How to Build Different Versions of Flutter App For QADevProd

How to Build Different Versions of Flutter App For QA/Dev/Prod?

Earlier we have been through the various articles on flutter. So, in this article, we will go through how to build different versions of the flutter app for QA/Dev/Prod.

How to Build Different Versions of Flutter App For QA/Dev/Prod?

Firstly, we need to set up a global representing the BuildEnvironment named env.

env.dart will have a code snippet like the below:

import 'package:meta/meta.dart';

enum BuildFlavor { production, development, staging }

BuildEnvironment get env => _env;
BuildEnvironment _env;

class BuildEnvironment {
  /// The backend server.
  final String baseUrl;
  final BuildFlavor flavor;

  BuildEnvironment._init({this.flavor, this.baseUrl});

  /// Sets up the top-level [env] getter on the first call only.
  static void init({@required flavor, @required baseUrl}) =>
      _env ??= BuildEnvironment._init(flavor: flavor, baseUrl: baseUrl);
}

main_dev.dart

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'env.dart';
import 'app.dart';

void main() {
  BuildEnvironment.init(
      flavor: BuildFlavor.development, baseUrl: 'http://dev.example.com');
  assert(env != null);
  runApp(App());
}

main_prod.dart

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'env.dart';
import 'app.dart';

void main() {
  BuildEnvironment.init(
      flavor: BuildFlavor.production, baseUrl: 'http://example.com');
  assert(env != null);
  runApp(App());
}
  • Import env.dart to expose the env variable.
  • Run and build the app using the target option.
    flutter run -t lib/main_dev.dart
    flutter build -t lib/main_dev.dart

To integrate with VS Code, define launch configurations:

.vscode/launch.json

{
  "version": "0.2.0",
  "configurations": [
    {
      "name": "development",
      "program": "lib/main_dev.dart",
      "request": "launch",
      "type": "dart"
    },
    {
      "name": "production",
      "program": "lib/main_prod.dart",
      "request": "launch",
      "type": "dart"
    }
  ]
}

Release and Debug mode can now be acquired using:

const bool isProduction = bool.fromEnvironment('dart.vm.product');

Because this is a Constant it works with tree-shaking. So code like

if(isProduction) {
  // branch 1
} else {
  // branch 2
}

It would only include one of these two branches into production code depending on isProduction.

One way to do it: create a different main_<environment>.dart files in the lib/ directory of your project.

Each main_<environment>.dart contains the environment-specific configurations/values such as the different database names, etc. Each main_<environment>.dart then imports the actual application library and runs the application, passing in the environment’s values/configurations.

Then, choose which .dart file to build: flutter run -t lib/main_debug.dart

  • Starting from Flutter 1.17 you can use –dart-define to build your app with different compile-time variables. It works for both Dart and native layers.
  • In dart, you get these values with String.fromEnvironment for example. In that way, you won’t need to have tons of entry points and expose your environmental credentials.
  • Here is an article that explains more https://link.medium.com/ibuTsWHrk6
  • EZ Flutter is a collection of widgets, packages, and many more useful things, mixed up in a little framework. The aim is to make standard features available from scratch.

How to use it.

  • Create a json file under assets/cfg/$file.json
  • Add assets/cfg to your pubspec.yaml
  • Loading different configuration files at app start.
    import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
    import 'package:global_configuration/global_configuration.dart';
    
    void main() async{
      await GlobalConfiguration().loadFromAsset("app_settings");
      await GlobalConfiguration().loadFromAsset("env_dev_settings");
      runApp(MyApp());
    }
    class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
      ...
    }
  • Using the configuration in your app:
    import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
    import 'package:global_configuration/global_configuration.dart';
    
    class CustomWidget extends StatelessWidget {
    
        CustomWiget(){
            // Access the config in the constructor
            print(GlobalConfiguration().getString("key1"); // prints value1
        }
    
        @override
         Widget build(BuildContext context) {
            // Access the config in the build method
            return new Text(GlobalConfiguration().getString("key2"));
         }
    }
  • Simply you can implement build variants:
    buildTypes {
        release {
            // TODO: Add your own signing config for the release build.
            // Signing with the debug keys for now, so `flutter run --release` works.
            signingConfig signingConfigs.release
        }
        debug{
            applicationIdSuffix ".dev"
            signingConfig signingConfigs.debug
        }
       qa{
            applicationIdSuffix ".qa"
            signingConfig signingConfigs.qa
        }
    }
    
    productFlavors {
    
      dev {
          dimension "app"
          resValue "string", "app_name", "xyz Dev"
          applicationId "com.xyz.dev"
      }
      prod {
          dimension "app"
          resValue "string", "app_name", "xyz"
      }
    }
    • In iOS : Add configuration by selecting project->runner-> configuration add one more.

If you want to have a different app id for your app for your “dev” build, you could have this in the gradle file:

flavorDimensions "version"
productFlavors {
    dev {
        applicationIdSuffix ".dev"
        versionNameSuffix "-dev"
    }
}

Read more about gradle build variant configuration here.

    • Now you can run with this build variant with the command line:
      flutter run --flavor dev
    • If you are using Android Studio, you can set the build variant in the run configuration too:

      How to Build Different Versions of Flutter App
      How to Build Different Versions of Flutter App
  • import 'package:flutter/foundation.dart';

    And use the following const values:

    if (kReleaseMode) {
      // App is running in release mode. 
    } else if (kProfileMode) {
      // App is running in profile mode.
    } else if (kDebugMode) {
      // App is running in debug mode.
    } else if (kIsWeb) {
      // App is running on the web.
    }

    Create a file at the root of the project app_environment.dart. Use the kReleaseMode variable from the foundation.dart package to check for production mode.

    import 'package:flutter/foundation.dart';
    
    class AppEnvironment {
    
      String getApiURL() {
        if (kReleaseMode) {
          return 'PROD_API_URL';
        } else {
          return 'STAGING_API_URL';
        }
      }
    }

Conclusion:

Thanks for being with us on a Flutter Journey !!!

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Abhishek Dhanani

Written by Abhishek Dhanani

Abhishek Dhanani, a skilled software developer with 3+ years of experience, masters Dart, JavaScript, TypeScript, and frameworks like Flutter and NodeJS. Proficient in MySQL, Firebase, and cloud platforms AWS and GCP, he delivers innovative digital solutions.

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