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AZ-400 Exam Preparation: Introduction to App Center

Published a month ago

6 minutes read

azure_app_center

Azure App Center (Vistual Studio App Center)

  • Set of tools for CI/CD for mobile development
    • UI Testing
    • Monitoring (Collect analytics and diagnostic data)
    • Public app store deployment
  • Support:
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Universal Windows Platform (UWP)
    • tvOS
    • Swift, Kotlin, Xamarin, Java, Unity, or React Native
  • App Center Test can be used to run UI testing on native and hybrid mobile apps. The tests run against physical devices in a Microsoft data center. You can review the result, logs, and captured screenshot.

Continuous integration aims to improve software quality by finding issues before they are delivered to the end-user.

How App Center Build works

  • App Center Build supports the following source control systems:
    • GitHub
    • Bitbucket
    • Azure DevOps
    • GitLab
  • App Center Build basically gets the source code from specified Git repository, and we can configure it for CI/CD.
  • We can add custom build scripts to these life cycles
    • post-clone
    • pre-build
    • post-build
  • iOS and Android apps are run on macOS VMs
  • UWP apps are built on Windows VMs

    Once your app is built, you can toggle in the build configuration to test the real physical device's app. You will also get the result's screenshot. (these reports are maintained for review for six months.)

How App Center Test works

Running tests against real devices can give you much more confidence.

Device Configuration

  • Device model
  • OS Version
  • e.g., iPhone XS running iOS 12.4

Device tier

Device popularity (Device's age)

  • Tier 1 is the most popular, so App Center Test has a lot of these devices, meaning shorter wait time when running tests.
  • Tier 2, Tier 3

Device set

A collection of device configurations.

Test run

A test run is an execution of a set of tests against a device set using an application binary.

How App Center Distribute works

You can use App Center Distribute to deliver a release to a target audience. (Private or Public)

Distribution Group

A collection of users. You can release the app to specific distribution groups.

  • private group: the users in this group must be invited and need to log in to App Center to access releases.
  • public group: can install the app from public links. (Unauthenticated install)
  • use cases
    • A private group of internal alpha and beta testers
    • A private group of internal QA users
    • A private group of external beta testers
    • A public group of external prerelease users

Shared Distribution Group

  • Distribution group that is used across multiple apps.

App Center can be used to manage iOS device IDs for each release.

Release a build to a distribution group

  • With code signing configured, you can enable distribution to one or more distribution groups or App Store or Play Store (Microsoft Intune)
  • Upload the signed builds from your machine (Also has a CLI support)

How App Center Diagnostics works

SDK required

  • Diagnostics will show you the crash, grouped with other related crashes.
  • When the app crashes, the data is written to local storage. The data is sent to App Center when the user relaunches the app.
  • Configure alerts when a new crash group is identified.
  • Data retention (90 days by default or 28 days)

How App Center Analytics works (Use Insights)

app center analytics

SDK needed

Analytics is the analysis of data, often looking for patterns

  • Data retention (90 days by default or 28 days)

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