Developers, Developers, Developers

21 July, 2011 11:00 by Simon S

We've talked about data and images, and while theres still more to relate on that score, I want to jump ahead and talk about the something you'll need to do to pull it all together.

You're going to need register in the iOS developer program.

Don't panic, it doesnt mean that you're going to have to become familiar with the intricacies of Objective C and XCode, it just means that you, or your organisation, have to stump up US$99 and jump through the hoops of the registration process. The cost is the same whether you register as an individual or a company. 

Joining the iOS Developer Standard Company Program requires entering into a legal agreement on behalf of your organisation. If you can do that, great! If not, you need to involve a person in your organisation who can. This involvement is going to be an ongoing commitment for that individual. Every time Apple updates the developer agreement they will need to log into the developer portal and check the I agree box (after carefully reading the agreement of course).

Plan on the initial process of getting registered taking a couple of weeks. You need to send through documentation proving that your organisation is real, and that the person who says they can enter into legal agreements can actually enter into legal agreements, and so on.

If your eyes have glazed over at this point, I'll be honest with you. You (or your organisation) don't have to become a registered iOS developer. You can get someone else thats gone through the registration process to compile and publish your Field Guide to the App Store. However, there are a number of downsides to this approach: 

  • In the App Store, your external developer appears as the seller of the App
  • You wont be able to access App Store stats.
  • If its a paid app, Apple sends the cash to the developer. 
  • You will have to use the same developer to make updates to the App


The last point is pretty critical. If you part company with your external developer, your existing Field Guide becomes an orphan. You could partner with another developer to get it back into the App Store, but the App Store sees it as new app. Customers with the old app wont get any updates that you push to the new app.

Registering your organisation as a developer may seem painful, but it's going to save you from a lot of problems later on.

All of this does'nt mean that you have to have in-house developers to publish a Field Guide. An external developer can compile the code and send you the binary. Your development team agent then submits the binary to the App Store.

Easy J


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About this blog

We've released the source code for MV's Field Guide Project under a MIT style license. This blog will help you identify all the material you need to collect so that you can publish a field guide of your own.

MV's Open Sourced Code on Github

View all Museum Victoria's apps

Blog authors

Simon S is the programmer behind the field guide app.

Simon O is the designer behind the field guide app.