Enrollment OptionsBefore we take a look at the enrollment process, we first need to look at the enrollment options that are available. Which you choose depends heavily on your particular circumstances and at the time or writing, Apple provide four to choose from. They are:
- Individual Developer Program
- Company / Organization Developer Program
- Enterprise Program
- University Program
Individual Developer ProgramThis type of account is really aimed at the individual developer. Enrollment is currently $99/year (or the equivalent in local currency) and is aimed at sole proprietors or developers developing and publishing apps under their own name. This means that when their apps are published in the App Store, their name appears as the publisher. This, along with the Company / Organization Developer Program we’ll look at next, is the cheapest account that will let you deploy and run your apps on a physical hardware device such as an iPhone or iPad and is probably the most suitable membership for those who are just getting started.
Company / Organization Developer ProgramThe Company / Organization Developer Program is similar to the Individual Developer Program. You should choose this type of account if you are signing up on behalf of a company, non-profit organization, joint venture, partnership or government organization. This type of account is identical in price to individual enrollment ($99/year or the equivalent in local currency) and in almost all aspects the two types of enrollment are identical. The only real differences are that with a company / organization enrollment other users can be assigned to your account and when publishing apps on the App Store, the company name, not the individual is shown as the publisher of the app. The only other difference is the amount of documentation that is required to enroll. Significantly more identify verification documentation is required for a Company / Organization enrollment than for an individual enrollment (which requires little more than a credit card). Whether this is worth it for you is a decision you will have to make.
Enterprise ProgramThe third type of iOS Developer Program enrollment available is the Enterprise Enrollment. The main purpose of this type of iOS Developer Program is for companies who want to create proprietary iOS Apps and distribute them internally within their organization. At $299/year (or the equivalent in local currency), this program is more expensive than individual enrollment and does not allow distribution of apps via the App Store. You will usually know if you need to sign up for this type of account.
University ProgramThe final type of iOS Developer Program available from Apple is the University Program. This type of enrollment is really for academic programs at higher education institutes or accredited schools and allows iOS App Development to be added to their curriculum. It doesn’t have anywhere near the same benefits as the other types of iOS Developer Program and does not allow any sort of app publishing (either on an ad-hoc basis or via the App Store) so is only really useful for those who are enrolled in an app development course at school or university. If you need further information on the different types of iOS Developer Program enrollment more information can be found at https://developer.apple.com/programs/ Personally I found the table at the bottom of the page which provides a side-by-side comparison of each of the enrollment options pretty useful when I was trying to make my decision.
Enrolling in the iOS Developer ProgramNow that we have walked through the various options that are available when enrolling in the iOS Developer Program (and you’ve hopefully got an idea of which type of enrollment best suits you), in this section we’re going to take a detailed look at the enrollment process (specifically enrolling as an individual developer in the iOS Developer Program).
Initiating the Enrollment ProcessTo get started with enrollment process, fire up a browser and visit http://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/. Feel free to explore the links that Apple provides about the three high-level stages of iOS App Development; Developing, Testing and Distributing and when you’re ready, select ‘Enroll Now’. There are four major stages to the enrollment process namely:
- Choose Your Enrollment Type (we’ve pretty much covered that in the first part of this post)
- Submit Your Identity and Billing Information
- Agree to the iOS Development Program License Agreement
- Purchase and Activate Your Program