Some of the key benefits of continuous delivery include
- Being able to avoid large integration (merging) issues when feature branches have diverged extensively from what is on production. Smaller changes going into production frequently are a lot easier to resolve (fix or rollback).
- Deployment procedures can be tricky depending on the platform and the technologies you use -- automate everything so that you don't miss any steps within your deployment procedure
- Smaller changes going into production are easier to code review, it won't take up too much of an engineer's time
- Jenkins (running Jasmine tests via NodeJS on any controllers, responds to webhooks when master changes, and pushes iOS binaries to TestFlight API)
- Nomad (Ruby-based tool which lets you generate iOS binaries)
- TestFlight (a platform for automating beta testing specifically iOS apps, getting user feedback, and getting crash reports/device diagnostics)
- When developing a feature, branch off of master `(master) git checkout -b FEATURE-XYZ`
- Write the feature, pull in master, freely push to your feature branch and Jenkins will continue to run tests on your feature branch
- When a feature has been completed, use nomad to generate the IPA, commit the generated binaries depending if your Jenkins server is Mac OS X or not, submit a pull request to master, have it code reviewed.
- When the feature branch gets merged into master, we have a webhook that fires and Jenkins takes it off of master, runs tests, then ships the binaries to TestFlight via the TestFlight Jenkins Plugin
- This will automatically email all your beta users or specific groups of beta users (you can customize this list) to install that version that was just merged into master
- When you invite new beta users, don't forget to update your Mobile Provision Profile prior to merging into master by adding the new device identification numbers -- this will make it so that when they get emailed to install a new version of your app, they won't get a rejection error.
- The installation experience for beta users whether they are technical or not is absolutely amazing.
- If you ship to production 50+ times a day, your beta users may get a lot of email spam for installing specific builds.
- You won't need to commit the IPA to source code if your Jenkins box is Mac OS X (our Jenkins box is a Windows box since the platform runs CI on .NET code)