How to Distribute iBooks with Apple School Manager & Meraki?

Getting noticed

How to Distribute iBooks with Apple School Manager & Meraki?

I'm trying to deploy some iBooks to my users. We are using Apple School Manager While I've had no trouble pushing out applications, iBooks is another matter. I can see it sitting in the System Manager folder, but when I try to download it, it just times out. Anyone had success deploying iBooks using ASM and Meraki? 


I think that part of the issue is that you cannot device assign iBooks. They are only user assignable. However, as ASM uses Apple Managed IDs and not email addresses, I cannot create a user. 


In my communications with meraki support, we learned that both email and apple managed id column had to be included. What I did was create a csv with these columns:


managedappleid (not positive this is how you name it)




Duplicate the managed apple id column in email column (where apple id's are essentially serving as email addresses). It will import and auto register.

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Kind of a big deal

You've touched on a major issue I have had since managed Apple IDs were implemented, the lack of the ability to push books to iPads based on serial numbers. We have not used Apple IDs for our students other than to designate who is using which iPad for Apple Classroom, though with Apple Schoolwork being released we likely will be rolling out Managed Apple IDs to every student. 


Unfortunately until Apple can give us the ability to push books to devices, something I've asked for for years, I don't know that there is an easy way to push books to Managed Apple IDs in Meraki.

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Okay, after toying with this for a while I have found a rather convoluted work around that is not a mass deployment solution by any means. 


Systems Manger --> VPP--> Add User

Instead of adding the Apple ID, add by the email address.

Instruct end user that when they get the link, they must log in via their Apple Managed ID (not a personal account).

After they do this, you can assign and push them books. They will not auto-deploy, they must open iBooks and then download.


This is not a universal solution for me as I have elementary students who do not all have email addresses. We also have shared carts. 


I cannot imagine the problem for those who have already associated a work email as an Apple ID. 

Kind of a big deal

You just triggered a memory of mine. Actually once you invite everyone you can download the CSV which contains links for everyone who needs accepted. Once you have this CSV file you can open those links on an Apple Device and Login with whichever account needs to have access. This "could" be used for a mass deployment but it would require you to login with every student's Managed Apple ID.


Are you utilizing Shared iPads in the classrooms with shared carts? At least with those the students would have access to their assigned iBooks on any iPad, "in theory."


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Good info, thank you.


I haven't even started my payload for shared iPads! Just trying to get the initial configuration and settings for 1:1!!

Just realized that that would also likely require you to go through temporary password creation/reset on every device... then temporary password creation again.... Talk about a headache! 

I have found another cumbersome work-around to assign books to students. However, again, this is not a mass deploy-able solution. Thanks to @vassallon for the trick on downloading the CSV file. That will work to get you the link that will properly trigger iTunes to launch and configure for distribution. Login with the Apple Managed ID (this must be done on a computer or unmanaged iOS device; computer is likely easiest). When prompted for a verification code, open up ASM, find the student, click on and click on their account. Next, click "verification code." It will generate a verification code for the student. Enter that code into iTunes, it will properly configure the account. Now you can assign iBooks to that user. Note the user must download the books manually from their 'purchased' tab. 

It does seem that Enterprise Books (e.g. an iBook created by a teacher) can be deployed by device and not by user.  

Getting noticed

I received this feedback from my engineer. He suggested I send a "make a wish." If you want this feature, I encourage you to do the same.


I have been investigating this issue internally and as per our Product Specialists, End users need to accept the email for the Apple ID to have licenses, like Book licenses, granted to it. However, there's no iCloud Mail on Managed Apple IDs per Apple:
There's a way to automatically accept invites from Managed Apple IDs, but SM does not have that built yet.
Although this feature is not available, we take our customer feedback seriously.  We encourage you to use the Meraki dashboard to "make a wish" and submit a feature request.  You can submit a feature request at the bottom of any dashboard page.
Any wish that is made sends an email to our Product Managers and Development Teams.  These wishes are taken into consideration and are used to help shape our product roadmaps.  The most wished-for items are incorporated into product development.



I am interested in where you are in this project.  I am trying to deploy iBooks as well and have run into similar roadblocks.

They do now allow you to upload a CSV with Apple Managed IDs. I have not tried it on the shared iPad.

we're a 1-to-1 program (year 3), so that I can do.  We were hoping to side step the whole managed apple ID but iBook DRM requires that, so we will issue the managed apple id's temp passcodes and verification codes.  When I upload the apple id's via the csv, will that avoid the need to accept the VPP invitation via email?

