Publishing Convertigo applications in application stores
Now that you have your mobile application developed you would like to distribute it to your customers. This article describes how to publish Convertigo applications on the different stores such as Apple’s AppStore, Android market or BlackBerry AppStore.
First of all, you must understand that distributing B2B our B2E enterprise applications on stores can be tricky as no store can restrict application availability to a given company or enterprise. This means that applications you will publish will be seen by the entire planet! In most of cases, this is not a problem that Enterprise applications needs credentials to access the back end applications. Your employees or customers only, will provide these credentials.Convertigo uses PhoneGap’s technology to build native applications to be deployed on stores. Most of the process described here comes from the standard PhoneGap deployment process, but they are some tips and tricks that are written here to help you in your provisioning process.
Linking Convertigo Server or Studio to PhoneGap build
First of all, you will have to create your own PhoneGap Build account. Go to build.phonegap.com, and signup for a completely free plan
Then sign in with your new account and you have to get to the edit account, Client applications tab and save your Authentication Token.
Then, configure your Convertigo Server to use this account for the PhoneGap Build process.To do this, go to the Convertigo Server admin console, login, click on the «Configuration» icon and select the «Mobile Builder» section. Fill in the «Mobile Builder authentication token» with the PhoneGap Build authentication token.
Publishing on the Apple's App store
Your convertigo server is now properly configured. Now we will prepare needed stuff for Apple’s AppStore. You must know that deploying on the Apple’s AppStore requires an Apple Mac Computer, as some of the tools needed only run on Macs. !As you probably know, iOS development requires signing the .IPA files. You can sign for 3 different usages:
Development usage : Will allow you to install the IPA files via iTunes on the developer’s devices. You will have to declare in Apple’s provisioning portal each device on which your applications will run. This usage is not suitable for deployment.
AppStore usage : Will allow you to upload the IPA file to Apple’s AppStore.
Ad hoc usage : Will allow you to install your IPA file on a limited number of registered devices.
We will describe here the AppStore signing process. The developer signing process is similar. The only thing that changes is the type of provisioning profile and the certificate used. Please read about the developer signing process documentation in Apple’s provisioning portal.Let’s start now with the AppStore signing process:
You will need an official Apple’s «iOS Developer Program» account. This is the only way to get access to publish applications on the store. You can enroll here http://developer.apple.com/programs/ios costing 99$/year. Once enrolled you will have access to the provisioning portal.
Goto to apple developer website, login with your Apple developer account, go to the «Distribution» menu (on the left) and the “Distribution” Tab. Open the «Obtaining your iOS Distribution Certificate» section and read the «Generating a Certificate Signing Request» Section. Follow the instructions, note that you will need a Mac computer execute. This will result to create an App Store distribution certificate the provisioning portal.
Read the «Saving your Private Key and Transferring to Other Systems» section, and follow the instructions. Save the «.P12» file as you will need it later on to configure your PhoneGap account.When you export the .P12 file you will be asked for a password. Give one and save it as you will need it in a next step.
Click on the «Download button» next to your provisioning profile and download the xxx.mobileprovision file.
You now have 2 important files you will have to upload to your PhoneGap Build account, the «.P12» key and the «XXX.mobileprovision» file. To do this, follow these steps:
Connect to PhoneGap Build, using your user/pwd.
Configure your account by clicking on the «Edit account» link located at the top of the page.
On the «Edit your account» page, click on the «Signing Keys» tab
You will see all the current signing keys configured with your PhoneGap account. Click the «add a key» link in the iOS section and follow the instructions to upload the xxx.mobileprovision and the .P12 file you got from the previous steps.
You now have your signing keys properly configured in PhoneGap Build.
We can go now on Convertigo Server admin console, select «Configuration» icon and select the «Mobile Builder» section. Fill in the «IOS certificate title» and the «IOS certificate password» with the PhoneGap Build title and the password you gave when you exported the .P12 file from the apple portal.
Now each time you are going to build your iOS apps, Convertigo will use your PhoneGap Build account and the configured sign key will be used for signing the app.
You are nearly done! Last thing to do is to upload your .IPA file to Apple’s App store. To do that, we will need a tool only running on the Mac computer, the «Application Loader». This tool should be installed automatically if Apple’s Xcode (iOS development tools) has been installed.Before running the App Loader, you will have to Sign in the Apple’s Store portal called «iConnect». Go to https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa and sign in using your Apple ID (The same used previously in provisioning portals). Follow all the instruction there. There are a lot of declarations, contract setting etc … Read all the Apple stuff and forums to set up this correctly. Once this is done, you will have the opportunity to create a new application entry in the store. Again, follow Apple’s instruction. Set up all the marketing material (description, Screen shots icons etc …) and when finished, you application status will switch to «Waiting for upload». This is the time for you to use this «Application Loader» tool to upload your .IPA file to AppStore.
The status of your app will switch to «Waiting for approval», you just have to wait (and pray) for Apple to validate your app in its Store!
Publishing to Google Play
Android Market distribution is much simpler as there is no validation process done by Google. To deploy on the Android market you will also need some signing information to be uploaded to PhoneGap Build. First of all you will have to create a self signed certificate. Follow the instructions on Android’s web site: developer.android.com/guide/publishing/app-signing.html#cert. As stated, use the:'$ keytool -genkey -v -keystore my-release-key.keystore -alias alias_name -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000'Command. This runs perfectly under Linux or windows as long as your Java SDK is installed and you have a PATH to it. Answer all the questions and create the “my-release-key.keystore” file. You will be asked 2 passwords. One is to protect the private key, the other one is to protect the keystore file. We recommend to use the same passwords for both. Then follow the following steps to upload the keystore file to PhoneGap (This is very similar to the one described for iOS):
Connect to PhoneGap Build, using your user/pwd.
Configure your account by clicking on the “Edit account” link located at the top of the page.
On the “Edit your account” page, click on the “Signing Keys” tab
You will see all the current signing keys configured with your PhoneGap account. Click the “add a key” link in the “Android” section and follow the instructions to upload the keystore file you got from the previous steps.
We can go now on Convertigo Server admin console, select «Configuration» icon and select the «Mobile Builder» section. Fill in the «Android certificate title», the «Android certificate password» and the «Android keystore password» with the PhoneGap Build title and passwords you gave when created the keystore file