What you may not have heard is that the developers of Ionic have created a centralized platform, called Ionic Pro, for managing all of your apps and deployments. We’ve been testing some of the powerful features it offers here at Clearly Innovative and so far we are thoroughly impressed.
Hands down the coolest feature Ionic Pro offers is Live Deploy. Live Deploy is a service you can add to your app that interfaces with the Pro dashboard, allowing updates to be pushed directly to your users. Testing and deploying updates for apps that are already live on the app store can be as arduous as the actual development of new features, sometimes more so!
Think about it: you push a build out to your QA squad, you get the feedback, fix it, build it again, send it to QA, get the approval and build it one more time for production. Then you still have to deploy it to the app store and cross your fingers while you wait for approval.
Live Deploy provides a streamlined way of bypassing this process with a tool you probably use regularly: git. This integrates perfectly with our development process here at Clearly Innovative, allowing us to upload our commits directly to Ionic.
The next time we log into the Ionic Pro Dashboard, we will see a history of all the commits we’ve uploaded. This is awesome because not only can we select our new commit to push to our clients, but we can also revert to a previous stable build if any major issues were to surface.
Another perk we get with Live Deploy is the ability to create Channels, separate groups that can be issued different versions of our app. The free version of Ionic Pro only has 2 channels, 1 of them being for Production.
Upgrading to a paid plan nets us extra Channels that allow us to send different builds to different groups such as clients, users, and testers.
The time saved by letting Ionic build and push updates directly to our customers for us is game changing. Among other things, Ionic Pro’s Live Deploy is something to get excited about in 2018, and we’ll definitely be utilizing to get ahead.