automated device enrollment

What is Automated Device Enrollment (ADE)?

The Optimal Solution for Apple Device Management

Automated Device Enrollment (ADE), previously known as the Device Enrollment Program (DEP), is Apple's flagship method for integrating enterprise-owned Apple devices into your Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, such as ADE is not merely efficient but also the fastest approach for enrolling a fleet of devices into an MDM system.

This article is part of our guide "Mastering Mobile Device Management Operations: A Guide for Admins".

A Glimpse into History: From DEP to ADE

Apple transitioned its Device Enrollment Program (DEP) to what is now known as Automated Device Enrollment (ADE) in 2019. This move was part of a larger shift to streamline various services under the umbrella of Apple Business Manager. While ADE is the term you’ll find most commonly today, remnants of the older terminology can still surface, particularly in legacy systems.

What Sets ADE Apart: The Benefits

Streamlining the Initial Device Setup

ADE minimizes the steps required for administrators or end-users after unboxing a new Apple device. This translates to quicker deployments and a better initial experience.

Enhanced Administrative Controls

ADE grants system administrators unparalleled control over enrolled devices. This is especially true when using the "Supervised Mode," which locks in management settings and prevents users from removing MDM profiles from their devices.

Long-term Management Security

Businesses aiming for long-term, secure device management should consider ADE as it allows organizations to lock MDM enrollment, ensuring ongoing governance over the device settings.

Preparing for ADE: The Prerequisites

Administrator Access

Make sure you have administrator access to your MDM platform, for instance, to, to start the ADE process.

The Need for an Apple Push Certificate

Managing Apple devices via any MDM solution requires an Apple Push Certificate. This ensures encrypted and secure communication between your MDM solution and the Apple devices in your network.

Apple ID

Having an Apple ID is a prerequisite for acquiring an Apple Push Certificate. If your organization has not yet set up an Apple ID, you can easily create one via the Apple Push Certificates Portal. For organizational purposes, utilizing a Managed Apple ID is recommended.

Eligibility Criteria for ADE

Device Requirements

ADE is available for Apple devices running iOS 7 and above or Macs with OS X Mavericks 10.9 or higher.

Procurement Channels

Devices must be purchased either directly from Apple or through authorized resellers or carriers for eligibility. Existing or donated devices can also be integrated using Apple Configurator.

Adding Devices to Apple Business Manager for ADE

When Buying from Apple

Organizations purchasing directly from Apple will receive an Apple Customer Number. This must be added to your Apple Business Manager (ABM) account as a device supplier under the 'Device Management Settings'.

When Buying from Resellers

In case the procurement is through a reseller, it's crucial to inform them of your Organization ID and obtain their Reseller ID. Add this information to your ABM account to ensure that the devices are aligned with your management solution.

Legacy Devices: What About Them?

Devices purchased before setting up ADE can also be incorporated into your existing system. Most iOS devices, regardless of their origin, can be added via Apple Configurator 2. If bought from a reseller, contacting them for late enrollment is also an option.

Getting Started with ADE and

If your enterprise already utilizes Apple Business Manager, integrating it with’s MDM solution forms the final step in setting up ADE for your organization. This ensures a seamless, secure, and efficient device management ecosystem for your Apple devices.

Learn more about our integration with ADE.

By incorporating these key points about Automated Device Enrollment, businesses can significantly enhance their mobile device management strategies, aligning them with industry best practices.

Jérémy Bodokh
September 12, 2023

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