After a recent phone call with apple, it seems that the ipads we've been using mdm with for the last 3 years aren't set up correctly. I have been using meraki for DEP and pushing apps. Up until now, once the device syncs to the meraki it has asked to sign in with an apple id so the meraki can download the apps. I had created a generic apple id that I signed into on all the ipads, 100 of them. These ipads are used by K-1 students who don't sign in in any way, and all the ipads are identical.
Anyway, we have always had the annoyance of frequent pop ups asking to sign in. Recently the account is frozen any time I enter the password, which is why I contacted apple. The rep told me an account can't have more than 10 ipads, I should use school manager, etc. etc.
I have been playing with changing how the ipads receive apps and have no problem changing the way we deploy apps by switching to school manager and VPP and assigning the apps by device. However, I am wondering what appleid I should enter or if there is a way to not use one at all.
So far it seems that until I enter an appleid, the meraki pauses and won't push out all the settings. I have gone through the deployment guide and don't see any mention of what to do. I assume I shouldn't use a regular account since that can only be used on 10 ipads. I created a managed account, which works, but keeps popping up a message that it isn't authorized to purchase anything. Ideally, if there is a way to get the device to sync without entering any appleid, that would be preferred.
What I usually did was to make sure when I did setup the iPads was to not ask for passwords for free downloads. I also had a "Master iPad" where I would deploy the apps first then authenticate with "Apple ID" so then I could deploy the rest with no problem. I have had MDM legacy so I had to have many workarounds for the iPads. Granted I did have grades 1-5 for IDs and I didn't had trouble having more than 10.
The Apple ID you use for School Manager is also capable for using with VPP, you need just to activate Apps & Books, upload the token to Meraki and you are fine to go.
Reference to the Meraki docs for deploying apps through School Manager
I guess what I'm really hoping is for help figuring out how to get the meraki profile to sync without having an apple id at all. Since the apps are being deployed by device, it shouldn't need it, but currently the installation stalls until I enter an appleid.
Assign licenses to specific iOS or macOS devices, based on serial numbers. This allows for pushing applications without requiring the device to be signed in with an Apple ID, as well as silently installing apps without any end user input when used with supervised devices.
It should not be asking for an Apple ID. Perhaps try looking over the deployment guide again.
One thing to remember when pushing Apps through VPP/Meraki you need to make sure the App is set to device based licensing and you need to "purchase" app licenses through VPP.
There are two things to do in Meraki (which are a bit confusing) after you purchase an App in School Manager.
First sync the Account under Systems Manager -> VPP
After that navigate to Systems Manager -> Apps and add the desired App to this dashboard and configure the scope.
This should be it. Use the docs for reference and step by step description :).
Thanks for all the suggestions! Since I had a pre-existing profile set up with apps set to not use vpp, once I carefully went through, changed them all over, and made sure my test ipad was only getting apps through vpp, I reset it and the profile synced without asking for an apple id.
I guess if any app is set that way it causes the whole process to stop.
Thank you again!