From Code to Google Play: Release your Apps Automatically with Continuous Delivery


We are embracing a world where thermostats automatically adjust and sprinklers automatically water, why shouldn’t your releases be automated? Continuous delivery is a natural extension of continuous integration. It allows you to develop faster, collect feedback earlier, and ultimately produce happier customers. We have received feedback from numerous customers asking for the capability of releasing a build directly to the store.

We introduced the ability to automate the process to release your app directly to app stores for successful builds, without the need to do any manual work. You don’t need to worry about manually downloading the releases and symbols, then upload the build for distribution and the symbols for diagnostics. Everything is taken care of by your automated builds, so that you can focus on writing code and delivering value.

From Build to Google Play

The first thing you need to do is to connect to your Google Play account from App Center. This document explains all the details involved: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/appcenter/distribution/stores/googleplay
 

 
Once the store is connected, we are ready to set up the build configuration to automatically publish the app every time a build succeeds!

Go to the build service and update the configuration to sign the build. Once enabled, you will be able to see the stores you connected are now available, then select the desired store. Optionally, you can provide the release notes for each release. By default, it uses the commit message of the commit that is being built.
 

 
Now you can save and start a new build. Once the build is completed, you will find the release in the store.
 


 

Automate your Release Pipeline using App Center APIs

App Center is designed with API-first mentality. How do you enable this functionality with API? First and foremost, get the existing store connections:

GET https://appcenter.ms/api/v0.1/apps/owner-name/app-name/distribution_stores

In the response, look for service_connection_id of the connection you intend to use to configure the branch later.

The next step is getting the current branch configuration.

GET https://appcenter.ms/api/v0.1/apps/owner-name/app-name/branches/master/config

This serves as the base for us to update the configuration.

Now the last step: use the PUT API to update the branch configuration:

PUT https://appcenter.ms/api/v0.1/apps/owner-name/app-name/branches/master/config

In the request body, add distribution to the toolsets property:

{ 

toolsets: { 

    distribution: { 

        destinationId: , 

        releaseNotes: “” 

      } 

    } 

} 

Conclusion

That’s it! Add the store connection now, then configure your build to continuously deliver value to your customers. If you haven’t done so yet, create your free account today to get started.

You can find more details of the feature at our documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/appcenter/build/build-to-store

 
 


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