How Slopes uses DeployBot to improve their iOS UX

We get excited when we hear how DeployBot improves a development workflow. Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared a couple of conversations I’ve had with the teams at ReSnap and Reaktiv Studios about how they use DeployBot.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Curtis Herbert. He’s an independent developer and designer who is building a project called Slopes, and he’s using DeployBot as part of his workflow.

Shane: Hi Curtis! I already know a little bit about Slopes, but can you tell me a little more about what it does?

Curtis: Sure. Slopes gives skiers and snowboarders detailed stats about their days on the mountain, kind of like Nike+ or Strava does for runners. I’ve been working on version 2 for this winter, with a plan to include subscription plans as an option. To make this work I’ve needed to scale up my backend for the features I’ve got planned.

S: That sounds really cool! How did you initially deploy your work for this update?

C: Previously it was a pretty straightforward process: I was deploying using a Git clone script then running through update commands as needed to deploy.

Fortunately, updates to my backend were pretty rare, but I wanted to prepare my workflow for the future. Andrew told me about DeployBot and I decided to give it a try.

iOS 9 added integration between sites and apps with Universal links (redirecting HTTP links to open in your app) and shared web credentials (grabbing web login credentials from the keychain), but those require some management on the server-side. For me, the nicest feature from DeployBot has been the ability to manage those aspects automatically going forward.

S: How did DeployBot help make adopting those features easier?

C: For those features to work you need a JSON config file exposed sever-side. For Universal Links a plain-text version of the file is enough, but if you want to support shared web credentials you have to go a step further and SSL sign the file before you put it on your server.

Without DeployBot I’d either have to keep the signed copy of the JSON file in my repository so I could just deploy it, or I’d need to manually re-sign after every change. With DeployBot I’m able to automate that re-sign process and just work on the raw JSON file in my repository.

This was a feature I was definitely going to include in Slopes v2, and DeployBot made it much easier to setup and manage.

S: I had no idea how iOS 9 managed that process, or that DeployBot could help manage it. Curtis, thanks for taking the time to hop on a call about how you use DeployBot. If anyone’s interested in checking out your work, where should they go?

C: You’re welcome, and thank you. Happy to do it. Curtisherbert.com is a good place to see what I’m up to in general and anyone who'd like to check out Slopes can head to getslopes.com.

After we talked, I asked Curtis what resources we could share for anyone else setting up Universal links and shared web credentials on iOS 9.

To learn more about how this set everything up for iOS 9, head here: https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Security/Reference/SharedWebCredentialsRef/

And to see how you’d upload this config file with DeployBot, go here: http://deploybot.com/blog/store-and-deploy-configuration-files-through-deploybot

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