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Getting Started with Your First Project

Last Updated: May 29, 2014 01:51PM EDT

GETTING STARTED WITH APPBLADE


New to AppBlade and looking for help? We have prepared a handy document that will outline all the parts of AppBlade and explain how to find your way around the user interface. After you've read through it you'll be ready to upload mobile apps, enroll mobile devices, and manage applications in no time. If you prefer to read this document off line, or keep it stored locally for quick reference, you can find this information for download in PDF format at the end of this article.



APPBLADE – TOOL OVERVIEW

 
Want to know the what's and where's of AppBlade?  You've found the right place!
 
AppBlade has four distinct parts:
 
  • The AppBlade desktop web UI
  • The AppBlade mobile web UI
  • The AppBlade SDK
  • The AppBlade API

This support resource will provide an orientation for those looking to become acquainted with these four parts. 

 

SECTION 1 – THE APPBLADE DESKTOP WEB UI
 


WEB UI OVERVIEW

 
Most AppBlade usage will be in the web UI. As an administrator, you will use it to manage, report on, and control your apps, users, and devices. Your team members use it to update and control your assigned projects, apps, and users. Your basic users will use it as an app store to discover and download mobile applications to their devices. When you log in to AppBlade from a desktop browser, it will appear like this:
 
The AppBlade main view
 

In the top right corner, where you see your email address, you will find your settings menu. Clicking on this will reveal options to edit your profile settings, accounts & billing (including “orgs” & “teams”), notification settings, personal device inventory, and security details:

 
User settings menu detail
 

In the top center of the screen is the menu bar. This allows you to access/manage the entirety of your mobile ecosytem from within AppBlade:


AppBlade's Main Navagation Menu
 
  • The “Apps” tab contains your apps, grouped together into “projects” - giving you a singular view of an app across all platforms and versions. You can create new projects, upload apps to a project, or access a project to make changes from this screen. 
  • The “People” tab contains all of your users. You can edit individual users access, permissions, and settings from this screen, as well as add individual or bulk users to your org.
  • The “Devices” tab shows all devices associated with your org. You can see/manage devices that belong to you personally, see/manage pools of devices, control mobile device management settings, and also search for and manage individual devices from this page. 
  • The “Support” tab brings you to our support articles database.
 
The rest of this section will move tab-by-tab to provide more information on what can be done under each tab.
 


THE APPS TAB

 
Once you have created a project within AppBlade, you will be able to select that project from the “Apps” tab to display more options and settings:
 
AppBlade project details screen
 
You will notice another menu bar within the project:
 
AppBlade Project Details Menu Bar Detail
 
  • The “Details” tab shows all versions, tracks, and settings for this particular project. From this screen you can configure the project's external services, manage continuous integration, communicate with the project manager, create public invitation URLs, and more.
  • The “Versions” tab allows access to prior versions of the application. From this screen you can explore details of previous versions, install previous versions, and more.
  • The “Users” tab allows access to users that have been invited to this project (unlike the “People” tab which is for the entire org).  From this screen you can add/revoke access, view status reports, view device info, approve users that have request access, gather UDIDs, and more.
  • The “Devices” tab allows access to devices associated with users that have access to this project (unlike the other “Devices” tab which is for the entire org). From this screen you can individually manage these devices and their project-related settings. 
  • The “Crashes”, “Feedback”, and “Stats” tabs allow access to reports/data gathered by our SDK related to this project. From these screens you can view and react to incoming information.
  • The “Notifications” tab allows you to access the notification settings for this project. From this screen you can manage the communications/notifications triggered by events in the project.
 
 
THE PEOPLE TAB
 
Moving back to the main menu bar, and one tab to the right, to the “People” tab you will see your users, and here you have the ability edit existing users as well as invite additional users to AppBlade:
 
AppBlade People Tab
 
If you click the “invite more users button”, you will see options for adding additional users individually or by pasting bulk email addresses, custom messages, and defining access levels to both the tool and to specific projects:

AppBlade User Invitation View
 
Please note that for security purposes communications from AppBlade are unique to each user, and if they have an action it is single-use only. Do not forward emails from AppBlade, and please explain to your users that they cannot forward emails from AppBlade. Attempting to join AppBlade using a forwarded invite, trying to download an app using a link intended for another, etc, will not work. 
 
