HockeyApp Scores Its Last Goal

Microsoft's HockeyApp -- the strange-sounding tool for continuously building, testing, releasing and monitoring apps -- has scored its last goal, being retired and sent to the permanent bench in favor of Visual Studio App Center.

That successor, Visual Studio App Center works with iOS, Android, Windows, React Native, Xamarin and other platfoms, helping coders connect to their repos -- on GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, or Azure DevOps -- and start building apps, automatically running unit tests, releasing apps to testers and stores, testing a UI on real devices and so on. It provides crash reports, tracks customer metrics, collects in-app feedback and more.

Microsoft acquired the Stuttgart, Germany-based HockeyApp in 2014, announcing plans to integrate it into the Application Insights service in Visual Studio Online to expand Application Insights support for iOS and Android.

In those subsequent five years (which have seen VS Online just recently entering public beta), its funny-sounding name continued to be used even though it was in the Microsoft camp.

And what about that name?

"Our product started as an open-source project named Hockey which allowed you to install iOS beta apps on your iPhone," the explanation reads. "Apple calls this installation process (outside the App Store) ad hoc distribution. The name Hockey was a word play on the Hoc in ad hoc distribution and the word key. When we launched the HockeyApp, the open-source project had already gained traction in the community, so we kept the name and added App at the end."

So it has nothing to do with hockey -- or even sports -- at all.

HockeyApp officially transitioned on Nov. 16. "Today all the HockeyApp user and organization accounts have already switched to App Center," Microsoft said on that day. "For apps that haven't been moved to App Center yet, we will start moving them over automatically. It will take us a few months to complete the move of all apps. During that time, you can still move apps manually by yourself."

On the Visual Studio Marketplace, HockeyApp has been installed more than 14,000 times, earning an average 3.6 score (scale to 5) from 16 developers who reviewed it.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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