Best practices for publishing custom mobile apps in app stores
When enabling your Pega® Platform application in a mobile environment, you might encounter some issues that prevent you from successfully launching your custom mobile app, for example a rejection from an app store. To avoid potential problems, follow the guidelines outlined in this article.
For more information about designing mobile applications, see the Mobility landing page.
After you create a Pega Platform application, you can preview it before you build a mobile version of it, referred to as a custom mobile app. To preview the Pega Platform application, you use Pega Mobile Express, a native app that you download from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Pega Mobile Express is intended to be used for testing purposes only and not for final distribution. For more information about previewing Pega Platform applications on mobile devices, see Pega Mobile Express.
When building your custom mobile app in Pega Platform, you must create your own certificate set. Certificate sets gather all the keys and certificates that are needed to configure, build, and run an Android or an iOS mobile app, such as signing, provisioning, and push notification certificates. You obtain these keys and certificates from either the Google Developer Console or Apple Developer Portal, and upload them in Designer Studio. For more information about uploading and managing certificate sets, see Android certificate set and iOS certificate set.
Executable file generation
Pega Platform generates executable files that contain a complete custom mobile app that you can distribute and that users can install on their devices. You download an .apk file for Android or an .ipa file for iOS from Designer Studio. For more information about configuring and building custom mobile apps, see Configuring a custom mobile app.
Custom mobile app distribution through app stores
To make your custom mobile app available to end users, you can distribute it by using different methods. For example, you can distribute your custom mobile app by using application stores for different platforms.
Apple App Store
To submit your custom mobile app to the Apple App Store, consider the following information:
- Apple App Store must test and approve your custom mobile app before it can be published.
- The approval process can take up to a few days.
To grant the Apple App Store access to your custom mobile app, you must:
- Set up a server that hosts your application and make sure that it is up and running.
- Provide valid login credentials to your custom mobile app in iTunes Connect, in the App Review Information section.
For detailed guidelines, see the App Store Review Guidelines on the Apple Developer's Network.
Google Play Store
To submit your custom mobile app to the Google Play Store, the app must fulfill certain requirements. For details, see the Best practices section of the Android Developers website.
Additional information about submitting an app to an app store is available on numerous websites.
Excluding the geolocation functionality
Because of privacy concerns, the Apple App Store does not publish mobile apps that track user location without requesting permission. If your custom mobile app does not require geolocation tracking, you can exclude the geolocation tracking module when you build your custom mobile app. Follow these steps:
- Download the following file: custom-properties.zip
- Uncomment the
container.modules.excludeparameter and set its value to
- Save the modified file and place it in a root folder of a .zip file, for example assets.zip.
- In Designer Studio, click the name of your application, and click Channels and interfaces.
- Click a custom mobile app icon.
- Click the Build tab.
- In the App branding section, click the +New icon.
- Click Upload zip file.
- Click Browse and select the assets.zip file from your directory.
- Click Upload file.
- Build your custom mobile app.
Custom mobile app updates to app stores
You must upload new versions of your custom mobile app to the app store when you make changes to the Pega Platform application that require you to build the custom mobile app again, for example:
- When you change the URL of your Pega Platform application
- When you change your Pega Platform application from an online-only application into an offline-enabled one
- When you add a function that uses a new native functionality of the mobile device
If you make changes that do not require that you build the custom mobile app again in Designer Studio, such as general changes to the functionality or user interface, you do not have to submit a new version of the app to either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.