Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quick guide to generate your mobile app with OutSystems

OutSystems 10 brought low code development for mobile apps to a new level. You can now generate mobile applications in a matter of minutes. Literally.

OutSystems 10 Revolution

The final step to have your mobile application is, of course, generating the apk (application package) or ipa (iOS application archive) to install on your device. But what kind of package/archive should you generate? Lets demystify the several types of builds in a simple way. Developer to Developer. No more than 300 words. Ready?

Android World
Well, you only have two options to choose from: Debug or Release.

OutSystems 10 Revolution Android
(click to enlarge)

What do they mean?
Debug: Want to play around and install on your device? Troubleshoot some error? Just pick Debug, choose your app id (uniquely identifies your app) and you're ready to go. 2 minutes and you'll have your app. That simple.
Release: Second use case, share it with some friends or publish to Google Play? Pick Release. Fill the signing information (it's all free until this point) and that's it. More info about how to sign your app in "Signing Considerations".

Android - Done!

iOS World
Of course, it's more complicated. In the Build type dropdown, you're presented with four options. Lets go through them one by one.

OutSystems 10 Revolution iOS
(click to enlarge)

In-House: forget it. This type is used by enterprises that have an Apple Enterprise Account (which costs some money and has strict policy rules). As a personal developer, you won't be using it. If you do want to know more, check the link at the bottom.
Development: It's the only build type that will allow you to connect your iOS to a mac and troubleshoot issues. So, if in an initial development phase, it's a good pick.
Ad-Hoc: Allows you to install your app without going through the Apple store. However, different from the Android World, you can't just share the IPA. The devices of your friend or whatever must be pre-registered in Apple's Center.
App Store: Nothing to add. It's the only way you'll put your app into the Apple Store. You won't be able to install it in any other way, so, this will be the final step after you've developed and tested your app.

If you want to better understand both these worlds, OutSystems has a great article in the Engineering blog that will bring more light to this: Cruising through the Complexities of Signing Native Mobile Apps