Did you know: Location-Based Devices

Did you know

Jamf School Informational Series:

Location-Based Devices



Locations gives a myriad of options to accommodate any deployment, from app and profile scoping to setting up site-specific administrative roles. This article will explain the ways to deploy devices when using various locations within Jamf School. To learn more about how the Locations feature in ASM works in conjunction with the Locations feature in Jamf School, please refer to the Locations Overview article. 

Locations in Jamf School
Allows educational institutions to group devices by logical units such as location, district, or other parameters, thus making it easier to locate and organize individual devices. 


When doing a larger deployment of any type, there are a number of ways to ensure each device is assigned to the correct location. Assigning devices to locations is critically important not only from an inventory management perspective but from a device management standpoint as well. Jamf School Management System makes this easy by accommodating different ways to assign devices to locations before, during, or even after the devices are enrolled. 

There are four basic methods for assigning devices to locations:

    1. Make assignments to a location within Jamf School via Apple School Manager.
    2. Make assignments during an authenticated user enrollment. 
    3. Use placeholders to make assignments before enrollment.
    4. Manually moving devices between locations.

How To: Device Assignment Methods

Making Assignments via ASM:

This method is useful in situations where devices are not purchased or managed centrally. Each location within Jamf School can be registered as a separate MDM server inside of ASM. Because of this, once the devices are assigned to a specific location, that location can operate autonomously with regard to each of its devices. 

In order to use this method, it is necessary to complete the Devices (DEP) setup within Jamf School for each location. To do this:

  • Choose the desired location from the Locations menu on the top right of the Jamf School screen.


Locations Tab Organization
The top level location will always appear at the top of the Locations menu. The other locations will be presented in alphabetical order. Your currently-selected location will be notated at the top of the Jamf School screen this way: <top level name • location name>.
  • Go to Organization→Settings→Devices (DEP). Click the Apple School Manager button to begin the integration process with ASM.  


  • Once this is done you can simply assign available devices directly to the location within ASM.  


Clear and Consistent Names
Make sure to be clear and consistent when naming location instances inside of ASM.

Making Assignments During Authenticated Enrollment:

This is the preferred method of assigning locations when central IT staff is responsible for the deployment of a large-scale 1 to 1 that covers multiple locations. Due to the automation available within Jamf School, authenticated enrollment is by far the most popular way to assign ownership to devices and move them to specific locations.

To take advantage of this method, it is necessary to set up a DEP profile that requires authentication for enrollment and that makes the authenticated user the device owner. (For more information about authenticated enrollment, see the Authenticated Enrollment article in the 1 to 1 iPads Series). Once the enrollment is completed, the device will not only show as being owned by the authenticated user, but it will have been assigned to the location that the username is associated with.


Device Naming
In this case, the name of the device is set automatically through the use of device variables. Refer to the Payload Variables support article to learn more about automatic naming of devices.

Making Assignments Using Placeholders:

This method is especially useful for any shared-use environment (with or without a sign-in requirement) since multiple people will be using each device. A placeholder is a way to predefine attributes for a specific device before the device is enrolled. These attributes can include device name, asset tag number, group membership, and location assignment. 


A CSV template for assigning placeholders to multiple devices at one time can be found under Organization → Import/Synchronize → Import placeholders from CSV.  


Import / Synchronize Screen
This screen is useful not only for importing placeholders, but also for things like importing users, parents (for ZuluDesk Parent), and photos.

There are two strategies that can be used for importing placeholders. The first strategy is most useful when it is necessary to deploy a set of devices in multiple locations at one time. This can be accomplished by choosing the top level location (at the top of the Locations menu) before importing the placeholders.

The second strategy is best used when importing a significant number of devices into a single location. Choose the desired location before importing the placeholders. When populating placeholder information in the CSV, exclude the location column.

Manually Moving Devices Between Locations:

This method is the only one that can be used both pre- and post-enrollment of the device(s). Since the method is manual, it is most useful for deployments involving a small number of devices. In order to manually move a device, it must be assigned to the top level location’s MDM server in ASM. 

When moving a device that is not yet enrolled in Jamf School:

  • Choose the top level location from the Locations menu on the top right of the Jamf School screen. 
  • Go to Devices → DEP. Select the checkbox next to the device to be moved. Click the “Move to location” button. 


  • In the “Move to location” window that opens, select the new location from the menu.  


Conditions for Moving a Device
  • A device must meet the following conditions in order to be moved:
  • Is not already present in the new location
  • Is associated with a DEP token in the top level location
  • Has not been assigned a DEP profile OR has been assigned a shared profile
  • Has not been assigned an owner that cannot be moved

When moving a device that is already enrolled in Jamf School: 

  • Choose the top level location from the Locations menu on the top right of the Jamf School screen. 
  • Go to Devices → Overview. Select the checkbox next to the device to be moved. Click the “Move to location” button. 


  • In the “Move to location” window that opens, select the new location from the menu.  Screenshot_2018-11-30_at_13.15.32.png
Consequences of Moving a Device 

Some settings may be affected when a device is moved to a new location: 

  • Groups specific to the current location will be unlinked
  • Users assigned to the selected device will also be moved if possible which will unlink their groups and classes
  • If an assigned user cannot be moved, the device also cannot be moved


Dealing with Missing Devices: 

Especially in larger deployments, managing lost or stolen devices is a necessity. The number of missing devices is usually small when compared with the total number of devices being managed. Although IT staff may be aware that a device has been lost or stolen, it is not uncommon for these devices to get lost in the management system or forgotten about.

To simplify the management of lost or stolen devices, create a dedicated location for them.

  • Go to Organization → Locations. Click the “Add location” button. 


  • In the “Add location” window that opens, assign a descriptive label such as “Missing Devices.”  


Additional Recommendations

When a device is missing, here are some additional steps to take:

  • Be sure to set the device to Lost mode.
  • You may also create a Missing Devices DEP profile that skips all screens in the setup assistant.

If a device is lost or stolen, simply assign it to the Missing Devices location. If the device is later recovered, it can easily be reassigned to an active location and placed back into service.

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