Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Building & Deploying Mobile Applications with UrbanCode and Worklight

Posted by Helen Beal on Wed, May 14, 2014 @ 14:05 PM

Hello to IBM UrbanCode

IBM UrbanCode is an Application Release Automation (ARA) tool consisting of two parts:

  1. UrbanCode Build

  2. UrbanCode Deploy

This blog post is concerned with UrbanCode Deploy which orchestrates and automates the deployment of applications, middleware configurations, and database changes into development, test, and production environments. ARA tools:

  • Boost productivity

  • Reduce errors, risk and cost

  • Improve application quality and stability

  • Speed innovation to market

UrbanCode needs plugins to fully optimise its value as an ARA tool and a whole heap of them have already been built for you already and are available to download - including one for Worklight.

Hello to IBM Worklight

IBM Worklight is a Mobile Application Development Platform designed to help developers address this rapidly growing area of opportunity characterized by a fast pace and the need for rapid feedback that presents unique challenges:

  • Every mobile operating system has its own presentation style, interaction style and software stack

  • Screen sizes, input modes and hardware capabilities differ amongst devices

  • Devices and OS are constantly updating

  • Network connectivity and power levels fluctuate widely in typical usage scenarios

  • New consumer applications regularly extend and revise the standards for good mobile applications

How to Make the Two Work Together

Development and Operations teams are under pressure to deliver application innovation to market in ever reducing release cycles and are looking to DevOps principles and goals such as Continuous Delivery to help them achieve their development targets - and the demands on mobile applications only exasperate these issues.

Teams deploying mobile applications via UrbanCode Deploy and the Worklight plugin can respond faster to feedback and have a repeatable process whilst reducing risk - UrbanCode and Worklight together with configuration management and build tools (such as Rational Team Concert) can deliver a continuous delivery pipeline.


First Things First

You need to install:

  • IBM UrbanCode Deploy
  • IBM Worklight Server
  • IBM Worklight Studio
Make sure that the with the Worklight Server Application Center and Console are running. You'll probably want to use, or already be using, some other bits of software in your (evolving) DevOps toolchain, such as:
  • A source control management (SCM) system
  • A build engine
  • An application server
  • A database
You'll want to use the plugins in UrbanDeploy for these pieces too.

Getting Configured

Before you can build and deploy mobile applications to the Worklight Server, you must complete the following configuration steps:

  1. Configure the build system

  2. Configure UrbanCode Deploy, including the following steps:

    • Create components

    • Create component processes or application processes that include steps from the Worklight plug-in to deploy the mobile application

  3. Configure Worklight Server Console, including the following steps:

    • Create and configure a database

    • Configure the Worklight project Web Archive (WAR) file

Mobile Application Development Process

After you set up the build, UrbanCode Deploy and Worklight Server console, you can build and deploy mobile applications by using the following high-level steps:

  1. Check in changes from IBM Worklight Studio into a (SCM) system

  2. Build the application and add a new version to UrbanCode Deploy

  3. Request deployment in UrbanCode Deploy

  4. View the mobile artifacts in the Worklight Console, install, and test the application from the Application Center

What Do You Get?

The mobile application artifacts are deployed to the Worklight Server and can be installed on the target device.

What to do next

Optionally, create extra component and application processes in UrbanCode Deploy to roll back deployments (for example, to recover from an error condition or an incomplete deployment.)

Did that work for you? Or have you deployed an alternative ARA and MADP combination platform for your mobile DevOps capablity?

Topics: Mobile, Worklight, UrbanCode, application release automation