✈️ How to level up your releases with Runway — Webinar, Feb 8th at 1pm ET — Register
✈️ How to level up your releases with Runway — Webinar, Feb 8th at 1pm ET — Register

Product Updates

🪄 Introducing Quickstart CI/CD by Runway 🚀

Since we started Runway, a lot of folks have come to us motivated to automate their entire release process and improve collaboration around mobile, but lacking an important prerequisite for getting fully integrated in Runway — namely, CI/CD.

Turns out that, despite the GUIs and workflow builders that are now the norm for cloud CI, and despite the awesomeness of fastlane, people still struggle to get an end-to-end pipeline stood up. It’s not their fault: even with the GUIs and workflow builders and fastlane, everyone still has to reinvent the wheel. You need to piece together the right steps, gather the right configs, store the right secrets, perhaps even write some Ruby and random YAML flavor-of-choice…

At Runway, we think mobile CI/CD should be the easy part — a true out-of-the-box unlock. That’s why we’re launching Quickstart CI/CD, a free tool for growing teams and indies that can autogenerate a complete build-and-deploy pipeline for Android or iOS in minutes.

Simply run the wizard and let Runway do the heavy lifting. There’s no lock-in to worry about, and you’ll be able to build on top of the pipeline as your needs grow. Under the hood, Runway is assembling all the necessary steps, configs, and secrets, then generating CI-native config files to merge straight into your repo or take with you wherever you like.

We're excited for everyone to try this out! Click here to get started.

Avoid tedious git wrangling for post-kickoff fixes with automated cherry picks into your release branches

We know that getting late-arriving fixes into a release post branch cut can be an annoying exercise. Depending how your team does things, you might be delicately cherry picking changes over onto the release branch, wasting time fix by fix, or else you’re relying on cumbersome backmerges post-release (and dealing with the all-too-common mess that arises when said backmerges are inevitably forgotten!). 

Runway’s newest automation streamlines the process of getting fixes into a release by automatically cherry picking specific work that your team flags from the working branch into the appropriate release branch. Any PR that contains a designated, customizable pattern in its title is actively monitored by Runway — as soon as it’s merged into the working branch, Runway will cherry pick the relevant commits and open a PR against the specified release branch. If you also have the “merge Runway PRs” automation enabled, the fixes will be auto-merged once required checks pass — there’s nothing more your team needs to do.

Tailor Runway-generated PRs, commits, and more with customizable, templated string definitions

Runway automates away lots of manual tasks throughout the release process, and in doing so, it produces many artifacts along the way. Think pull requests, commit messages, GitHub releases, etc. Runway auto-generates relevant messages and copy to go along with each of these, but teams have told us they want more control over this kind of metadata — to do things like add Conventional Commits prefixes or tailor release changelogs to their liking.

Now, you can customize the strings that appear in Runway-generated artifacts. Take Runway’s version bump automation, for example — the PR that Runway creates with the version bump commit can now be configured with:

  • A custom PR title
  • A custom PR body
  • A custom commit message

To allow for dynamic, relevant text, these custom string definitions support a number of special tokens that can pass in info like the release version, release branch name, CI and store build numbers, release pilot info, and more.

Head to the “Custom strings” section on your app’s settings page to check out the full list of custom string options.

Get an even better handle on the state of your feature flags — and toggle them on and off — all from within Runway

We’ve continued to build on Runway’s new feature flagging integration with the evergreen aim of making Runway the single source of truth for all of your tools, throughout the entire dev and release lifecycle. To pull in additional context teams have been asking for, clicking into a specific feature flag opens up a new detail drawer, surfacing properties like target delivery rules and audiences. From here, you can now also toggle the feature flag on and off to quickly update its status without leaving Runway.

And, we’re happy to announce that we now support LaunchDarkly as our newest feature flagging integration, with more providers coming down the pipeline.

Take full control of your release pilot rotation with customizable ordering

We know folks are relying on Runway’s release pilot rotation to share release responsibilities across their team, so we’ve made it easier to manage exactly who’s on duty, and when. In addition to adding and removing team members from the list of pilot-eligible users, you can now order and reorder the list to configure the exact rotation you want to run. 

Make sense of feature flags alongside each release

Feature flagging is a powerful way to gate in-progress functionality, run experiments, and decouple product launches from binary updates — but wrangling feature flags can be tricky. It takes time and effort to make sense of all your flags, keeping tabs on what needs to be enabled for the first time, or deprecated, and when exactly. Release pilots, PMs, and others bounce between their team’s feature flagging platform and other tools to understand dependencies and stay on top of everything.

Now, Runway can help your team make sense of your feature flags. You’ll be able to see all feature flags that are relevant to a given release, including details like each flag’s status, rollout percentages, and specs for any associated variations, alongside the rest of the release and rollout context you’re used to in Runway. A special callout is applied to feature flags that are of particular interest in a given cycle — making it easier to see at-a-glance which flags might need extra attention during the course of the release’s rollout or beyond.

Optimizely is the very first feature flagging provider you can plug into Runway, and future integrations will include LaunchDarkly, Unleash, Firebase Remote Config, and even in-house solutions. You can help us prioritize – which tool does your team use for feature flagging?

Even more options for monitoring release health: Datadog and Mixpanel integrations

The launch of Runway’s Rollouts feature, and with it our new Observability & Analytics integration point, has allowed teams to monitor release health more holistically. And now, you have even more options for where signals of health are pulled from. Does your team use Mixpanel or Datadog? Connect it in Runway, select key metrics that define “healthy” for your team, and automate alerting and rollouts based on thresholds you set.

