Using the CodePush UI

The CodePush service is designed to enable developers to manage their deployments and publish application updates using the App Center CLI. Developers publish content updates to a particular Deployment (typically staging) using the CLI, and users configured for that deployment get the updates. Developers can also promote updates from one deployment to another (from Staging to Production for example).

To view details for your apps CodePush Deployments:

  1. Log in to the App Center Portal.
  2. If you aren't part of an Organization, select an application from the list. If you belong to one or more organizations, select the organization in the navigator, then select an application from the list.
  3. In the navigator on the left side of the page, select Distribution, and then select CodePush.

App Center will list all of the Releases for the selected deployment, displaying the release version, status, publish date, and more for each release.

Switching Deployments

From the page listing the available releases for a particular deployment, switch to a different deployment using the drop-down field located in the top-right corner of the page. Use the drop-down to select the CodePush deployment you're interested in.

Viewing Release Details

To modify settings for a particular release, select (click on) the release in the list. App Center opens a panel displaying detailed information about the release, including deployment statistics.

At the top of the page are three options:

  • Download Bundle button: Click the button to download the packaged release assets. You'll do this in troubleshooting when you want to view what data is being deployed to devices. The bundle is essentially a zip file (without an extension); after you've downloaded the bundle, add a .zip extension to the file, then interact with the file like any other zip file.
  • Promote button: Click this button to promote this release from the current deployment to a different deployment. For example, you'd use this feature to promote a release from the Staging to Production deployments for release to a larger target audience.
  • Wrench Icon: Click the icon to edit settings for the selected release.

The body of the pane displays deployment statistics for the release, enabling you to understand how this release is deployed:

  • Rollout Percentage
  • Number of Rollbacks
  • Active installations
  • Installations
  • Downloads

Release Settings

App Center enables developers to modify several aspects of a CodePush release. To access release settings, click the wrench icon in the upper-right corner of the release details page. Click Done to save your changes, or the X in the upper-right corner to cancel your changes.

Target Version

Specifies the binary version of the application you're releasing the update for. Only users running that version will receive the update, while users running an older or newer version of the app binary won't.

Note

This setting corresponds to the CLI's targetBinaryVersion parameter.

This is useful for the following reasons:

  1. If a user is running an older binary version, there may be breaking changes in the update that aren't compatible with the older version.
  2. If a user is running a newer binary version, then it's presumed that what they're running is newer, and potentially incompatible, with the CodePush update.

If you ever want an update to target multiple versions of the app store binary, we also allow you to specify the parameter as a semver range expression. That way, any client device running a version of the binary that satisfies the range expression, for example, semver.satisfies(version, range) returns true, will get the update. Examples of valid semver range expressions are as follows:

Expression Who gets the update?
1.2.3 Only devices running the specific binary version 1.2.3 of your app
* Any device configured to consume updates from your CodePush app
1.2.x Devices running major version 1, minor version 2, and any patch version of your app
1.2.3 - 1.2.7 Devices running any binary version between 1.2.3 (inclusive) and 1.2.7 (inclusive)
>=1.2.3 <1.2.7 Devices running any binary version between 1.2.3 (inclusive) and 1.2.7 (exclusive)
1.2 Equivalent to >=1.2.0 <1.3.0
~1.2.3 Equivalent to >=1.2.3 <1.3.0
^1.2.3 Equivalent to >=1.2.3 <2.0.0

Note

As defined in the semver spec, ranges only work for non pre-release versions (see pre-release tags). If you want to update a version with pre-release tags, write the exact version you want to update (1.2.3-beta for example).

Description

A brief description of this release, which provides an optional "change log" for the deployment. The value is round-tripped to the client so that when the update is detected, your app can display it to the end user, for example, with a "What's new?" dialog. This string accepts control characters such as \n and \t so that you can include whitespace formatting within your descriptions for improved readability.

Note

This setting corresponds to the CLI's description parameter.

Enabled

Controls whether the update is available for deployment to users. This option is enabled by default, you'd disable this setting when you want to keep a particular release from deploying, for example, because of a bug in the code, or when you're not ready to deploy a version yet.

Note

This setting corresponds to the CLI's disabled parameter.

Required Update

Specifies whether a particular release is required (for example, when it includes a critical security fix). When an application manually synchronizes with the CodePush server process (using codepush.sync), the application can decide whether or not to apply an update, unless the required attribute is enabled.

Note

This setting corresponds to the CLI's mandatory parameter.

The required attribute is unique because the server will dynamically modify it, to maintain the semantics of your releases for your end users. For example, imagine that you released three updates to your app:

Release Mandatory?
v1 No
v2 Yes
v3 No

If a device is running v1 of the app, and queries the server for an update, the server responds with v3. The server will dynamically convert the release to mandatory, since a mandatory update was released in between. The code contained in v3 is incremental to the code in v2, so whatever made v2 mandatory, continues to make v3 mandatory for anyone missing v2.

If an end user is currently running v2, and they query the server for an update, it will respond with v3, but leave the release as optional. Because they already received the mandatory update, there isn't a need to modify the policy of v3. This behavior is why we said that the server "dynamically converts" the mandatory flag, because as far as the release goes, its mandatory attribute will always be stored using the value you specified when releasing it. It's only changed on-the-fly as necessary when responding to an update check from a device.

The described behavior only applies to you if you release an update that's marked as mandatory. The server will only change an optional release to mandatory if there are intermingled mandatory updates as illustrated above.

A release marked as mandatory will never be converted to optional.

Rollout Percentage

Developers use the CLI's rollout parameter to instruct CodePush to push a particular release to a percentage of the devices running the app. This feature enables developers to test out a release before rolling it out to everyone.

You'll use this setting to increase the rollout percentage for a particular release. Since the release was already distributed to a percentage of the audience, you can only increase the rollout percentage value.