Recently I went to create a new Distribution Provisioning Profile for our Mac app. I got the error "No AppIds are available - You need an App ID to configure a Provisioning Profile.". Hmmm, that's odd. This app has been in distribution for more than 5 years. But, it turns out, the only AppId we have is the wildcard.
So I go to re-create a new AppId with our explicit bundle id. But it won't let me: "An App ID with Identifier '...' is not available. Please enter a different string".
Well that's wierd. Sounds like it's in Apple's database, but I just can't see it.
So I contact developer support. After a few rounds with support 'bots that simply point me to the documentation for how to create an AppId etc., I finally get a response from a real human. Bottom line - our AppId is "registered to a different user", and I can't use it. The Apple support person suggests simply using a different bundle id.
Ironically, among the links in the response email is one that highlights precisely WHY changing the bundle id of an existing app is a bad idea: https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/14005
But how could our AppId be "registered to a different user"? An AppId consists of a team id and a bundle id. The team id is associated with our corporate developer account, so nobody outside our organization could possibly have an AppId with our team identifier.
As it turns out, one of our long-time employees recently left the company. I suspect he was the person who originally registered the AppId way back. But when he left, we removed his AppleId from our corporate developer account. And somehow that seems to be preventing us from creating new provisioning profiles against that AppId.
This seems absolutely bizarre to me. Is the AppId really associated with an individual rather than an organization? We can't be the first developer organization to have had an employee leave the company?!? How do other companies manage this? It seems to me that we should have a single, common AppleId on our developer account that is tied to the business rather than an individual (with the password on a post-it note somewhere) and only use that account for creating codesigning artifacts.
Changing the bundle id for our app is out of the question because it would negatively impact our users (e.g. losing access to Keychain entries, for one thing).
Like I said, I can't believe we're the first organization to run into this. Any suggestions for how to resolve this (other than changing the app's bundle id)? I suppose I could try to contact the former employee, re-add them to our developer account, and ask them to kindly create a new provisioning profile for us ....
Or just tell our users that we're dropping support for the Mac and they should switch to a different platform.