Distribution methods

You can distribute apps that are prepared using the MAM SDK in multiple ways - Play Console, Citrix Endpoint Management(CEM) console, or ADB, by using different file formats such as APK files or Android App Bundles. Google’s app bundle requirement for new apps after August 2021 does not affect Private Enterprise Applications. You can publish new private apps from the Play Console using either app bundles or APK files. When publishing apps through the Citrix Endpoint Management console, only the APK file format is accepted. This is because the Google Play private app iframe currently does not support the Android App Bundle format. For more information on publishing private apps, see Managed Google Play Help.

The following article describes the different methods available to distribute private apps prepared with the MAM SDK (MDX-enabled private apps):

Considerations for the distribution methods

The following are some considerations for the distribution methods:

  • Type of platform - Currently, Android Enterprise is supported.

Note: Legacy Android Device Administrator is not supported for MAM SDK.

  • File format - Android App Bundle or APK.
    1. Android App Bundle - You can publish your app bundle(.aab) directly on the Play console but not on the Citrix Endpoint Management console. To generate the .mdx file from the app bundle, extract the UNIVERSAL APK using bundletool and create the .mdx file with this APK.
    2. APK - You can publish the .apk file for private enterprise applications either on the Play console or on the Citrix Endpoint Management console.
  • Build - Debug or Release. As a developer, you might want to begin distributing your app one way (beta, tech-preview, testing, etc.) and switch to another method later.
  • Method of app publication - Use one of the following ways to publish your app:
    1. Play console - Add apps(.apk or .aab) directly on the Managed Google Play Store and then add the .mdx file to the Endpoint Management console.
    2. Citrix Endpoint Management console - Add apps(.apk) to the Endpoint Management console as ‘Enterprise’ apps and upload the .mdx file.
    3. ADB - Sideload debug build apps using ADB for quicker development - This requires steps 1 or 2 to be completed with the release build of the app.

Distribution chart

Primary distribution method Platforms Build Required files Comments Documentation links
Published directly on Play console Android Enterprise Release .apk/.aab AND .mdx Ensure that you sign the app with the certificate you will use to generate the .mdx file. This is applicable for all three methods of distribution. Distribution of MAM SDK/MDX-enabled private apps.
Using the “Enterprise” option on the CEM console Android Enterprise Release .apk AND .mdx To simplify your app management workflow, we have integrated the Managed Google Play iframe into the Citrix Endpoint Management console. This enables you to approve and publish public or private apps from the Citrix Endpoint Management console. You no longer need to move outside the console to the Managed Play or Developer portals to approve or publish apps. Quickstart guide and Extended documentation.
Sideload apps using ADB Android Enterprise Debug / Release .apk AND .mdx Debug builds cannot be uploaded to the Managed Google Play Store and need to be sideloaded. Quickstart guide.

Best practices for private apps.

Migrating from Device Administrator to Android Enterprise.

Add apps to Citrix Endpoint Management.

About Android App Bundles.

What a new publishing format means for the future of Android.

Distribution methods