Getting Started With Continuous Delivery With fastlane for iOS

Introduction

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iOS developers have been fortunate enough to enjoy and work with the robust development platform that Apple has provided, primarily Xcode. This has helped inspire the engaging and powerful apps that consumers enjoy on the App Store today. Xcode provides an intuitive IDE and that, coupled with the emergence of Swift as a truly modern programming language, has made programming on the platform sheer enjoyment.

However, while the development aspect of the workflow is cohesive, the workflow breaks down when it comes to the chores involved in dealing with code signing and distributing apps. This has been a long-standing problem for the platform, and while it has improved incrementally, it is still a bottleneck for almost all developers. This has in many respects stifled continuous delivery of apps—that is to say, the need for manual building and distribution of apps daily internally and externally is error-prone and laborious. 

That's where fastlane comes in. The fastlane suite of tools makes distributing apps much easier, allowing developers to focus on their apps and let the tooling take on tasks like managing provisioning profiles and certificates and building, packaging and distributing apps. One of fastlane's toolchains is a client-side automated Continuous Delivery turnkey solution that iOS developers can leverage to ensure their apps get tested and validated continuously by others, with minimal human intervention. 

Developed by Felix Krause (@krausefx), fastlane consists of an open-source suite of tools that unifies the automation of building and deploying iOS apps via the command line, as well as integrating with various third-party libraries in addition to Apple’s own APIs. As somewhat of a cult toolchain amongst iOS developers, and backed by Google, fastlane will save you lots of time by automating a lot of your manual daily and weekly tasks.

In this tutorial, we are going to explore two very popular features of fastlane: code signing and packaging/distributing apps. 

Read the rest of my tutorial exclusively on TutsPlus.