What Are Release Channels?
Release Channels are a powerful way to manage your applications on ArborXR, whether you're deploying them to your own devices or groups, or sharing them with other organizations.
A Release Channel is created, by default, when you upload an app on ArborXR. The automatically created Release Channel, 'Latest', will always point to the highest version (determined by versionCode), and will start as the default Release Channel for the app. However, you can always create or delete additional Release Channels, and assign them as the Default.
When deploying an app to a device, group, or sharing it with other organizations, you'll select the Release Channel with the desired Target Version. You can also update the Release Channel to have it point to another Target Version, and any groups, devices, or other organizations on that Release Channel will update to that newly selected version automatically.
Why Would I Use Release Channels?
If you simply want to deploy the Latest Version of an app to your device(s) - your workflow will remain unchanged. Whenever you upload an app, a default Release Channel targeting the Latest Version will be created.
However, as your XR initiatives grow, so too does the complexity of your workflow. Whether it's expanding your structure, scaling XR at your company, or collaborating with other organizations, Release Channels simplify your workflow.
You can easily swap out versions of an app within a Release Channel, and all devices, groups, or organizations on that Release Channel automatically update to the selected version, removing the manual mess of managing devices and updates.
Examples for How Release Channels Could Be Used
1. Deploying Different Versions of Your App to Different Device Groups
Let's say you have a group of devices that are actively being used, and a smaller, separate group of devices you text new versions on, that aren't yet ready to be shipped to the group of in-use devices
I'd create a Release Channel called 'Production' for my app, make it's Target Version v1.0, and make it my default Release Channel
When deploying an app to the group of devices in-use, I'd select 'Production' as the Release Channel to deploy
I'd create a second Release Channel called 'Testing' for my app, and make it's Target Version v2.0
When deploying an app to the group of test devices, I'd select 'Testing' as the Release Channel to deploy
Once the version being tested is deemed ready-for-use, I'd edit my 'Production' Release Channel's Target Version, changing it to 'v2.0', which would automatically update all of the devices in the in-use group to version 2.0.
2. Updating an App I've Shared to Other Organizations
Let's say I'm sharing my app to multiple organizations. I'd create a Release Channel titled 'Production' for my app, and make its Target Version v1.0
I'd then share the Release Channel 'Production' with other organizations, and those organizations would install the app on their devices
Now, when I have v2.0 ready to go, I simply upload v2.0 to my app, and change the 'Production' Target Version to v2.0
All organizations and their devices that have the shared 'Production' will automatically update to v2.0
I can also downgrade using this method by changing the Target Version back to v1.0, in case there was a problem discovered with v2.0.
3. Sharing a Beta Version of My App
Let's say I have already shared a Release Channel 'Production' with v1.0 of my app
I want to have the shared organizations test a new version of my app when they're able, but don't want to interrupt 'Production'
I'd just create a second Release Channel titled 'Beta', and point it to v2.0 for its Target Version
I can share this second Release Channel so that the organization has access to both Production and Beta, and can deploy either one.
How to Make a Release Channel
When you first create an app, and upload a version of it, a Release Channel is automatically created, set as the default, and will be targeting the Latest version you've uploaded.
At any time, navigate to the Versions tab of your app, and click 'Create Release Channel'.
Give your new Release Channel a title, and then select a Target Version.
You can then choose whether or not to make this Release Channel the new default when deploying or sharing this app via the Default Channel checkbox.
That's it! You've created a new Release Channel.
How to Update a Release Channel
Once a Release Channel is created, you can edit it whenever you want by clicking the three dots next to its title.
You can set it as the new default, delete it, change its name, or its Target Version. The most common use case is changing the Target Version, which will automatically update or downgrade all devices with the Release Channel to the newly selected Target Version.
Q: How will it affect how I'm currently using ArborXR?
A: For the launch of December 13th, 2023, we're performing a migration that will make sure how you're using ArborXR is not negatively impacted. Read all about how we're performing the migration, and how it might affect you, here.
Q: I just uploaded a version, but my Release Channel 'Latest' didn't change its Target Version, why?
A: Latest is defined as the highest versionCode of the build, not necessarily the most recently uploaded, so if you upload a version that has a lower versionCode than previously uploaded ones, it won't become the latest target version.
Q: Can I delete my Release Channel?
A: Release Channels can be deleted, but an app with a version must at all times have at least one Release Channel, because apps are deployed via their Release Channel.
Q: What happens if I delete a Release Channel that I've deployed on devices or that's shared to other organizations?
A: When you attempt to delete the Release Channel, you'll be able to select a replacement channel for devices, groups, and organizations that have this Release Channel. Alternatively, if shared, you can revoke access.