Mobile Build Services
Analytics and Diagnostics
The course is part of this learning path
This course dives into creating a DevOps strategy for mobile applications using the Visual Studio App Center. The App Center gives us a centralized location where we can implement build services, carry out mobile UI testing with multiple devices sets, create public and private distribution groups, and perform release management for our distribution groups.
Build services include tvOS, iOS, Android, Xamarin, and more. UI testing includes UI testing across many popular flagship devices and uses a tier system to gradually cycle out older devices as newer ones become available. Distribution groups allow for deploying new releases to multiple types of users and can be utilized across multiple applications or projects. This course explains many of the options and services available in the App Center and provides guided demonstrations with a mobile app to show how each of these available services works.
By the end of this course, you should know how to utilize App Center to implement a DevOps strategy for integrating and deploying a mobile application. If you have any feedback relating to this course, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Create an App Center account and build a new application
- Perform UI tests in both the App Center CLI and Azure DevOps pipeline
- Create public and private distribution groups and release apps to them
- Understand and use the analytics and diagnostics provided by App Center
This course is intended for DevOps and IT professionals who are looking to implement a DevOps strategy for mobile applications using Visual Studio App Center to build, test, distribute, and deploy their mobile applications. This course is also useful for those preparing to take Microsoft's AZ-400 exam.
To get the most out of this course, you should know how to build and upload mobile applications if you are not using the build tools provided by the App Center. You should know how to work with Node package manager and have NPM installed or know how to install it. You should also be fairly comfortable with using command-line interface tools.
You can find the project files for a sample mobile application in the following GitHub repository: https://github.com/kelsosharp/MobileDevOps
In this course, we've taken a deeper look at the Visual Studio App Center as the central means to implementing a mobile DevOps strategy. We were able to create many of the tasks that are needed to create a fully automated CI/CD pipeline for our mobile applications. And doing so has helped us to create a complete mobile DevOps strategy.
In the modules on build services, we looked at the various build configuration options, such as build signing and versioning. And in the demo on build services, we configured and signed our build for deployment to our distribution groups and the Google Play Store.
In the modules on UI testing, we talked about and demonstrated how to add a test series and test runs. We were able to use the App Center CLI and Azure DevOps to kick off our test runs, allowing us to test our application on our actual physical devices.
In the module on distribution groups, we were able to set up both public and private groups and invite users to those groups. We created and performed releases to these groups and we were able to automate builds from specific group branches to release our application to these groups.
We were able to use the App Center Distribute Task in the Azure DevOps pipeline to distribute our application to one of our distribution groups. This, combined with the App Center test task, resulted in a complete CI/CD implementation for our mobile application.
In the module on analytics and diagnostics, we talked about and implemented some basic logging and error handling, and we were able to send this data to the App Center. We were also able to track crash reports and learn that we can send additional error data to the App Center in the form of a list of key value pairs or file attachments. All of these options are available to give us a better understanding of the usage and issues in our application.
Mobile application development can be challenging and costly, but it doesn't have to be. The App Center provides us with a simple way to implement a mobile DevOps strategy by giving us simple, effective tools to create a completely automated CI/CD process. Not only that, it allows us to integrate with Azure DevOps. By combining these two service offerings, we get a much more powerful and flexible toolbox with which to create and customize our mobile DevOps strategies and automation processes.
As well being the owner and CTO of Sharp Solutions Group, a software development and IT staffing company based in the Philippines, Kelso is a Microsoft Certified professional and an avid knowledge seeker. His belief is that you need to learn something new each day to stay on top of the constantly changing IT world. He is an avid gamer (both video games and board games) and lives in the Philippines with his wife and soon-to-be-delivered son.