07-24-2013 03:55 PM
I am currently working on an app that is still in development mode and it not ready to be distributed in production through the Blackberry World. Basically, I would like to distribute the app to a few people so that they can "beta test" it. I've been trying to find the best way to do this but it seems that if the device does not have a debug token installed, the app cannot be installed onto that device. I noticed that in the Blackberry HTML5 WebWorks development documentation, you can package you app with a debug token but I have not been able to find directions on performing the equivalent process in the Android Runtime SDK. Does any one have any knowledge regarding this issue?
07-24-2013 04:57 PM
You can create a debug token for each person specifically using the command-line tools.
Create: blackberry-debugtokenrequest -storepass ******* -devicepin ******** mydebugtoken.bar
Deploy: blackberry-deploy -installDebugToken mydebugtoken.bar -device 169.254.0.1 -password *******
You could also sign the app and sideload to each device if you wish.
07-25-2013 09:11 AM
Thanks for the quick reply.
I understand how to create a debug token for a specific device, but it seems that to deploy the app, I actually need the physical device with me, and plugged in to my computer. I would like to distribute the app, meaning that I would like to send the .bar file to other people so that they can test on their devices. Is there no other way to distribute an app?
07-25-2013 10:00 AM
You may sign your app with the release key, and in this case your testers will be able to install it without the debug tokens. Yet they would still need to turn on development mode and use the command line tools to deploy the application.
However, with custom debug keys you can effectively prevent your app to get leaked since the debug tokens target only devices having PINs specified by you. For any other devices the .bar file will be useless.
You could assist your remote testers with a remote support tool to transfer the required files and install your app for testing. And for the device there is the nice BBM screen sharing feature.
07-25-2013 10:12 AM
So basically, what you are saying is that Blackberry does not provide ANY convenient way to distribute an app for beta testing? It's a little ridiculous to expect the average user to use command-line tools on their computer to install an app on their phone. Just in case the folks at Blackberry are not aware: the average smartphone user does know how to use the command-line. I know, shocking. It's no wonder that Blackberry is having so much trouble getting developers to make apps for their platform. Something as trivial as distributing an app for beta testing should not be this difficult. As an Android and iOS developer, I can say that Apple and Google make this process much easier and I would never have to seek this much help only to discover that it can't even really be done. Who cares if my app is "leaked"? I want people to USE my app, yet I can't even distribute it to my users.
Anyway, by "remote support tool", do you mean I would have to build one myself? Or are there tools available that I can use?
07-25-2013 10:47 AM
For this purpose I have built a zip which includes the command line tools and a custom batch file which deploys my app.
Yeah, right, it would be nice to have a much easier way, like the BB Desktop Software for the old BB Java OS devices... hopefully it will get better.
Anyway, the debug token approach can satisfy many, it can be powerful.
When I want to assist the deployment I have several options for remote support, these are free: www.join.me, TeamViewer, or paid ones: LogMeIn Rescue, Citrix go2assist etc. + BBM screen sharing.
07-25-2013 10:53 AM - edited 07-25-2013 10:54 AM
You can also create a Sandbox User Account from the vendor portal which is made for just this reason.
07-30-2013 12:11 PM
Blackberry says that these Sandbox User Accounts are for "When you make a product available for download on BlackBerry App World, you can simulate and test the purchase and download process using a sandbox user account."
This is not what I would like to do, I want to beta-test my application, not the purchase and download process.
07-30-2013 02:10 PM
By using a Sandbox account, various BlackBerry ID's that you whitelist can download, install, and test out your application (without having it up for sale).
Other than that, we don't currently support beta trials in BlackBerry World.
08-02-2013 03:11 PM
Thanks a lot, I was able to get the Sandbox Users feature working for my beta test. I must admit that this is quite a nice feature, but that the documentation regarding this feature and the Blackberry World in general could be much clearer.