Sandbox and Production push certificates explained

To develop and deploy the provider side of a client-server application, you must get SSL certificates from
the appropriate iOS Developer Program portal. Each certificate is limited to a single application, identified by its bundle
ID. Each certificate is also limited to one of two development environments, each with its own assigned IP
address:

■ Sandbox: The sandbox environment is used for initial development and testing of the provider application.
It provides the same set of services as the production environment, although with a smaller number of
server units. The sandbox environment also acts a virtual device, enabling simulated end-to-end testing.
You access the sandbox environment through an encrypted TCP socket connection to: gateway.sandbox.push.apple.com, outbound TCP port 2195.

■ Production: Use the production environment when building the production version of the provider
application. Applications using the production environment must meet Apple’s reliability requirements.
You access the production environment through an encrypted TCP socket connection to: gateway.push.apple.com, outbound TCP port 2195.

The provider communicates with Apple Push Notifications (APN) over a binary interface

The binary interface is asynchronous and uses a streaming TCP socket design for sending push notifications as binary content to the Apple Push Notification Service (APNs). There is a separate interface for the sandbox and production environments, each with its own address and port as mentioned above.

For each interface, you need to use TLS (or SSL) and the SSL certificate you obtained to establish a secured communications channel. The provider composes each outgoing notification and sends it over this channel to APNs.

Note:  The production push certificate works for both production and development. A development push certificate is not necessary since all Verivo deployments use a distribution profile by generating a certificate signing request. If you use a development certification for testing, you must re-install the Verivo push service with the production certification for production deployment. 

Resources:

http://appstudio.verivo.com/display/coredoc/Deploying+to+iOS+Devices#DeployingtoiOSDevices-Pushnotificationservicescertificate

https://developer.apple.com/appstore/push-notifications/index.html

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