Technology

Implementing Microsoft AppCenter for continuous integration and delivery

As time constraint in the software development process is becoming more demanding, ensuring fast and reliable project delivery has been one of the top priorities. To accomplish this mission, we have been searching for solutions to automate the application building process, and Microsoft AppCenter has been chosen to extend to various projects in our company.

A One-Stop Shop for DevOps

What is AppCenter? It’s a Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery platform that enables developers to upload small changes in the source code to repositories continuously. These changes are then automatically integrated into the application building process and delivered to selected tester groups and infrastructure environments.  

Visual Studio App Center has everything one needs to maintain the life cycle of mobile apps. This is the entire process from creating automated builds, testing on devices in the cloud, distributing to beta testers and uploading to app stores, and monitoring user’s usage through crash and analytics data. Furthermore, the center is efficient due to its availability on multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, even macOS apps. 

Notable features of AppCenter include

  • Automatic building from repositories, with support for environment variables to define various building environments. 
  • Automatic app testing on real devices from the AppCenter server. 
  • Automatic distributing to tester groups and app stores.
  • Analytic tools to monitor user downloads, bug reports, and overall stability of the project. 
  • AppCenter supports a wide range of platforms and operating systems, which is useful for multi-platform project deployment. Xamarin, Objective-C, Swift, Java, and React Native are supported across all of the features. 

Build

Using App Center, we can connect to Github, Visual Studio Team Services, or Bitbucket repo, configure fields, upload the necessary Keystore files and start building. All of this is done in the cloud, we can enable builds to “launch test” your apps to verify whether the app builds in real-world iOS and Android devices. We can even add post-clone, pre-build, and post-build scripts to customize our builds further.

Test

The Test feature will let us run automated UI tests for iOS and Android apps on real devices on the cloud. We can create tests using various test frameworks like Xamarin UI Test, Appium, Espresso, and XCUITest for iOS. Also, we can set the tests to run on every commit or manually. There are also screenshots of every test step and logs and stack traces so it’s possible to identify bugs and failures quickly.

Distribute

App Center uses the distribution technology behind HockeyApp so you can also release your apps to internal users, public beta testers, and even to Apple’s App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Intune.

Analytics

App Center has integrated Analytics in their platform so developers can easily analyze their apps once they have been distributed to their users. This helps us further understand our audience whenever they use our app.

Crashes

Crash reporting is also included in App Center and is a very useful feature that makes it easier for developers to monitor the health of their apps. Whenever your app crashes, App Center will guide us to exactly where in the code the error occurred, with full symbolization, which is a huge timesaver in debugging.


How DataHouse Asia can help your business with this technology?

Visual Studio App Center is currently being used as the DevOps tool of choice in several mobile app projects in EPH. App Center helps us easily set up and keep builds and releases streamlined and distributed to testers and customers and provides services for automated testing and monitoring of multiple mobile applications across different platforms.

DataHouse Asia – Reliable Partner for Technology Innovation in Vietnam

DataHouse Asia is a competent software development company trusted by SMEs with 100% successful project delivery. We are currently utilizing AppCenter for building the app from source code and distributing it to app testers and app stores continuously. This technology has cut down a considerable amount of time and effort compared to doing these jobs manually. As a result, your projects are delivered at a reduced timeframe, maximizing user satisfaction and profit margins.

Our team is constantly updating the latest AppCenter technologies to integrate them into our software development cycle, so that we can deliver the best solutions at the shortest amount of time to our clients, as well as streamlining the workload for our developers. Contact us: [email protected]

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