Yes, it does. It auto-accepts the invitation. 

I created the CSV files with column heads Email | Name | Notes and have attempted uploads 3 different times.  Each fails with no error message.  I added two users manually with managed ID's as emails but no auto accepts have occurred.   One of the two users has now automatically populated the user tags from the Apple School Manager and SIS integration - this gives me the courses assigned to the student.


Is there any other specifics to the CSV file?  The instructions say that all other fields will be ignored.

In my communications with meraki support, we learned that both email and apple managed id column had to be included. What I did was create a csv with these columns:


managedappleid (not positive this is how you name it)




Duplicate the managed apple id column in email column (where apple id's are essentially serving as email addresses). It will import and auto register.

Hi JCarey,  I am getting no support on this from Support or my Rep.  Any chance you can access the file layout that allowed you to do this?  It appears that this is undocumented anywhere.



See the post that I did above. Also make sure that you save it as a CSV. 

Thanks - I was hesitant to use the layout you posted since you said that you were not positive, but I will give that a shot.

I wasn't positive about the name for applemanagedid. If you name it incorrectly, it will give you an error message with the correct name. The layout is accurate.

*Wish made.  This is the first I've found any real info on the iBooks debacle.  I can't believe it's been a full six months and System Manager still hasn't addressed this.  Even if they don't have the auto accept invitation method built, just some instruction similar to this thread would be welcome.  So, thanks @JCarey for this.


Before I do a mass import I would like to clarify the actual field names you used. My "Owners" are all synced from Apple School Manager.  They already have the managed appleid in the email field in system manager, but the "Username" field is blank.  I'm guessing that this is where we need to duplicate the managed appleid - can you please verify?


These are the instructions that display on the Import CSV screen:


Thanks for the groundwork!

We have a different import screen. This is mine.



How are you accessing this? It should be System Manager --> VPP --> User Management --> Upload from CSV. Is that how you are accessing it?


I am still seeing the old version of the CSV upload screen / without the "ManagedAppleID" option.  I just cleared out all my users again and I am waiting for that to process to see if I can try @JCarey method again.  So far, it has failed both times.  I am thinking that @meraki_ has a slow and a fast ring when it comes to dashboard deployments.  

Do you have the ability to reach out to Meraki directly and ask them about this? I might have been part of a beta test, I'm not sure.

@JCarey  I have called support and my rep - short of thinking me crazy they don't see this as an option.  My rep promised to get MDM engineering resources involved but I have not heard anything as of yet.  I may have to prompt her again about the engineer.  This is like a unicorn that only you can see.

I just opened a case referencing this thread.  That screenshot may prove to be very helpful @JCarey

Thanks for the reply.  The import screen I referenced was from System Manager --> Owners (under the Configure heading).


When I try the import from System Manager --> VPP --> User Management I think I'm in the same boat as @m_lingenfelter because it does not reference ManagedAppleID



I have my CSV formatted and I just pushed 1400 users back into the cloud with the AppleManagedID column populated(no email).  PS:  MS Edge is iffy when trying to upload the CSV.  

My new file did nothing.  Very frustrating.

It's not an Apple thing, it's a Meraki thing. It works with other MDMs such as JAMF. Have you tried the "make a wish" feature to see if it would be added? That's how I got it a few months ago.

Boom.  As suspected, the screenshot helped.  As soon as I showed the difference between what I see and what @JCarey sees, they added the ManagedAppleID option.  @m_lingenfelter I suggest you open a case and attach the screenshot.  Thanks everyone.

Were you able to upload and auto-associate?

I was able to upload the list successfully but only 497 users associated out of ~1100.  I think I ran into a time out issue.  I will break this down into smaller chunks and reattempt.

@JCarey- is there any chance you are using a custom API to get the screen you referenced with the ManagedAppleID?  Support says this does not exist but can't explain that it associates emails to AppleID, nor do they want to watch me do it and they will not look at this community thread.


...Still frustrated trying to deploy iBooks.  Our Apple Engineer will be on site to make heads/tails of this mess of ASM app and iBook deployment.  I have wasted over 100 hours on this unicorn hunt.  Documentation from both parties is lacking.  Hope you are fairing better.

No. I got this option enabled by using the "make a wish" feature in Meraki. Another user on this thread was able to get it as well. 

Kind of a big deal

I really want Meraki to allow the user invite to happen via the Meraki MDM Self Service app. Then, the user can just go in an accept the invitation.

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