Alternative to Buddy Build [closed]
List of Mobile App - Cloud Build Solutions
- This is NOT an analysis nor endorsement of any of these solutions.
- I tried to list ONLY solutions that support both Android and iOS at least. Buddybuild did support some hybrid frameworks, but it was not their focus.
- I focused on MOBILE projects since that's Buddybuild's focus. There are plenty of solutions (not listed here) that are for web, docker, etc.
- I focused on CLOUD HOSTED solutions only since that's also what Buddybuild was. There are several solutions (not included here) if you're willing to host your own build server.
- This list is limited to solutions that BUILD in the cloud. In other words, solutions where you have to do your own build and then you deploy it to the cloud are not included.
With that out of the way, here is a list of what I've found so far, in no particular order - and with very little analysis other than a quick read of their websites. Corrections welcome, but please be kind about it because this is a quick list!
- Nevercode - https://nevercode.io
- CircleCI - https://circleci.com
- Travis CI - https://travis-ci.org
- Bitrise - https://www.bitrise.io
- Buildkite - https://buildkite.com
- AppCenter - https://appcenter.ms (yes, this is Microsoft and they do indeed support iOS, Android and more.)
- Buildozer - https://buildozer.io
The is also a healthy discussion going on at https://github.com/rnystrom/GitHawk/issues/1330
The above is "the answer" to this question but In case some folks are not fully aware of the context, read on for some background on Buddybuild.
What is Buddybuild?
Buddybuild is a cloud-hosted continuous integration platform to build, test and deploy iOS and Android Apps with ease. Their claim to fame is the ease with which one could setup a build. Having been a customer for several years, I can attest for this.
A typical Buddybuild workflow includes an iOS or Android project where the source code is hosted on GitHub, Bitbucket and others. From there, the Buddybuild systems monitor commits to the source code and, based on a project's configuration, produces builds that can be sent to end-users via email (presumably beta testers, business testers, etc) and that end-users can install very easily from just the email.
In addition, for iOS projects, Buddybuild is also able to manage Apple Provisioning Profiles and even manage the Team Device list. This is an area of iOS development that is often time consuming for teams as Apple requires all devices running a test-build of an App to be "registered" in the Apple Developer Portal. Buddybuild can manage device provisioning seamlessly and, to my knowledge, is the only product that offers this feature (but I could be wrong).
Buddybuild also offers an optional SDK for both Android and iOS that provides extra features to Apps that use it. Namely, the SDK allows developers to collect feedback from their users as well as crash report data that is correlated back to source code. The feedback feature is particularly powerful as it required no code by the developer at all while still providing a visually appealing interface to collect app feedback from users (complete with a screen grab of whatever the end user was seeing at the time of feedback.)
Why the fuss?
Buddybuild announced on 1/2/18 that they've "joined the Xcode engineering group at Apple to build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community". See Buddybuild's blog post about this. Their announcement also stated they've stopped accepting new customers (even for iOS) and that they're ending Android support 3/1/18.
- I am not affiliated with any of these solutions.
- I have used CircleCI before, but for a NodeJS project so I have zero experience using CircleCI for iOS and Android.
- I am a Buddybuild customer and maintained 10+ apps for both iOS and Android using their platform.
- I am not affiliated with Buddybuild, but I have given several talks on using Buddybuild. I know several people there and I honestly believe in Buddybuild's solution, workflow and UX. I am a super-fan, but have no special access nor knowledge beyond what is public.
So the answer to my question is AppCenter - https://appcenter.ms.
Don't waste your time with the others. Every once in a while Microsoft writes decent software. It's not buddybuild but it's the next best thing. The other ones made me want to tear my hair out. If you have to talk to customer support all the time to get things to work - that's a bad thing. With AppCenter I was up and running in 10 minutes. Easy, stupid-proof configuration - no room for errors of any sort.
Microsoft is pouring a ton of resources into App Center - it's only been launched since August of 2017. They have 24 hour support and they are going to start working on automated signing for iOS in the coming months.
If you really need a lot of flexibility and integrations go with BitRise - but be aware that you'll be spending a lot of time getting things to work and things will break constantly. If you have a dedicated DevOps person on your team and you love customizing/programming your workflows with bash scripts then BitRise may be suitable for you.