How to create a corporate test-store for Android and iOS applications
During my RUNTIME BOXES FOR MOBILE or THE MISSING BOX presentation I've mentioned and showed a test-store which will enable corporate users to download and install Android applications before it is being uploaded to the store (Google Play, Amazon store and such).
This test-store can be very useful to organizations during their developement process for checking those applications before uploding it to the store to be available to customers.
This is valid for both Android and iOS appliactions (and probably also for Windows RT applications but I didn't tested it yet).
One option is to use cloud services such as TestFlight which manage all issues of provisionling, user-management and security very well but may have issues with multiple-uploads, adjustments to specific orginization needs and more.
Another option is to create corporate test-store which will be inhouse service available only to corporate users.
For establishment of such service you need to create a simple web-server which will expose 2 services:
- Web page (HTML based) with list of available applications that includes the application-artifact-file (APK or IPA file) itself and information related to it.
- Shared folder with write-access so that a build process (preferred) or a manual upload will be able to upload the application-artifact-file and it's related information onto the server
It would be best that an automatic process will build the application, upload it onto the web-server-shared folder and update the web page(s) accordingly (The automation of such process can be a subject for another post). Still, this can be done manually for each new version of an application.
If the site supports iOS applications (IPA files), it is important to set the site mime-types to identify .plist files as 'text/xml' files. Please see Building iOS Apps over-the-air site for more details.
For each application you better expose some information about it - except for the a link to the application for download and install - such as: application-display-name, icon, version, corporate-internal-meta-data (such as SDK version, group-of-applications, status and more) and build-information (date, builder name, etc.).
Here's an example of a test-store as I've presentated in my presentation: