Deploy VSTS Builds with App Center

With the Deploy with App Center Task on Visual Studio Team Services, you can deploy your apps from VSTS to App Center. By deploying to App Center, you will be able to distribute your builds to your users.

Creating a signed build

Before you can deploy your app to Visual Studio App Center, make sure that your existing VSTS build definition produces a signed build. Only signed builds can be deployed and installed to devices.

Setting up distribution with App Center

Once you're done with the signing task, add the build task App Center Distribute. This task uploads your signed build to App Center so that you can distribute it to your beta testers.

To fill in the App Center Distribute task, you'll need an API key from App Center. Go to App Center and go to your Account Settings.

Get your API key from App Center

Create a new API token, and copy it. Make sure that the API token has full access so that VSTS can create new releases for distribution. Go back to the App Center Distribute task in your VSTS build definition, and create a new App Center Connection. Paste the API key you copied from App Center, and name your connection.

Create an App Center connection

After you've created the connection between VSTS and App Center, VSTS needs to know which app you want to distribute the signed build to. Grab the app slug from App Center. You can find this by going to your project on App Center, and extracting it based on https://appcenter.ms/users/{username}/apps/{app_identifier}. For example, the app slug for https://appcenter.ms/users/andyzg/apps/vanilla-android is andyzg/vanilla-android.

Copy your App Slug from App Center

Next, define the binary file path of where your apps are going to get built.

Define the binary path

Lastly, add some release notes for your distribution.

Release notes

By default, your app will distibuted to the Collaborators group. Optionally, you can specify a distribution group by providing the App Center Distribution Group ID. This can be found by first selecting a distribution group, and then viewing the distribution group settings. Finding the page with the distribution group ID You'll be able to find the distribution group ID below the distribution group name. Location of the distribution group ID

Distributing the signed builds to App Center

Once you finished configuring the App Center Distribute task, you can Save and Queue your build. If it's successful, your signed build will be uploaded to the releases of the defined distribution group.

Releases

Now that your signed build is in App Center, you're all set! You and your users can download the signed build directly from App Center, or further re-distribute the release to another group.