Automating the Generation of iOS Push Notification Certificates

I have a large number (200+) of iOS applications. I needed to generate push notification certificates for each of them. If you've ever gone through the process, it can be a huge pain to do just a few. I needed to write a script to automate this process.

First, I created a ruby gem to access the Mac OS X Keychain App.

Next, I leveraged watir to actually login to the iOS provisioning portal and upload/download the necessary files.

First, make sure that you're using Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and that you have Chrome and Ruby 1.9.2 installed.

  1. Download chromedriver
  2. Move the binary to /usr/local

Next, run these commands:

git clone git://
gem install 'keychain_manager'
gem install 'watir-webdriver'
cd ./GeneratePushCerts

Modify the 'config.example.yml' file with your iOS developer/provisioning portal credentials. Rename the file to 'config.yml'.

You'll want to edit 'app.rb' and modify the END_WITH variable and set it to ''. I should have created a regular expression around line 60.

Run the app 'ruby app.rb'.

Let's take a look at some watir code from the file:

  browser.checkbox(id: 'enablePush').click() #enable configure buttons
  browser.button(id: 'aps-assistant-btn-prod-en').click() #configure button

  Watir::Wait.until { browser.body.text.include?('Generate a Certificate Signing Request') }

  browser.button(id: 'ext-gen59').click() #on lightbox overlay, click continue

  Watir::Wait.until { browser.body.text.include?('Submit Certificate Signing Request') }

  browser.file_field(name: 'upload').set(CERT_REQUEST_FILE)
  #browser.file_field(name: 'upload').click() #calls some local javascript to validate the file and enable continue button, unfortunately File Browse dialog shows up

  browser.button(id: 'ext-gen75').click()

  Watir::Wait.until(WAIT_TO) { browser.body.text.include?('Your APNs SSL Certificate has been generated.') }

  browser.button(id: 'ext-gen59').click() #continue

  Watir::Wait.until { browser.body.text.include?('Step 1: Download') }


  browser.button(alt: 'Download').click() #download cert

  puts('Checking for existence of downloaded certificate file...')
  while !File.exists?(DOWNLOADED_CERT_FILE)
    sleep 1

  Watir::Wait.until { browser.body.text.include?("Download & Install Your Apple Push Notification service SSL Certificate") }

  browser.button(id: 'ext-gen91').click()

You can browse the entire source code on Github.

I think watir is pretty intuitive and is a swiss army knife for automating the interaction with web pages. It's pretty slow as it's meant for testing, so I wouldn't use it for screen scraping, but it's served me well for this task.

If you made it this far, you should follow me on Twitter.


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