This question comes up every now and then – and especially when iOS development tools (and Apple Dev Center) evolve. Indeed, running your .ipa file on Bitbar Testing is an extremely easy and straightforward process – and doesn’t require much. I will walk you through here of two basic things in iOS app development: creating a provisioning profile that can be used to sign apps – and how to build an IPA (with provisioning profile) to make it run instantly and smoothly on Bitbar devices.
Creating Ad Hoc Provisioning Profiles Using App Dev/Member Center
An ad hoc provisioning profile allows application testers to run their app on devices without a need for Xcode or specific setups. To get a compatible .ipa build, the provisioning profile needs to be ad hoc as well. To create an ad hoc provisioning profile click through the following steps:
1. In Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles view, select Provisioning Profiles (last one on the menu). Click ‘+‘ button in the upper-right corner and select Ad Hoc as the distribution method – and click Continue.
2. In the next step, you have to select an App ID. Basically, an App ID is a two-part string used to identify apps from your development team. The string consists of a Team ID (e.g. A1B2C3D4E5) which is generated by Apple and is unique to a specific development team – and a Bundle ID, which is provided by you. This ID can be specific to a single app (e.g. com.bitbar.testdroid.BitbarIOSSample) or used for a set of apps (e.g. com.bitbar.testdroid.*).
If you are not familiar with App IDs, those can be configured under the left-hand-side menu Identifiers -> App IDs.
3. You can select one or more certificates for your provisioning profile. Basically, you must select the distribution certificate(s) your apps will be signed with. If you don’t have a distribution certificate ready, you can configure and create proper certificates on the left-hand-side menu under Certificates -> Distribution.
4. In this step, you are expected to select devices on where your app will be executed. From our point of view, this is a vain step as we will resign the provisioning profile with our own that contains information about our devices on Bitbar Device Cloud.
5. Finally, you’ll be prompted to give a name to your profile, shown the summary of your selections – e.g. the type of profile, App ID and how many/what certificates are included in the provisioning profile. After giving a name to your profile, click Generate.
After the system has generated you the provisioning profile, click Done.
In Xcode, you have to refresh the provisioning profiles to download the ad hoc provisioning profile you just generated. It should appear after refresh in the Provisioning Profiles table in the view details dialog in Accounts preferences. More information about Xcode provisioning profiles and refreshing can be found here.
Building Your IPA To Be Compatible with Bitbar Devices
Building an IPA to be compatible with our devices is easy and straightforward. Furthermore, if you want your IPA to be available for additional testers and as they may not have Xcode installed to execute your application, you can create an IPA that can be executed on other devices that weren’t in your device list.
Use Xcode to create an archive and from the Archive organizer export an IPA file with the following steps:
1. Select target and click Archive from product menu:
2. Click Distribute.
3. Select option Ad Hoc Deployment.
4. Select the Provisioning Profile and click Next.
Simple as that — Your IPA should be now compatible with iOS devices on Bitbar Testing. If you are using the latest version of Xcode the up-to-date information about the use of it can be found here.
Happy iOS Testing!