Visual Studio App Center: A Year in Review

Joseph Mellin

The last year has been great! We celebrated the launch of App Center, and since then the team has been improving the product and building new features. You told us that modern Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery service needs to be easy to set up, support multiple platforms, and be extensible. We listened and today provide a service that’s reliable, platform agnostic, easy to use, and modular so you can automate your app development pipeline and focus on coding awesome features. To commemorate 2017, we thought we’d review a few of our favorite features and customer support stats for the year.

We Announced General Availability and Pricing

After great feedback from our preview at //Build 2016, our team worked hard to hit the top standards to announce General Availability at Connect(); in November 2017.

Along with that, we announced our accessible pricing plans:

  • Free Distribution, Crash & Analytics
  • Build: 240 build minutes per month
  • Test: 30-day free trial
  • Push Notifications: Up to five audience segments  

We Supported More Platforms

The App Center team is working hard to support even more platforms, including macOS, Cordova, and UWP.  

We Released Great Features

We updated our analytics service to support custom events with custom properties, and gave you the ability to export analytics data to Application Insights for advanced querying. We’ve also added Organizations and teams to make it easier than ever to manage access to your apps.     App Center now has integration to popular bug trackers such as GitHub, VSTS and now Jira.     As the next generation of Xamarin Test Cloud, you can automatically run a Launch Test on real devices with the App Center Test service. Just turn the setting on, and we’ll start your app on a real device and ensure it builds with every successful build.     In addition, we’ve added support for Espresso automated UI test to go along with our support for Appium, Calabash, Xamarin.UITest, and XCUITest.

We also enabled Push Notifications, Webhooks, and Public Distribution Groups.     Finally, as part of our effort to provide you with solid distribution services, we’ve added the ability to distribute your app directly to the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store, and Intune on commit or on demand.    

We Listened to Your Feedback

From engineers to product managers and marketing, providing you with a great customer support experience has been a focus for our team. With over 10,000 intercom conversations and a satisfaction rating of over 90%, it’s been a great experience working with you and learning about the amazing apps you’re building. We truly appreciate your kind words, and want to thank our users who were with us from the beginning!   “Great work all, love the App Center and *really* appreciate the fact you took the time to reach out after my enquiry. You all are killing it!”   “This just blows me away. The simplicity and usability of the App Center is better than I could have imagined. 🙂”   “Big hugs for all of you! Thank you!”   In closing, thank you again for believing in our product and our team. We come to work each day to make it easier for you to build awesome apps and experiences. We’re so excited to see what you build in the future!     Get started now button    

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