Certificates and Identifiers

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last updated: 2017-03

This guide walks through creating the necessary Certificates and Identifiers that will be required to publish a Xamarin.Mac app.

Contents

This article will cover the following topics in detail:

Certificates and Identifiers

Visit the Apple Developer Member Center to configure the Mac for development. The main menu is shown below:

The Apple Developer Member Center

Click on the Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles link:

Selecting Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles

Next, click on the Certificates Link under the Mac Apps section:

Selecting the Certificates link

Click on the All link and click the + button:

Selecting all and adding a new item

From here download the Intermediate Certificates (Worldwide Developer Relations Certificate Authority and Developer ID Certificate Authority) if required. However, these should automatically be setup for the developer by Xcode.

The remainder of this section walks through each of the four sections to complete a Mac Developer Account setup.

  • Register Mac App ID – The developer will need to follow these steps for each application they write.
  • Register macOS Systems – This is only required when adding computers to test with.
  • Create Certificates – Only required once when seting-up the certificates, and later when renewing them.
  • Create Provisioning Profile – The developer will need to follow these steps for each new application written, and when adding new systems.

Click the Overview link at the top left of the page to return to this menu at any time.

Register Mac App ID

The developer needs to register an App ID for each application written. Use the steps below to create an entry for a basic sample app called “MacWriter”.

  1. Enter a App ID Description and select any App Services that the application will require:
    Entering the description and app services
  2. Enter a Bundle ID for the app and click the Continue button:
    Entering a bundle ID
  3. Verify the information and click the Submit button:
    Verifying the information

Some App Services might require further configuration (for example, iCloud). If that is the case, select the new App ID just created and click the Edit button:

Editing the new app ID

To configure the iCloud services, click the Edit button:

Configuring the iCloud services

From here the developer can configure the databases that they will be using:

Configuring the databases

Register macOS Systems

To create a provisioning profile for testing, the developer will need to have their Mac computers registered. They can register a maximum of 100 computers for testing their Mac Apps.

In the Mac Developer Center, select All from the Devices section and click the + button:

Adding a new computer

Enter a Name and the UUID of the computer to add and click the Continue button. Review the information and the click Register button:

Entering the new computer information

Create Certificates

Use the Certificates section to create several different types of certificates that will be used to sign Mac Applications:

Creating a new certificate

There are three main types of certificate:

  • Mac Development Certificate – Optional for general app development, but required if the developer plans to use features like iCloud or push notifications. The developer will need a Development Certificate before they can create Provisioning Profiles that allow them to access those features.
  • Mac App Store – The developer will need a certificate for their app and another certificate for the installer.
  • Developer ID – Certificates for the app and installer if choosing to distribute outside the Mac App Store.

The following sections will provide examples of creating each of the above certificate types.

Mac Development Certificate

As mentioned previously, Mac App Development Certificate isn't required unless macOS features like iCloud or push notifications are being used.

Do the following to created a new Development Certificate:

  1. Select the Mac Development radio button and click Continue:
    Adding a development certificate
  2. The next screen explains how to use Keychain Access to create a certificate signing request file to upload:
    The keychain access upload screen
  3. Choose a meaningful Common Name for the certificate, so that it’s easily recognizable later when the final certificate is created. Remember where the file is saved, so it can be found in the next step:
    Exporting a certificate
  4. A certificate request file (extension .certSigningRequest) will be saved locally on the Mac. Remember where it is saved (the default locationis the Desktop) it will need to be chosen in the next step:
    Uploading the certificate file
  5. Click Download to get the certificate and double-click to install it in the Keychain:
    Downloading a development certificate
  6. Click Download to get the certificate and double-click to install it in the Keychain. The Developer Certificate Utility will show the certificates like this:
    The Developer Certificate Utility
  7. It will also appear in the Keychain like this:
    The certificate in Keychain Access

As previously mentioned the Developer certificate is not always required unless the developer is implementing macOS features like iCloud and push notifications. It is also required to create a Development Provisioning Profile, which will be needed to test Mac App Store apps.

Mac App Store Certificates

To release an app on the App Store, Mac App Store certificate that will be used to sign the application and the Mac Installer Package will need to be created.

  1. Select Mac App Store as the certificate type and click the Continue button:
    Creating an App Store Certificate
  2. Select the type of certificate that to create (one of each type to release to the App Store will be needed):
    Selecting the certificate type
  3. The next page explains how to use Keychain Access to generate a certificate request file. Follow the instructions:
    Generating the keychain request
  4. Choose a descriptive Common Name – for example use the text “App Store Application” in the name:
    Entering a descriptive name
  5. A certificate request file (extension .certSigningRequest) will be saved locally on the Mac. Remember where it is saved (the default location is the Desktop):
    Saving the certificate
  6. Click Download to get your certificate and double-click to install it in the Keychain:
    Downloading the App Store certificate
  7. Click Continue and follow the exact same steps to download another certificate, this time it will be for the installer:
    Selecting the installer
  8. Choose a descriptive Common Name – for example use the text “AppStore Installer” in the name:
    Setting the name of the certificate
  9. A certificate request file (extension .certSigningRequest) will be saved locally on the Mac. Remember where it is saved (the default location is the Desktop):
    Uploading the certificate
    Downloading the distribution certificate
  10. Click Download to get the certificate and double-click to install it in the Keychain. The Developer Certificate Utility will show the certificates like this:
    The Developer Certificate Utility
  11. The two new certificates will now be visible in the Keychain:
    The certificate in Keychain Access

Developer ID Certificates

To self-release a Xamarin.Mac application (not release via the Apple App Store), the developer will need a Developer ID Certificate to sign the app for release and installation.

Do the following:

  1. From the Certificates section, start by click the + button, then select the Developer ID radio button:
    Adding a developer ID
  2. Click the Continue button and select the type of Developer ID to create:
    Selecting the developer ID type
  3. Two will be required, one to sign the application itself and one to sign the application's installer. Be careful when naming the certificate requests for these keys: use descriptive names that include the text Application and Installer so they can be distinguished later.
  4. The next screen will gives detailed directions on how to create the certificate, click the Continue button:
    How to create the certificate
  5. Choose a descriptive Common Name – for example use the text “Developer ID Application” in the name:
    Entering a name for the certificate
  6. A certificate request file (extension .certSigningRequest) will be saved locally on your Mac. Remember where it is saved (the default location is the Desktop):
    Uploading the certificate
    Downloading the developer ID
  7. Click Download to get the certificate and double-click to install it in the Keychain.
  8. Click Continue and follow the exact same steps to download another certificate, this time it will be for the installer.
  9. Choose a descriptive Common Name – for example use the text “Developer ID Installer” in the name:
    Entering a common name
  10. A certificate request file (extension .certSigningRequest) will be saved locally on the Mac. Remember where it is saved (the default location is the Desktop):
    Uploading a certificate
  11. The certificate is then available for download – click the Download button before clicking Done:
    Downloading a certificate
  12. Click Download to get the certificate and double-click to install it in the Keychain. The Developer Certificate Utility will show the certificates like this:
    The Developer Certificate Utility
  13. The following items visible in the Keychain:
    The certificate in Keychain access

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.