October 27, 2021
  • Announcements
  • Appflow
  • CI/CD

Integrate Appflow’s mobile capabilities into your existing CI/CD platform

Matt Kremer

Integrate Appflow to existing CI/CD

A few weeks ago we announced a brand new Appflow feature that makes it really easy to take advantage of Appflow’s mobile CI/CD features within your existing CI/CD platforms—like Azure DevOps, Jenkins, GitLab CI, CircleCI, and more.

With our new Cloud command line interface (CLI), you can adopt Appflow in your existing CI/CD system in a matter of minutes and begin implementing Appflow features—Live Updates, Native Builds, and App Publishing—in your mobile apps immediately. Integrate Appflow now or read on for details.

Mobile CI/CD: Complicated, but necessary

Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), one of the fastest-growing sectors of the developer market, has transformed the way developers build and ship software. CI/CD enables teams to continuously test and iterate their apps—instead of performing these steps all at once before shipping— then automate app delivery.

For teams building and deploying apps to various app stores, a mobile CI/CD solution is critical. However, its inherent complexity can make it challenging for most development teams. Even with the prevalence of general-purpose CI/CD tools like GitLab and CircleCI, most aren’t optimized for mobile, and many still require advanced DevOps expertise. As a result, nearly a quarter of developers aren’t using any type of DevOps solution and it shows in their sporadic release cadence.

This is where Appflow comes in. Appflow handles the entire mobile app delivery process from building a native binary to publishing on the app stores and updating apps over time. Development teams can focus completely on the unique features of their app and outsource the complicated app delivery process to Appflow.

Integrate Appflow to Existing CI/CD Platforms

While many development teams will use Appflow’s built-in automation features, larger businesses and teams will often have existing CI/CD infrastructure in place. The question then becomes: how can you integrate Appflow with your existing CI/CD pipeline, in order to take advantage of the mobile-specific services that Appflow provides?

With the general availability of Appflow’s Cloud CLI, your organization can continue to utilize a CI/CD platform like Azure DevOps, GitLab CI/CD, GitHub Actions, Jenkins, Travis, or CircleCI for DevOps orchestration while receiving all of the benefits of Appflow’s features, including:

Live Updates: Achieve true mobile continuous delivery by updating your app in real-time to improve user experience and protect your bottom line with Live Updates.

Native Builds: Create native app binaries in the cloud to get from code to app store with no platform dependencies or complicated build steps.

App Store Publishing: Automate the final mile and send iOS and Android binaries directly to TestFlight, iOS App Store, Google Play, and Google Play Beta for testing or production with App Store Publishing.

What do these look like in practice?

Using the Cloud CLI to Integrate With Your Existing CI/CD Pipelines

Appflow’s new integration with other CI/CD platforms aims to be simple, easy to use, and follow DevOps best practices. The following is a high-level overview and usage examples. To install the Cloud CLI, run:

curl -sL https://ionic.io/blog/get-ionic-cloud-cli | bash

To authenticate with Cloud CLI, create a Personal Access Token then set it to an environment variable in your CI/CD system:

export IONIC_TOKEN=mytoken

Now you can use any of the following Appflow features in your pipelines:

# Trigger Native Build
$ ionic-cloud build ios

# Deploy to App Store
$ ionic-cloud deploy ios

# Trigger Live Update
$ ionic-cloud build web
$ ionic-cloud deploy web

These are just the basics of what you can do with Appflow’s new integrations. For complete examples for each CI/CD platform, the Cloud CLI reference, and more, view the docs.

Integrate Mobile Pipelines Now

Not sure how Appflow will fit into your existing CI/CD pipeline? Discover how to adopt Appflow features with your existing CI/CD platform in this in-depth article.

Ready to get started? You can watch our latest webinar about integrating Appflow’s mobile capabilities with your existing Azure DevOps pipelines or integrate them immediately into your platform of choice.

Matt Kremer