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Maximize Your App Development Efficiency with Flutter Bitrise: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Nidhi Sorathiya

September 11, 2023

Nidhi Sorathiya

September 11, 2023

Step into the world of Bitrise integration to develop impressive Flutter applications. In this post, I'll walk you through all you need to know and understand the basics of Flutter Bitrise, as well as provide a hands-on guide on how to smoothly integrate your Flutter app with Bitrise.

Understanding the Flutter Ecosystem

The Flutter ecosystem is filled with tools and libraries that make app development a cinch while also allowing for efficient code reusability. Hence, a Flutter app is a preferable choice for developers due to its dynamic nature.

Breaking Down Bitrise: The Integration Tool for Flutter

Bitrise harbors tremendous potential as an integration tool for your Flutter applications. Bitrise is not just a Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) Platform; it's a comprehensive tool that streamlines and automates the development process of your mobile app projects.

Step-by-step Guide to Add a Flutter App to Bitrise

Let's dive into the main part of the blog, focusing on integrating your Flutter project into Bitrise, for which we'll be considering the essential aspects of Flutter in Bitrise.

Setting Up Your Bitrise Account

To begin with, you need to create a Bitrise account if you haven't already. Accessing the Bitrise dashboard will provide you with various options and insights about your projects.

They provide two ways to register your account:

Adding Your Flutter Project to Bitrise

When it comes to adding your Flutter project to Bitrise, it's a structured process with a few essential steps. Begin by clicking on the Add New App button from the Dashboard. Next, select the Workspace for your app under Project access, and set your app's privacy(this can't be changed later).

Adding Your Flutter Project to Bitrise

Set a Repository URL

Next is to set a repository URL, for which we can use a Remote URL or Manually add an URL.

Set a Repository URL

SSH Key Configuration for Bitrise Integration

Security plays a pivotal role in app development; hence it becomes crucial to make the correct SSH key setup. Here are the steps for an SSH key addition process suitable for adapting to your private apps' requirements as public apps won't require any authentication. Choose one from the options provided.

SSH Key Configuration for Bitrise Integration

Selecting the Default Branch

A structured code management is vital for the longevity and success of your project. For this, compartmentalizing your workflow becomes a necessity. Selecting the default branch will help you segregate the stages of your Flutter app development.

Selecting the Default Branch

Enabling Auto-detect Configuration and Bitrise Configuration Validation Procedure

Auto-detect configuration is a significant benefit while dealing with Bitrise. It allows the system to scan your repository and set up the stack and default workflows accordingly. This feature almost always ensures a seamless setup process.

Validation Procedure in Bitrise

Once the setup is complete, Bitrise validates your project configuration. This procedure involves scanning for your project's configuration files, such as 'pubspec.yaml' for Flutter apps, and establishing your app accordingly. Then add the name for the branch that fits your project’s configuration - master, and then hit Next.

Final Steps for Flutter App Addition Process

Selecting .ipa Export Method for iOS in Flutter

Once you complete the validation process, if you have an iOS project embedded in your Flutter app, you'll need to select an .ipa export method.

Selecting .ipa Export Method for iOS in Flutter

Enabling Webhooks for Bitrise

When you enable webhooks in Bitrise, the platform will automatically start a build when code is submitted to your repository or a pull request is created. This automation boosts your productivity while also keeping your project up to date.

Simplifying the Testing of Your Flutter App on Bitrise

Testing plays a paramount role in software development. By running tests, we ensure that everything works as expected. Let's see how you can write and conduct tests in a Flutter app.

Understanding Flutter Test Types

Flutter supports a variety of test types- unit, widget, and integration tests.

Performing Flutter Tests using Bitrise's Workflow

Bitrise's primary Workflow helps run the Flutter tests and generate code coverage reports. For more details visit Bitrise Testing Flutter app section.

Deploying Your Flutter App: Turning Your Hard Work into Reality

Deployment is the step where your project finally sees the light of day after undergoing rigorous stages of development and testing. To deploy your Flutter app successfully, a Bitrise workflow should contain certain steps, as we'll detail below.

Essential Steps for Flutter App Deployment

For building and deploying a Flutter app to the App Store or Google Play Store, a typical Bitrise workflow must contain "Flutter Install" and "Flutter Build" steps:

Parallel Building with Bitrise Pipelines

Building both iOS and Android versions of your app in parallel can save you immensely on time. Bitrise Pipelines enable you to conduct these operations simultaneously.

Bitrise Support for Flutter Packages and Libraries

Besides apps, Bitrise supports the building of Flutter packages and libraries. Unlike apps, packages, and libraries do not require a 'Flutter Build' step in the workflow.

Deploying a Cross-Platform App to Bitrise

Deploying your cross-platform application to involves uploading all the artifacts related to your build. This is achieved through the 'Deploy to' Step.

Deploying a Flutter App to the App Store

Building an iOS application with Flutter and deploying it to the App Store requires building the app, exporting an IPA file and submitting it to the App Store, and code signing files.

Unlike testing, this requires code signing files:

  • An iOS Distribution Certificate (a .p12 file).
  • An App Store Provisioning Profile.

For Flutter applications, code signing requires setting a Team ID in the project settings in Xcode.

Configuring Team ID for Flutter Apps

To achieve a successful build on Bitrise, you must set up a valid Team ID in your Xcode project settings.

To accomplish this, review the project options in Xcode as you create your iOS app locally. You must also specify a valid Team ID; else, your Bitrise build will fail.

  1. In Xcode, open Runner.xcworkspace in your app’s ios folder.
  2. Select the Runner project in the Xcode project navigator to view your app's settings. Select the Runner target from the main view sidebar.
  3. Select the General tab.
  4. Locate the Team option in the Signing section and select the team linked with your registered Apple Developer account.
  5. Commit the changes!

The process of deploying your app to the App Store involves uploading the required code signing files and configuring your Bitrise workflow appropriately.

Deploying a Flutter App to Google Play

Similar to iOS, deploying an app built with Flutter to the Google Play Store also requires proper configuration and code signing.

Configuring Code Signing for Google Play Store

You can either set up code signing within the app's build.gradle file, or sign your AAB/APK file on Bitrise using the Android Sign Step.

Deploying Your App to Google Play Store in Bitrise

The final step involves configuring the 'Deploy to Google Play' Step within your Bitrise workflow to ensure your app is successfully rolled out to the Google Play Store.

Wrapping Up: Flutter for Bitrise

As a Flutter developer, leveraging Bitrise greatly simplifies many aspects of building, testing, and deployment. From configuring the SSH keys and managing the environment to conducting unit tests and deploying applications, Bitrise proves to be a comprehensive tool in your arsenal.

Additional Resources for an Enhanced Flutter Bitrise Build Experience

Explore deeper into the Bitrise and Flutter ecosystem with the help of these additional resources:

At the end of the ride, you'll find the perfect blend of Flutter for Bitrise leads to a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable development experience. The pairing opens up a world of possibilities for your mobile app development process and speeds up your road to success.

Good luck with your ventures in Flutter app development with Bitrise!

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

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