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Test and Submit the App

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:
  • Request and install the managed package for a branded app.
  • Describe the process of beta testing a branded app.
  • Request a beta and test the app.
  • Submit the app to the application stores.

From Idea to Reality

At this point, you have draft versions of your branded iOS and Android apps in Salesforce. Hooray! But how do your apps get all the way from Salesforce to Google Play and the Apple VPP App Store?

Let’s revisit our confectionery analogy from the previous unit. Now that you’ve assembled all the ingredients for your apps, you just need to let Salesforce know that it’s time for us to hit the kitchen and start baking a Mobile Publisher cake.

In this unit, you learn how to work with Salesforce to get your iOS and Android apps tested and submitted to the application stores for approval. The finish line is in sight, so let’s get started!

About Managed Packages

The first step in the testing process is to request a managed package for your iOS and Android apps. It’s not hard to do—you just click a button—but before we do that, let’s talk a little bit about why you need one.

A managed package is basically a container that includes the components of a Salesforce application, and it’s a mechanism for installing apps in Salesforce orgs. If you’ve ever downloaded apps from the AppExchange, then you’ve definitely run across managed packages before.

After you have a draft of the iOS and Android versions of your Mobile Publisher apps, Salesforce creates managed packages for you. The managed package includes components that help your app run properly. For example, push notifications won’t work unless you install the Mobile Publisher managed package in your Salesforce orgs.

Keep in mind that the managed package is not the same as the beta version of your app. But it’s required for the branded app to fully function, so we have to tackle this step before we can get to the beta testing process.

Request the Managed Package

D’Angelo is ready to request a managed package for the DreamHouse iOS and Android apps for his brokers, so let’s give him a hand.

  1. From Setup, enter Mobile Publisher in the Quick Find box, then select Mobile Publisher.
  2. Click Continue next to the listing for the iOS app.

    The Request Package button on the iOS app's status page

  3. Click Request Package.
  4. Click Done.

    This sends a request to Salesforce so we can begin generating the managed package.

  5. Repeat the same steps for the Android app.

D’angelo also requests a managed package (iOS and Android) for the DreamHouse mobile Lightning Community app.

See, that wasn’t difficult! But we have to warn you that the next step is challenging… You have to be patient and wait for Salesforce to create the managed packages. (Hey, it takes a little time to bake a cake!)

Salesforce sends you an email when your iOS and Android packages are available and ready to install. Note that you receive two separate emails: one for the Android app and one for the iOS app.

Install the Managed Package

Let’s jump in our time machine and rejoin D’Angelo at the point when he receives notification from Salesforce that his managed packages are ready to be installed. DreamHouse Realty has a production org and a sandbox org, so he installs the packages in both places.

  1. From Setup, enter Mobile Publisher in the Quick Find box, then select Mobile Publisher.
  2. Click Continue next to the listing for the iOS app.

    The Install Package button on the iOS app's status page

  3. Click Install Package.

    A pop-up window lists the steps to take to install the managed package. It also includes the installation URL for the package.

  4. Click Copy link to copy the URL.
  5. Log in to your sandbox org.
  6. Paste the URL into your browser’s address bar.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the managed package.
  8. Log in to your production org and go through the process again. Be sure to do this for all orgs that will run the branded app.
  9. Repeat the same steps for the Android version of the app.

Now that D’Angelo has installed the managed packages, he can move on to beta testing.

Overview of the Beta Process

Releasing an app in Google Play and the Apple VPP App Store is a lot like staging a big production. And if the launch is your opening night, then you can think of beta testing as the dress rehearsal. It’s critical to work out any kinks before the debut of the show. Thankfully, Google and Apple provide beta programs that let your organization thoroughly test your Android and iOS apps before publishing them.

Here’s how the process works. First you request a beta of your branded app from Salesforce. We create the beta and submit it to Apple and Google for you.

When the beta is available for testing, Salesforce notifies you—the Salesforce admin—as well as the person you designated as the official beta tester when you filled out the information about your app. (That’s one of the fields on the really long form you completed in the last unit.) Then your beta tester can install the app and see how it looks on an actual mobile device.