Once users are invited to AppBlade, and after accepting their invitation, they will appear under the “People” tab just like you see in the first image in this section. You can select them to edit their individual access, permissions, and devices:

AppBlade privileges edit scree
 


THE DEVICES TAB 


Finally, the devices tab will display all the devices in your org, and high level device info and health status:
 
AppBlade's Devices Tab
 
  • The “Browse Devices” tab shows devices that are assigned to this org within AppBlade.
  • The “Pools” tab give access to bulk manage groups of devices. This screen will allow you to create a pool, define settings, and download the profile to distribute to devices you would like to include in that pool.
  • The "Management" tab gives access to setup and configure MDM for devies in your org.
  • The search box will allow you to find specific devices or types of devices as needed. 
 
Access to tabs varies by access level. Depending on your role and permissions in AppBlade you may or may not see all of the tabs and functions described here. For additional help you can contact us at any time.


THE SUPPORT TAB
 
The support tab offers:
 
  • Access to helpful articles and how-to guides for using AppBlade
  • A list of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) and their answers with links to relevant support articles for more information
  • The ability to post questions and have them answered by our staff and other AppBlade users
  • The ability to create trouble tickets
  • Email and Phone support contact details
 
You can access the support section of our site directly at:

 

SECTION 2: THE APPBLADE MOBILE WEB UI

 
AppBlade does not require an app to access builds. Instead, users access https://appblade.com from the default mobile browser to discover and download applications. 
 
We only recommend using the default mobile browser for your device, not a third party browser. 
 
When AppBlade is accessed via a mobile device’s default mobile browser, the tool detects the device type/version and displays a mobile-centric version of the UI designed to facilitate app discovery and installation. AppBlade makes it fast and easy to download applications and access support:
 
AppBlade's Mobile UI
 
If applications are available for that device type and version, there will be an icon indicating that you can download next to an application:
 
This app can be downloaded by the user
 
If applications are not available, those applications will be shown in gray without an icon and provide a reason why they are not accessible:
 
This app cannot be downloaded by the user
 
Clicking on an application will give more information. This screen has a similar menu and functions as viewing a project from the “Apps” tab on a desktop browser:

AppBlade mobile project view
 
In the event that AppBlade needs to authenticate a device or register an iOS he first time the user visits the mobile UI they will be prompted and guided through the process. If AppBlade needs to authenticate an Android device, it will be accomplished after downloading on first run. 
 
Only after a user has visited AppBlade via the mobile UI on an iOS device, or after authenticating on an Android device, will it show up as registered in AppBlade. They can be found under the “Devices” tabs under projects they have accessed and  in the “Devices” tab on the main menu bar of the desktop UI:

Mobile Devices Registered in AppBlade

 

SECTION 3: THE APPBLADE SDK


Using AppBlade does not require using our SDK.  You may use AppBlade to host builds and distribute them to users without it, and you can also use AppBlade MDM without embedding our SDK. Some functionality of AppBlade will be unavailable if you do not include the SDK into our App. 
 
Embedding the SDK is required to use the following functionality within AppBlade:
 
  • App kill switching (without MDM)
  • App auto updating (without MDM)
  • Crash reporting
  • In-app feedback
  • Custom data fields for reporting
  • User Statistics
  • Session Information
  • Unique Android device information
 
Our SDK is available as both a pre-compiled library, or as source code if you wish to compile yourself. It is open source, and you are welcome to fork the repository (see below) to create your own version of the SDK to meet your unique needs if you like. 
 
You can even ship a live version of your app to Apple and Google's app stores with our SDK included. Crash reporting, in-app feedback, and session/statistical information gathered via our SDK is allowed by Apple and Google. SDK functionality gathering unique device information and identifying specific users must be disabled prior to submission to avoid rejection. Don't worry though, our SDK detects the encryption flags in the executable and automatically disables unique device and user information for App Store builds. 
 
For the most up to date SDK information, or if you’d like to fork the repo, please visit:
 
For detailed SDK installation instructions, please visit:
 
If you would like to submit a feature or report a bug with our SDK, please either file a GitHub issue at 

 

SECTION 4: THE APPBLADE API

 
In order to allow you to automate and extend the value you get from AppBlade, our tool offers many available API calls. You can accomplish activities such as:
 
  • Extracting information for reporting tools/dashboards
  • Automating upload functions
  • Distributing builds
  • Removing projects/users
  • Managing access/security
 
...and more.
 
To see all support articles related to our API, please visit:
 
For an updated list of available API calls, please visit:
 
If there is something that you would like to see accessible via API but do not see it on the list of currently available calls please contact us to request access
 
 

ADDITIONAL READING

 
This concludes the “AppBlade - Tool Overview” document. For additional information and reading, as well as the most updated information about our tool please visit https://support.appblade.com.

Revised: 5/29/1014
support@appblade.com
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