3 Reasons Why as an iOS Developer, You Need Continuous Delivery
Continuous Delivery is the answer iOS developers have been seeking to help automate their recurring chores of continuous release management, that is, getting their apps from Xcode to the hands of their testers and users.
Whilst carving out as much time toward functionality and bug development, a significant number of iOS developers still continue to build and release iOS app updates to their testers and app store manually. Their release managementstrategy consist of building and exporting an ipa on Xcode to validate their latest iterations with their testers on TestFlight, manually fumble with their provisioning profiles and certficiates and having to deal with the laborious chore of push updates to the App Store regularly, wasting valuable time and in most cases possibly introducing human error into the mandane tasks. This is where Continuous Delivery comes to the rescue of mobile developers. Here are the 3 Reasons Why as an iOS Developer, You Need Continuous Delivery:
#1 Instant Releasing
By focusing on what they do best, developers are spending less time on fiddling with Xcode, iTunes Connect and the Developer Portal dealing with provisioning profiles, certificates, and all the quirks that come with the process of preparing for, and in fact distributing your app to TestFlight, and the App Store.
Instead of being hassled by your product manager for an update on your app, you can instead lean on continuous delivery to automate the process so that you can either have a regular daily TestFlight internal distribution, or by leveraging continuous integration platforms like Jenkins CI, you can distribute new iOS apps based on new code merges into the repos.
From Xcode to iPhone can be quite a tedious process and allowing automated systems to take on those tasks in logical sequence, your product manager is happy, as are your customers to anticipate a new fresh build of your app instantly.
Facebook amongst other prominent successful companies release regularly to the App Store, regardless of the size and scope of changes, whether it is every week, or every second week, and this is important because it calibrates customer expectations that can solicit instant responses.
#2 Instant Responses
The only way product owners can validate features and functionalities, is through actually using the app. Crowdsourcing your app to beta testers can further validate concepts and ideas, as well as catch obscure bugs that you may not have caught through being too close to the project.
Continuous Delivery ensures your product owners, beta testers and actual users get regular recurring updates without having to have a developer manually release the app each time, resulting in instant responses, with the ability to act on a fix or feature re-development, in the same way continuous integration allows for developers to react to code errors instantly.
#3 Minimize Risks
Contemporary development practices have shifted towards continuity over the past 5 years or so, providing teams with the ability capability of testing code on a continual basis. In a market where startups demand instant feedback, continuous integration has stepped into ensure that new code pushes don’t break existing functionality. On a micro-level, developers have also been pursuing the mantra of continuous testing as part of test-driven development, giving the onus on individual developers to ensure code fails until it passes through a series of test cases and suites.
Being able to resolve issues quickly through a shorter turnaround time receiving feedback from users, you reduce the risks that you would normally anticipate with longer release cycles. Having to rely on the ceremony of large releases with massive changes, means you would have committed development time and effort into initiatives that have not been validated, you may in fact mask techincal debt and problems through an unmanageable transcript of code changes and wider code coverage. Shorter iterations equates to lower risks, period.
Doron Katz is the author of the book Continuous Delivery for Mobile with Fastlane, your quintessential guide to Learning continuous deployment and automation from code- signing, continuous testing, building, deploying and releasing of your app.