time is data written back to your SIS. See Integrate with your Student Information System (SIS).
Upload accounts or create them manually
You can add accounts manually by uploading account information in CSV files using a Secure File Transport Protocol (SFTP) app, or you can create them right in Apple School Manager. To reduce the possibility of errors, Apple School Manager has CSV templates you can download and use. See Import accounts with SFTP.
Assign devices to your MDM solution
After you enroll in Apple School Manager, you can add manager accounts for users who are authorized to access the web-based portal. From the website, you’ll establish one or more servers for your MDM solution. You can add servers any time.
You assign eligible iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS devices and Mac computers to your MDM solution by order number or by serial number. Devices must meet the following criteria to be eligible for assignment:
They must have been ordered on or after March 1, 2011, and purchased directly from Apple using your enrolled and verified Apple customer numbers.
They must have been purchased directly from a participating Apple Authorized Reseller or carrier and linked to that reseller’s Reseller ID. The actual date of eligibility is determined by your participating Apple Authorized Reseller or carrier’s sales history, but the date can’t be before March 1, 2011.
Purchase apps and books in bulk
Because Apple School Manager and your MDM solution work together, your organization can buy content in volume, assign them to devices or users, and then install and update them wirelessly, even if the App Store is disabled.
You can also revoke and reassign apps to different devices and users. In this way, your organization retains full ownership and control of purchased apps. You can assign the apps you buy through Apple School Manager to any devices or users in any country where the app is available from the App Store in that country. See Apps and books overview.