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VS App Center Touts Open Source, API-Driven DevOps for Mobile Development

Microsoft has open sourced several tools in the pursuit of API-Driven Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery for mobile apps with Visual Studio App Center.

The company highlighted several open source contributions it has made in order to help mobile developers integrate with other tools of their choice when using App Center, which offers continuous build, test, deploy and engagement services for iOS and Android apps.

"It's common for developers to use Visual Studio App Center alongside all the tools they love and rely on, and respecting those preferences and investments is central to the way we design and think about App Center," said the team's Patrick Nikoletich in a blog post last week. "We hope to put the power to extend and flex your workflow back in your hands by exposing as much as possible through our public API."

In fact, those public APIs for the App Center Client Preview number more than 200.

The open source contributions hosted on GitHub to further the team's integration mission include:

  • App Center CLI: "The appcenter-cli was built to support your most common scenarios by supporting as many CI offerings as possible with App Center's Test and Distribution services," Nikoletich said.

  • App Center Build Scripts Examples: Build scripts let developers run unit tests, make configuration changes or send notifications to external services while a build is executing.

    "We started a new repository of house samples to give you a quick start that gets you going with your own custom build process," Nikoletich said.

  • Fastlane: The open source Fastlane automates tedious tasks like generating screenshots, dealing with provisioning profiles and releasing iOS and Android apps.

    "There's a plugin available to automatically upload symbols and release artifacts for distribution through App Center for users who prefer to leverage Fastlane's tools for their iOS or Android apps," Nikoletich said.

  • Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) Tasks: "We have open sourced the builds step to ship symbols and releases to our Distribution, Crash, and Test services, along with a wide array of the other steps you see when you start to assemble your build configurations," Nikoletich said.

    Those App Center tasks are on GitHub here.

  • Modular App Center SDKs: Various flavors of the team's SDK can be examined on the following open source GitHub repositories:

"We hope you're inspired to experiment a little on your own and tell us how we can make your daily experiences and integrations even better," Nikoletich said in last week's blog post.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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