Sometimes you might want to test your application and fix any technical or user experience difficulties with the minimal user impact, and later select to release the best version of your application to most users. You can test and deploy the alpha or beta version of the application before releasing the production version.

You can publish applications to the alpha or beta testing tracks in the Google Play console and then assigning the applications to Workspace ONE UEM smart groups.

Prerequisites

  • Make sure you have the APK file for the new version you want to publish.
  • If there are multiple devices registered to one user but assigned to different tracks, navigate to Groups and Settings > Devices & users > Android > Android EMM Registration > Enrollment Settings and set the Work Managed Enrollment Type as Device-Based. The setting ensures that a different GoogleID record is generated per device, and so different app versions from the Managed Play console can be assigned. Remember that this setting is only required if you must assign different tracks (alpha/beta/prod) for different devices registered to just one UEM user name.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to Apps & Books > Public > Add Application.
  2. Select Android from the Platform drop-down menu. Leave the Name blank and select Next.
    Google Play console opens directly from the Workspace ONE UEM console.
  3. Access the Private Apps from the left menu.
  4. Select the Private application for which you want to add the testing alpha or beta track.
  5. Click Make advanced edits under Advanced editing options.
  6. You are directed to the Google Play console login page. In the Google Play console, complete the following steps to add and rollout the Alpha or the Beta version of the application.
    1. Log in to the Google Play console using the google account tied to your Workspace ONE tenant. Go to your app and navigate to Release management > App release. You can either select alpha or beta track based on requirement. For example, if you select the Alpha track, add the APK file to the Alpha track and click Manage in the Alpha track.
    2. Under Organizations, click Edit.
    3. Select the organization corresponding to the Workspace ONE organization group and click Done.
    4. Click Edit Release.
    5. Add the APK file.
      After adding the APK file, you can see details about the version code and size of the file.
    6. Click Save at the bottom of the screen, then Review.
      View any of the warning messages and make necessary changes to the app, as requested.
      Note: It is safe to ignore a warning message about the testers, as it is defined though Workspace ONE later.
    7. Click Start Rollout and Confirm the rollout.
  7. In Workspace ONE UEM console, select the application from Apps & Books > Native.
  8. Click Assign and Add Assignment.
  9. Select the Assignment Group for the new alpha or beta version of your application.
  10. Select Managed Access and select Alpha or Beta from the Pre-release Version drop-down as per your deployment.
  11. In the verification screen, move up priority of your group where the Pre-release Version is assigned.
    If you select to upload alpha, beta and prod versions in the Google Play console, you can relate the priorities in Workspace ONE UEM console with the tracks in the Google Play console. For example, if you assign the application with the priority Alpha (0) > Beta (1) > Prod (2) in the UEM console, you might observe the following workflow pattern:
    1. For each of the devices the application is assigned to, Workspace ONE UEM gets the first track it is assigned to and passes the information to the Google Play console. For example if the assignment priority is Alpha(0) >Beta (1) > Prod (2), and a device is assigned to both alpha and beta tracks in the UEM console, the UEM console communicates to the Google play console that the device is whitelisted on the alpha track only.
      • In the Google Play console, when a device is assigned to a track (alpha or beta), it is also approved for the Production track.
      • Devices assigned to production automatically get approved for production.
      • The device receives the highest version among the tracks it is approved for.
    2. When a production track has a higher version than alpha or beta, the lower versions get superseded. Also, when a alpha or beta application is released to production it leads to app promotion.
      Note: Device receives the highest version among the tracks it is approved for.
  12. Click Save and Publish.
  13. Click Publish to confirm the assignment. The version corresponding to the rules in step 11a is made available to appropriate groups.
    Note: If the alpha or the beta track is superseded or promoted, devices in the alpha or the beta track get the production version of the application.

What to do next

After testing the alpha and beta version of your application, you can release the application to production in the Google Play console.