By Abby Starr | PM & Chris Baldwin | Principal PM - Microsoft Endpoint Manager - Intune
It’s a common practice for an organization to require pre-production testing for new versions of apps before releasing them to everyone. Starting in the April 2020 release, IT administrators can use Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) – Intune – to manage deployments of apps from Managed Google Play’s pre-production tracks for Android Enterprise devices. For example, you may want to establish a private “early adopter” group that will be given access to the pre-production release to gather feedback. Once your app has been validated, you can use Intune to publish the app to all users. These capabilities are available for any current and future Android Enterprise management scenario that uses Managed Google Play – work profile, dedicated, and fully managed.
About Managed Google Play tracks
Tracks is a feature of Google Play for use by app developers. To use pre-production tracks with Intune, you will need to be familiar with how to publish pre-production apps to Play using these tracks. To familiarize yourself with this feature of Google Play, refer to Google’s app developer/publisher guidance here:
To use the tracks feature, the following prerequisites must be in place:
How to find your Organization ID:
This graphic depicts the general workflow for using Play’s pre-production tracks.
First, the app publisher/owner needs to publish the pre-production build to Play. Then, the app publisher/owner needs to enable the pre-production track to be visible to a specific MEM tenant by pasting in the Organization ID that corresponds to that tenant. Finally, the IT admin uses the MEM console to control to which AAD groups to individual tracks should be published.
Adding MEM tenants to a Google Play closed pre-production track
Once you have an app build published to a pre-production track under a closed test, you will need to add your Intune tenant’s Organization ID to the track so that the app track is visible within the MEM console.
MEM IT Admin Distribution Workflow
After you’ve added your tenant’s Organization ID, be sure to sync your Intune tenant with Managed Google Play to pull in the latest configurations. It may take a few minutes before the changes made in the Google Play console are propagated and are visible.
The flow for assigning a production version to a group that currently exists isn't any different from assigning a non-production channel. Once the app track information is sync’d into MEM, if an app has a pre-production track you will see a “Tracks” column when creating Assignments for apps.
To assigning a track to a group, click on the Tracks column to select which track to assign:
If you assign multiple release tracks to the same group, the resulting installation will always be the track that has the highest version number.
We hope this article was helpful! Feel free to reply back on this post if you have additional questions or comments.
Blog post updates:
3/2: An update to the "Other considerations" section to note that "Required" deployments of pre-production tracks are not available for devices that are personally owned with a work profile at this time.
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