Our goal with Build Distro is to make it dead simple for anyone on your team to grab the right build at the right time. And in order to achieve that, we need to be sure folks have a complete, understandable snapshot of what each build contains. So, we’re taking the popular Feature Readiness view from Runway’s release workflow and applying it to each and every build you distribute via Build Distro.
When you click (or tap! — don’t forget, Build Distro plays nicely on your phone) into the build detail view, you’ll see a diff that contains a composite of code and tickets for a full picture of work that went into the build. In addition to seeing changes since the previous build of the same type, you can scroll further back in the diff with clear demarcation between older builds as you go — helpful for folks who haven’t grabbed this kind of build in a while and need to catch up.
When it’s hard to get incremental, on-the-fly builds into people’s hands, teams tend not to bother – and that has a negative impact on collaboration and app quality. Build Distro’s buckets system already takes a big step towards making these sorts of one-off and feature-based builds easier to distribute. Now, we’re tackling more of the “last mile” problem by ensuring direct access to downloadable builds is never more than a click, tap, or QR scan away.
For any Build Distro buckets you’ve configured to grab builds from pull requests, you can enable a new automation that will post comments on the appropriate PRs, including info on each new build and direct links and QR codes for seamless installation. Now, whether a teammate is in the weeds code-reviewing a PR or is just curious about its latest changes, they have that version of the app at their fingertips.
Most of you are probably familiar with the existing automations that allow you to set target dates and have Runway automatically submit and/or release on schedule – provided preceding steps and approvals in your release workflow are good to go. Those safeguards are important, but it’s also a shame to lose hands-free mode if you’ve only missed your target deadline by a little bit and the last few pending items will be ready soon.
Now, you get the best of both worlds with a new option on Runway’s submission and release automations that allows it to “proceed on green”. With this option enabled by itself, you can have Runway automatically submit or release just as soon as all preceding steps are in a good (green) state. Or, if you couple this new option with target dates, Runway can submit/release automatically at the scheduled time or, if not all steps are ready, any time afterwards once all steps are green.
Slack can be a noisy place, making it easy for important notifications to get missed. To ensure no balls get dropped and give you full confidence that folks who need to be aware of a critical update or time-sensitive blocker are indeed aware, you can now add targeted mentions to each and every Runway notification on a per-notification basis. You can assign roles or specific users and they will be called out or @-mentioned using their Slack handles, respectively.
For teams who use the backmerge approach to pull late-arriving fixes applied to release branches back over onto their development branch, some amount of Git wrangling is always necessary. Runway already offered a way to automate that away, by automatically backmerging from release branch into dev (and any upcoming release branches) at the end of each release cycle. But some teams told us that with the pace of their development cycles and multiple releases stacked up, they needed a more continuous backmerge operation – and they were wasting lots of time managing that by hand.
Now, Runway can offer automated continuous backmerges. Choose the corresponding option in the backmerge automation settings and Runway will perform immediate backmerges as each item of late-arriving work lands on your active release branch.
To save you even more context-switching and give even more of your team easy access to Runway’s single source of truth, we added a new Slack action you can use for a quick overview of any upcoming, live, or past release. Just call /runway status from any Slack channel, passing in the app and version you’re interested in, and Runway will post a message containing target dates, release step statuses, phased rollout progress and health metrics.
We’re continuing to integrate Runway with all the different tools mobile teams tell us they’re using. Here are the noteworthy recent additions to our lineup of integrations: