The latest VBCS 2.0 release makes developing Mobile Applications faster using a declarative drag and drop approach while giving the flexibility to the developer to inspect the code and inject any additional code that the tool doesn’t provide out of the box. You can build your app from the browser itself without the need for any code editor.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to build a Mobile app using VBCS.
Once you develop your mobile app, you can create an Android or iOS build profile that will allow the tool generate the QR code so that you can test your mobile app on the device of your choice.
Build iOS profile on VBCS :
Let’s look at how we can create an iOS profile and install the app on your iPhone.
1. Navigate to the Build profile settings in VBCS:
2. Create an iOS profile.
3. Provide the following profile information :
Now here is where we need to rely on a few things from the Apple developer portal to make sure we provide the right information so that we can generate and install the app. If we don’t get the certificate, signing identity and apple provisioning profile right the chances of building and installing the app is bit of a challenge.
The first thing to know that the VBCS iOS profile only accepts P12 certificates.
If you are using Mac, it is very easy to generate the certificate.
Create a certificate using Key Chain access and iOS developer program:
Open keychain access on your mac and create the certificate as shown below :
This will create and save your certSigningRequest file (CSR) to your hard drive. A public and private key will also be created in Keychain Access with the Common Name you entered earlier
Now let’s create the “.CER” file in your iOS developer account.
INSTALL THE .CER AND GENERATE THE .P12
Find the .cer file you’ve just downloaded and double-click. If the certificate hasn’t automatically been installed, you will see the following (otherwise, skip the next two steps):
- Make sure the drop-down is set to “login”
- Click Add
- Open up KeyChain Access again
- Find the two profiles you created in Step 1 (with the iOS Developer common name)
- You should now be able to expand the “private key” profile, which should show the certificate you just added
- Select only these two items (not the public key), by holding SHIFT and clicking both items
- Right click and click “Export 2 items…” from the popup
- In the next window, make sure the file format is a “.p12” and choose a filename and destination on your hard drive
- Click Save
- Finally, you’ll be prompted to set a password. (This is one we will use for Signing Identity in the VBCS profile.
Create iOS provisioning profile in Apple Developer Portal:
Step 1 : First register an app id.
Step 2 : Create a Provisioning profile following the steps below :
Generate the build profile in VBCS
At the beginning of the post we navigated to the build profile screen :
Let’s upload the P12 certificate we saved previously, the certificate password provided at the time of saving the certificate, the provisioning profile downloaded from the developer portal.
The Signing Identity can be obtained from the Key Chain Access :
Make sure you copy the entire key including the iPhone Distribution: Name (AppKey)
You iOS build profile should appear something like below. Make sure you select the Default Profile for Stage/Publish checked. Hit save
Hit the Play Button on your App that should navigate to the preview mode of the application.
Click on Build my App to generate the QR Code. This operation takes you through a process of moving the application from Development to Stage and an option to copy your Development data to Staging.
The app should generate a QR Code that can be scanned, downloaded and installed directly on to the device that has been added to your provisioning profile.
Tip 1: If you don’t see the Build my app option, make sure you selected the “Default Profile for Stage/Publish” in your profile build settings
Tip 2: Make sure the signing identity details match your certificate in the keychain.