Measure and track your team’s Mobile DevOps performance

There’s been a lot of talk about Mobile DevOps lately; teams generally understand the benefits and are motivated to use it as a framework to improve their overall mobile practice. But actually measuring how your team is performing on the path to DevOps greatness can be extremely difficult to do accurately — or at all — and, as a result, it’s equally difficult to iterate and improve on your DevOps practices themselves.

The problem is that, even though there are well-regarded ways to quantify DevOps performance (e.g. DORA metrics), they require you to continuously crunch numbers on a lot of different data, spanning multiple tools and sources. Calculating things like failure rates, lead and cycle times, and time to recovery involves piecing together info from source control, your project management platform, the app stores, observability tools, and more. Doing this well calls for more than napkin math, and for metrics that are regularly refreshed.

Improve your team’s Mobile DevOps practices, powered by Runway 

Because Runway sits a level above the rest of your stack, we’re uniquely positioned to help here. Pulling together inputs from your entire toolchain and continuously crunching all the numbers for you, Runway will now surface a range of key Mobile DevOps metrics that allow your team to understand how you’re performing and help identify areas for improvement.

The entire development cycle is in scope: Runway analyzes items of work stretching as far back as first ticket creation and, crucially, integrations with the app stores allow for more granular and accurate insights on timing at the tail end of cycles as well.

Plus, certain metrics surfaced by Runway reflect the unique setup of your workflows and release process in the platform, giving you tailored insights into your team’s own way of working. 

Read on for an overview of the different measures of Mobile DevOps performance that you can now keep tabs on with Runway!

Release failure rate

How often do you ship bad releases?

Runway looks at multiple factors to determine whether a release went bad, like whether a hotfix was issued afterwards, if your team’s configured health metrics went “unhealthy” during rollout, or if you halted and never resumed a phased rollout.

Time to recovery

If you do ship a bad release, how quickly do you get a fix out?

For any release considered “failed” (see previous metric), if your team decides to issue a hotfix, Runway will measure how long it takes to get that hotfix release out the door.

Lifecycle timing

For a given item of work, how much time is spent each step of the way from inception to release?

Runway tracks work end-to-end – from first ticket, to code written, to code merged to trunk, to release. This gives your team a complete and granular understanding of how long it takes to get features and fixes out to users, and where bottlenecks exist.

Release frequency

Weekly? Biweekly? All over the place?

Runway will keep tabs on your release cadence and help ensure your team is shipping as often as you want to be.

Release step timing

How long does each part of your release process take?

To help you zoom in on and improve your team’s release process, Runway captures time spent every step of the way so you can pinpoint slowdowns and ship more efficiently. 

Checklist and approvals completion times

How long are sign-offs and action items taking?

Runway can also help you track performance around the unique parts of your team’s process. For checklist and approvals items, Runway surfaces info on how long those take to get actioned by your team.

Introducing Rollouts by Runway: a complete picture of release health, and conditional rollout automations

We’ve hinted at it in a previous update, but we’re super excited to finally announce the launch of Rollouts, a new part of the Runway platform that helps your team run rollouts with less context-switching and more confidence! 🚀

Rollouts allows your team to easily keep tabs on release health in just one place instead of many, alerts you whenever configured metrics become unhealthy, and safeguards release health by automatically halting rollouts based on thresholds you define. (You can automatically accelerate healthy rollouts, too!)

Read on for all the highlights, then hop into Runway to try Rollouts for yourself!

🗺 The only complete picture of release health

Rollouts integrates with the mix of different tools you use to measure app health – crash reporting, observability & product analytics, the app stores (for per-version user ratings) – to create a single source of truth and unified dashboard that gives your team a holistic and instantly understandable view of release health at a glance. No more context-switching, no more mental overhead, and no more bugging other folks on the team to dig up and interpret data for you.

🌡 You define exactly what “healthy” means for your team

Across all tools and every metric, you can configure granular thresholds that together define what “healthy” looks like for your team. Runway will surface a crystal clear view of how each release is tracking relative to that definition. With expectations around health codified this way, there’s no room for ambiguity or hand-waving when it comes to your team’s standards for quality of the product you’re shipping.

🚨 Avoid blind spots and delays with instant alerting 

The moment any of your configured metrics become unhealthy during a rollout, Runway will alert your team, in specific channels of your choosing and with full context on which metrics are problematic. You can be confident that no bad trends will go unnoticed – and that they can be acted on more quickly.

🛑 Automatically halt unhealthy rollouts

Building on the custom thresholds you define, Runway can automatically halt unhealthy releases. With this automation enabled, if certain metrics of your choosing fall afoul of your acceptable thresholds during a rollout, Runway will automatically stop the rollout and alert your team. This prevents delays and human error, saving you from the negative consequences of a bad release making it out to even more users.

(Available on the Runway Pro plan and above. Existing Runway Growth customers are eligible for a free 90 day trial of this feature.)

💨 Automatically accelerate healthy rollouts

If all of your metrics are looking good and your rollout has reached a minimum number of users you define, Runway can also accelerate things and release to all users immediately. Getting a good release out to all users more quickly can be just as impactful as halting a bad release!

(Available on the Runway Pro plan and above. Existing Runway Growth customers are eligible for a free 90 day trial of this feature.)