Tip

Tip

If you want more information about beta testing iOS and Android apps, check out the links in the Resources section.

Request a Beta

Now that you’re familiar with the overall process of beta testing, let’s help D’Angelo kick things off by requesting a beta of the DreamHouse iOS and Android apps.

  1. From Setup, enter Mobile Publisher in the Quick Find box, then select Mobile Publisher.
  2. Click Continue next to the listing for the iOS app.

    The Request Beta button on the iOS app's status page

  3. Click Request Beta.

    This sends a request to Salesforce so we can generate the beta.

  4. Click Done.
  5. Repeat the same steps for the Android app.

After Salesforce creates the beta versions, we submit them to the Apple VPP App Store and Google Play for approval. (Don’t worry, this is just the beta submission process. Your app won’t be listed publicly.)

It can take a day or so for Apple and Google to approve the apps. Keep an eye out for an email notifying you that the apps are ready for testing. You can let your designated beta testers know to be on the lookout, too.

Test the App

After your beta tester receives the email with testing instructions, they can install the beta and see how your company’s branded assets look on a mobile device. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
  • The beta tester only needs to review the visual appearance.
  • Test the app on different screen sizes. For example, your tester can install the beta on an iPhone® and an iPad® to verify that the branded assets work well across form factors.
  • Verify that the app’s managed package is functioning properly by testing push notifications in your production and sandbox orgs.

The Final Milestone

It’s hard to believe, but we’re nearing the end of our mySalesforce journey. Let’s check back with D’Angelo to see how DreamHouse Realty is progressing with their branded Android and iOS apps.

The designated beta tester for DreamHouse Realty is their CEO. She just emailed D’Angelo to let him know that the Android and iOS apps look great. No revisions are necessary, so D’Angelo can move on to the very last step in the process. It’s time to submit the final apps to Apple and Google!

Submit the App

This is definitely an exciting moment, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Although we’re about to submit the apps in Salesforce, they aren’t immediately available in Google Play and the Apple VPP App Store.

Here’s what happens after you submit the apps. Salesforce sends the final apps to the Apple VPP App Store and Google Play. Then Apple and Google review the apps to make sure that they adhere to the application store guidelines. If everything looks good, they approve and publish your app. If there’s an issue, they reject the app.

Yikes. No one likes rejection, but you don’t have to endure it alone. In the event that one of the stores rejects your app, Salesforce emails you and lets you know exactly how to resolve any issues.

Now that you know what to expect, let’s follow along with D’Angelo as he approves the DreamHouse branded apps.

  1. From Setup, enter Mobile Publisher in the Quick Find box, then select Mobile Publisher.
  2. Click Continue next to the listing for the iOS app.

    The Submit App button on the iOS app status page

    Note

    Note

    To make edits, click the Make Changes button. On the App Information page, you can upload revised brand assets or change the values in the fields. Then follow the same steps again: Request a new managed package, install it, and request a beta to verify the changes.

  3. Click Submit App.
  4. Select the checkbox to confirm that you’re ready to submit the apps.
  5. Click Submit App.

    Salesforce submits the app to the application store. It can take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks for the store to review and approve your app. During that time, you can’t make any changes to the app.

  6. Repeat the same steps for the Android app.

And now we play the waiting game. Salesforce emails you when Apple and Google are done reviewing your apps.

The Moment of Truth

You’ve traveled a long way with DreamHouse Realty, and we know you’re dying of suspense. What happened? Did their apps get approved? Well, check out the brand new listing for the DreamHouse app in Google Play and see for yourself.

The Google Play listing for the Dream House mobile app

The answer, of course, is a resounding “Yes!” The apps were approved. And rest assured, D’Angelo danced a little jig.

DreamHouse is a business to employee (B2E) app and hence it was published to the Apple VPP App Store which is a private listing visible only to DreamHouse Realty.

After Apple approved and published the app to the Apple VPP App Store, D’Angelo managed its distribution to the agency brokers via the company Mobile Device Management (MDM) system.

Apple VPP

In the next unit, you learn what it takes to maintain these awesome new branded apps now that they’re live in Google Play and the Apple VPP App Store.

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