A New Year Ahead – the HockeyApp Cutover Experience

Amanda Chew


In 2017, we announced that HockeyApp features and functionality would move to Visual Studio App Center, a single solution for continuously build ing, testing, releasing, and monitoring your apps and recently shared that HockeyApp will fully transition to App Center on November 16, 2019. In order to deliver a seamless experience to developers, our team conducted many customer interviews and worked across various teams to ensure that we understood our users’ needs. Personally, one of the aspects that I enjoy most as a Product Manager is speaking with our users! We are very thankful for your continued support for both HockeyApp and App Center these past eight years. You gave us honest feedback on your needs, what you like and more importantly, how we can improve.

Making your app development easier is a responsibility that we take seriously. Our goal is to make your transition and migration experience from HockeyApp to App Center as seamless, easy, and delightful as possible. With that in mind, we will be launching a self-service cutover experience in early 2019. With a few simple clicks, you will be able to complete the migration by moving all your apps fully to App Center. Completing the migration removes the syncing with HockeyApp, migrates your all of data from HockeyApp to App Center, and “cuts-the-cord” from HockeyApp completely.

The Path to Full Migration

One question that surfaced during user interviews was around the migration of apps and data from HockeyApp to App Center. You’ll note we have migrated your apps from HockeyApp to App Center and your data is still tied to HockeyApp. Your distribution history data is continuously synced to App Center, and your crashes and analytics data from the HockeySDK is streamed to App Center. In addition, there are certain limitations in this, for example, you can only edit your Distribution group settings and app settings in HockeyApp, and if your app is a part of an org that originated in HockeyApp, you will not be able to use the shared Distribution groups of an App Center org. As a result, users assumed they were already migrated, yet while working in App Center, they found themselves directed back to HockeyApp.

We also asked users questions about what data they expect to see in App Center post-cutover. As a result of your feedback during the interviews, we’re importing your app’s distribution groups, releases, crashes data, and supported third party integrations (i.e. bug tracker and webhooks). We also heard that users would like an excellent onboarding experience for non-technical testers, and an easy way for users to export their historical HockeyApp data.

The Cutover Experience

At a high level, the cutover experience will be as smooth as possible with a few clicks to complete the migration. As a user, you will be able to click a button in your app to migrate your app from HockeyApp to App Center. You will be taken through a workflow that highlights certain dependencies that your app may have (i.e. if you are hosting your builds externally), the next steps you need to take to complete the migration. Once you’ve successfully migrated your app, you will see the past 28 days of crashes data, your latest releases, distribution groups, etc. migrated over, and you will be able to edit all your app settings and distribution group members in App Center. The HockeyApp logo will disappear from your app, and all your data is on App Center. Thereafter, users who try to access your app via the HockeyApp portal or the HockeyApp download page will be re-directed to the corresponding page in App Center.

Here are some initial designs of the user experience (note that these designs are subject to change):

1. The initiation of the cutover process        

2. As a user, I am able to migrate my app from the `Overview` page of the app        

3. My app has been successfully migrated        

Next Steps

Starting today, you can get started with your transition from HockeyApp to App Center through the side-by-side experience. We’ll also update you with full documentation and details on completing your migration to App Center in March 2019 to enable all of our users to complete moving over all apps by November 16, 2019.

As always, we are with you each step of the way, and we love to hear your feedback and questions anytime. Feel free to reach out to us by clicking the blue conversation button at the bottom right corner of the App Center or HockeyApp portal.

Wishing all of you happy holidays, and smooth skies ahead for the new year!

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