Bri Manning

Moving on From buddybuild

February 9, 2018

In the year I’ve been at Rocket, we’ve been using buddybuild for automated builds and code integration. Just after the new year, they announced that they had been bought by Apple. Included in that announcement was the news that they would be shutting down all Android accounts on March 1st. Talk about going to the dark side.

Since then, I’ve spent some time on the hunt for a new solution. While setting up your own Jenkins solution is possible, administering that is not necessarily ideal. Especially for project-based client work, you’ll want to leave them with a solution that will be easy for them to manage in the future. And by easy, I mean no work.

I ended up considering the following possibilities:

After some time poking around with sample projects and reading documentation, I decided on Bitrise.

CircleCI took some configuration, but I eventually got that going. The big issue there was that it seemed non-trivial to integration with virtual devices. Signing an apk was also not as easy as it could’ve been compared to Bitrise or buddybuild.

Travis CI also took some configuration, but I wasn’t able to ever get the virtual device integration going. I followed a variety of examples and tried different things, but was never able to get it working.

App Center doesn’t support building against pull requests, which was a major bummer so I didn’t pursue it much.

Nevercode was simple enough to set up, but the documentation seemed lacking and it was unclear how to do more complex things like virtual device testing and apk signing.

Bitrise had everything that we were using in buddybuild and ended up being perfect for our needs. Yesterday I finished migrating everything for PatientsLikeMe’s Android app to Bitrise and we’ll use it for the next few weeks. buddybuild will be running in parallel to make sure we still have everything we need during the transition.

I’m optimistic for it and even updated Type to use Bitrise. The latest release there was built by Bitrise, in fact. The free tier is great for side projects like that.