it's like finding an app in an app store haystack


If you are reading this, it's possible, even likely, that you are diving into the awesomeness that is Microsoft Intune.  Maybe you are using it standalone or maybe you are in full blown UDM heaven and manage everything with the magic of ConfigMgr 2012 + Intune.  Sweet.

Say that you've been asked to publish a couple apps from the store to your mobile devices.  Say that you need to publish the Microsoft Yammer app to your managed iOS and Android devices.  Why Yammer?  Because it's awesome.  So, you basically need to go into your ConfigMgr console (this article assumes you are living in a UDM world), go to the Software Library, Select Applications, right click and choose Create Application.  For the type you will select either App Package for iOS from App Store (that's for the iOS devices, in case you weren't sure) or App Package for Android on Google Play (that is for the Android devices).

Once you select the appropriate app type the wizard is going to ask you for the location of the content, so it basically wants the http/https link to the app in the App Store or Google Play store.  You could click the Browse button and that particular store would open up in a window and you can hunt and peck and might eventually find what you are looking for in the thousands of apps that are available in these stores.  Or, you could apply a little logic to this and make it really simple.  So, when it's time to provide that http (or https) link for the location of the app, do this:

iOS apps

Use the iTunes Link Maker. What a catchy name! The URL for this is https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/us/.  Once you go to that site, it's pretty obvious what you need to do.  You enter the name of the app in the Search field, evaluate whether the country value should be left as USA, change the media type to iOS apps and leave Genre set to All if you want.  Click Search.  In the results pane below the search bar find the app that matches what you are looking for.  It just might be the first one on the list.  To the right of the app you are looking for you'll see iPhone app link.  Click it.  At the next window, locate the entry that appears below Direct Link.  That address is what you need.  Select that string of text (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yammer/id289559439?mt=8&uo=4 in this case), copy it to the clipboard, go back to the location field in the create app wizard and paste in the value.  The angry red exclamation point should go away.  Change the app name, publisher and other info as you see fit and continue thru the wizard.

Android apps

Google doesn't have a super cool name for their automated link maker thing, it's just Google play.  That's ok.  Go to https://play.google.com/store and enter yammer in the search field.  Locate the app you need from the matching search items and click on it.  Go up to the top of your browser and note the web site address for the yammer app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yammer.v1 in this case) and do the copy/paste deal again at the location field in the App Package for Android on Google Play wizard.  Change the app name, publisher and other info as you see fit and continue thru the wizard. 

Done.  Use the time you saved to get some fresh air.

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