What is the best way to distribute our enterprise app at an upcoming conference with over 200 people using the Solution. We had developed an entitlement server for the previous version of dps, and don't have time to update the server to the new api.
Ideally, I would like everyone to download the app before hand, but not be able to view content till I give them a password.
Is this feasible via subscriptions or metered content?
Sign on (password use) will involve entitlement, if you want to require that you'll need to build out some level of entitlement.
Subscriptions are either available through entitlement or purchase. So I don't think that's what you're looking for, nor is metered content.
Without entitlement, you don't have a solid control on availability. You could make the app available with some general content, and then publish the evening before you want it to be available.
App distribution (assuming you're building for iOS) —
As long as you're building the app for use only by members of your enterprise and you're an iOS Enterprise Developer, then you should be able to sign the app with your enterprise credentials and distribute it through an MDM or via an HTML page. But only for employee use - no contractors, no vendors, not for the public. The following two links cover this topic for DPS 2014, but I don't think the process has changed in DPS 2015. You're asking about app distribution, and that hasn't changed.
I already have the app ready to distribute via an html link, no problem there.
I am more concerned with 200 people in a conference room trying to download it at once with an unknown connection as we don't want them to have access until we start the conference, but already have the content downloaded, but they just can't access it all yet.
Even with entitlement, they wouldn't be able to pre download content correct?
This is a bit tricky because you want users to download content that they don't yet have access to, but DPS apps don't let users download content unless they're entitled to it, so something needs to give.
One option is to create the collection (or collections) and then submit a background push before the event. Users could then have the content downloaded onto their devices beforehand. But then they'll have access to the content before the conference session, which you don't want.
Another option is to publish the collection right before the session and then ask users to download the collection. As you mentioned, this is risky, because you'd be dealing with WiFi access in a conference setting, which can be unreliable.
There's another option that I would test before trying. Create a collection, publish it, and send a background notification to your users. The collection should be a descendant of the top-level collection (for example, it could be a collection added to your "home" page), but you need to do something to prevent users from seeing the contents until you're ready. For example, you could create an invisible card for the collection, or you could create a card that has more columns than its layout, which prevents it from being displayed in the layout. That way, the collection could be downloaded but not available. Then, when you're ready, you update the collection so that it will appear, and users will then tap the update button to expose the card and view their already downloaded collection. I would experiment with that approach.
Bob's idea of using an oversize card design to hide content is beautifully sneaky.
It'll hide the existence of a collection (or even articles) but won't address your concern about simultaneous downloads in an unknown wifi environment.
It's wonderfully sneaky.
The key to the oversize card approach is getting the background download to work so that most users have the hidden collection downloaded before the session. With a regular distribution app in the store, that's easy. Just send the distribution background push, and you're done. But you'll need to get background downloads to work with an Enterprise-signed app. Test that out, and let us know if it works.