Push notifications

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This article refers to Digital Publishing Suite. For the AEM Mobilearticle, see Send push notifications.

A push notification can inform the user that a new issue is available, and it can trigger a background download of the new folio if the app on a device running iOS 8 or later or if the app is enabled for iOS Newsstand. This is referred to as a background download push notification.

Standard push now includes the ability to send text messages, described later in this article. This is referred to as a text notification.

The push notifications feature is available only for multi-folio apps, not for single-folio apps. Users must agree to receive push notifications in order to receive background downloads or text notifications.

Understanding push notifications

The push notification experience is different for Newsstand and non-Newsstand apps:

Non-Newsstand apps

When the publisher sends a push notification for a new folio, that folio is downloaded in the background if users enable push notifications and are running a device with iOS 8 or later. On any iOS device, users see the red badge on the app icon with a number that represents the number of new folios for which push notifications have been sent. The badge is cleared when the user opens the app.

Push notification indicates that one new folio is available

Newsstand apps

The targeted folio is downloaded in the background for entitled customers who allow push notifications. When the publisher sends a push notification, a blue dot appears below the app cover in Newsstand until the subscriber opens the app. For both subscribers and non-subscribers, the cover image is updated to reflect the newest folio cover. Push notifications are required for Newsstand apps.

Subscribers to a Newsstand app see a blue dot below the cover image.

For information on creating the push notification certificates that Apple requires, see the iPad Publishing Companion Guide PDF.

Specifying push certificates

Specify push notification certificates and passwords using the Push Notifications Service on the DPS Dashboard.

Use DPS App Builder to indicate that your app is enabled for push notifications and whether you're using the Adobe push service or a third-party push service. Use the Push Notifications Service to specify your push certificates and passwords. Push certificates are stored on a server, not in the app itself.

When push certificates expire or are within 30 days of expiring, an alert message appears when you sign in to the Push Notifications Service.


Upload each production and development certificate separately, not as a file that includes multiple push certificates. If you upload a file with multiple certificates, only one of the certificates is detected.

  1. In DPS App Builder, build an app using the appropriate Application account, and enable push notifications. Make sure that you have used the Apple iOS Developer site to enable your App ID with push and to build the push certificates.

  2. Sign in to the DPS Dashboard using the Application role account. 

  3. Click Notifications.

  4. In the Notifications window, click the Certificates tab.

  5. To specify certificates, click the gear icon, and then specify the .p12 push certificate files and passwords.

    You can use the Notify button in Folio Producer Organizer to send a push notification. Clicking Notify launches the Push Notifications Service.

Sending a background download push notification

Use the Notifications option to send push notifications. You can schedule a push notification to be triggered at a time you specify. This feature is especially useful when used together with the option to schedule a folio to be published.

  1. Sign in to the DPS Dashboard (https://digitalpublishing.acrobat.com) using the Application role account.

  2. Click Notifications.

  3. In the Notification window, click the plus icon, and choose Background Download.

  4. Select a folio, and then click Next. The folio you select can be downloaded in the background.

  5. Specify the following options:

    • Specify the application type and schedule and date and time for the push notification to occur.
    • For iOS 8 devices, indicate whether you want to send a text message to users who are not entitled to the folio but who have agreed to receive push notifications. Users can then act on the push notification or tap to be reminded later, at a time you specify.

  6. Click Send to either send or schedule the push notification.

    The scheduled push notification appears in the Notifications window. You can select and cancel the scheduled push notification before the scheduled time.

If you set up folio renditions, you don't need to send a separate push for each rendition. Simply send a push for one of the renditions.  

Sending text notifications

By sending custom text messages, you can encourage repeat readers and subscribers on iOS devices by alerting readers of new content in your multi-folio app. Text notifications work with any viewer version, but certain options are available only for v30 or v31 or later apps.

  1. Sign in to the DPS Dashboard (https://digitalpublishing.acrobat.com) using the Adobe ID with the appropriate Application role.

  2. Click Notifications.

  3. Click the plus icon, and then choose Text Notifications.

  4. Change the following settings, and then click Next.

    Specify what happens when the reader taps the text notification.

    Launch the app When the user taps the text notification, the app launches in its current reading position.

    If you have a v30 or later app, you can use the following options:

    Launch the app and go to library When a user taps the text notification, the app launches and displays the library.

    Launch the app and go to a custom slot When a user taps the text notification, the app launches and displays the web view of the custom store or which custom slot you specify.

    Go to a link When a user taps the text notification, the web page of the URL you specify is displayed.

    If you have a v31 or later app, you can use the following option:

    Launch the app and go to an article within a folio When a user taps the text notification, the article in the folio you specify is opened as soon as the app is launched. If your app includes both iPad and iPhone folios, separate pop-up menus are available for each device type. If you set up folio renditions, make sure that the article names between the folios are identical.

    Specify an article to open when the user taps the text notification.

    Type the text notification message that you will send to users, and then click Next.

  5. Specify the following options:

    Text notification settings

    Application Type

    Select whether to send the notification to a test app (Development) or to the live app (Distribution).

    Target Audience

    Specify the target of the text notifications. For example, you can select iPhone to send the text notification only to customers who have downloaded the iPhone version of your app.

    You can also send the text notification to users who haven't used the app in more than 30 days.

    If you have a SiteCatalyst analytics account, you can gather information for a subgroup of customers in a CSV file. You can then specify this CSV file when sending your text-based push notification. For detailed information, see Segmented Push Notifications in DPS Developer Center.

    Notification Time

    To schedule text notification delivery for a later time, select Custom, and then choose a date and time from the calendar icon. You can also edit the text to change the date and time.

  6. Click Send to send the text notifications or to submit the scheduled text notification to the queue.

    You can view a history of the text notifications sent for the app. If a scheduled text notification has not yet been sent, you can click Cancel to cancel the text notification.

Text notification displayed on an iPad

Text notifications appear on any iOS device in which the app is installed and the user has opted in to receive push notifications.

HTTP Status message of 417

If you receive an HTTP 417 status message when attempting a push notification, an SSL connection with Apple APNS cannot be made using the push notification certificate. Make sure that the push notification certificate is valid and not expired.

Setting up third-party push notifications (Enterprise only)

When using DPS App Builder to create your custom viewer app, you can use the Adobe push notification server, or you can specify your own push notification server.

Many different options are available for creating a third-party push notification server. When setting up your server, note that the viewer sends the following information:

newsstandEnabled    => 0 (this is ‘8’ when newsstand is enabled) 
badgeEnabled    => 1 
token => <device specific token> 
soundEnabled => 2 
devId => <device_specific guid> 
alertEnabled => 4 
targetDimension => <device specific string>

Besides accounting for these basic properties, you can create additional properties. For example, if you use the same push server for multiple applications, specify an additional name/value property (such as “app => cycling”) when setting up the server. In the DPS App Builder, specify these additional properties in the Custom Push Parameters field of the Provisioning panel.


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