Tutorial - Building your App for Release with Xcode (iOS)

Important Notes

  1. To build app for iOS, you still need a Mac computer with Xcode 8 (or later) installed.
  2. Before reading this tutorial, please make sure that you have set up your environment properly for building and testing apps. Please read Preparing Mac for iOS App Development first.
  3. Read Deploying to a Device -> iOS Devices first.


Request a distribution certificate

A distribution certificate identifies your team or organization.

If your team already has one and you want to reuse it, see How to share an iOS distribution certificate. Then, skip straight to the Generate your project with DB AppMaker section.

If you don't have a distribution certificate yet, continue on with this section and we'll help you set one up.

  1. Start Xcode.

  2. In Xcode, add your Apple ID (If you haven't done so already). See Add your Apple ID account.

  3. In the menu bar, choose Xcode->Preferences.

  4. In the Accounts page, choose the View Details button.

  5. In the account details page, choose the Create button next to the iOS Distribution signing identity.

    Create button

  6. Choose the Done button to close the account details page.


Create a distribution provisioning profile

A distribution provisioning profile lets you submit your app to the store.

  1. On the Member Center page, choose the Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles link.

  2. In the Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles page, choose the Provisioning Profiles link.

  3. In the Provisioning Profiles page, choose the + button.

    Add button

  4. In the What type of provisioning profile do you need? page, choose the App Store option, and then choose the Continue button.

    App Store Provisioning Profile

  5. In the Select App ID page, choose the App ID of your app, and then choose the Continue button.

    App ID popup menu

  6. In the Select certificates page, select the distribution certificate that you created earlier in Xcode, and then choose the Continue button.


  7. In the Name this profile and generate page, name your profile, and then choose the Continue button.

  8. In the Your provisioning profile is ready page, choose the Download button.

Need more detail? See Creating provisioning profiles using Member Center.


Download the distribution provisioning profile
  1. Open Xcode.

  2. In the menu bar, choose Xcode->Preferences.

  3. In the Accounts page, choose the View Details button.

  4. In the account details page, choose the Download button next to your provisioning profile's signing identity.

    Download button

  5. Choose the Done button to close the account details page.


Generate your project with DB AppMaker
  1. Start DB AppMaker and open your project.
  2. In the Config -> Platforms tab, enter all the information for the app. Read Config Settings for details.
  3. Go to the Generate tab, change the Project folder if necessary, e.g. C:\Users\user\Documents\DBAppMaker\Projects\project1\.

Press the Generate button to generate.


Build and code sign your app

Follow Deploying to a Device -> iOS Devices to build and code sign your app:

  1. Create a Provisioning Profile in Xcode,
  2. Build your app with ionic cordova build ios --prod,
  3. Code sign your app with Xcode,
  4. Trust the certificate you code signed your app.

Now, go back to Xcode and hit that play button or run ionic cordova run ios --device from the command line to install and launch your app on your iOS device.


Submit your app to the store
  1. Copy the .ipa file into a folder on your Mac.

  2. Create an iTunes Connect Record for your app.

  3. Use the Application Loader to upload your .ipa file to iTunes.

    1. Launch Xcode.
    2. Choose Xcode > Open Developer Tool > Application Loader from the menu bar.
    3. Log on with your Apple ID.
    4. Click on Deliver Your App. The Application Loader will check with iTunes Connect to see if any apps are "Waiting for Upload", and display a list. Select the correct one.
    5. Select the .ipa file on your system when it asks you for it.
    6. Application Loader with then perform a series of tests on the file. If it passes, the file will get uploaded to iTunes Connect.
    7. The status in iTunes Connect will change to "Waiting for Review".
    8. A few days later, expect an email from Apple either saying the app is approved or with a list of issues to correct.



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