No-Fuss way to quickly publish mobile app from Zoho Creator

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Zoho creator is a brilliant low-code custom business app creation platform, and trust me its one of the best tools available in market today under this category. Along with other awesome features, it gives you an option to publish your rebranded business app for mobile devices and it supports both Android and iOS platforms with just few clicks. In this post we’ll be talking about publishing Android Customer portal app.

This feature currently is available only with the ‘Ultimate plan’.

So, lets jump on to a step by step guide for publishing Android mobile apps using Zoho creator.

Once you go to App settings > Download as Mobile Apps

You’ll be asked to select which app you want to publish, whether its the Users app or Customer app.

Zoho creator Mobile App download for Customers Android
Android App for Customers from Zoho creator

Once you click on ‘For Android’ under ‘For Customers’, you’ll be presented with a sliding window asking for app properties and dependencies.

Android app properties and configurations
Properties and Configurations for the App

From here your first step is to generate the keystore file. A keystore file is nothing but a repository of security certificates – either authorization certificates or public key certificates – plus corresponding private keys, used for instance in SSL encryption.

To generate a keystore file you need to have JAVA installed on your machine. Once you have that done, go to the folder where JAVA got installed using cmd and type in following command:

Make sure you run cmd as an administrator user.

Run cmd as an administrator to avoid permission issues
Run CMD as an administrator user

keytool -genkeypair -v -keystore <my-release-key>.keystore -alias <alias_name> -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 20000 -storetype jks

Change <my-release-key> with the filename you want to give and <alias_name> with the alias name for the app you prefer.

Once you hit enter, you’ll be asked for Keystore password you want to set and other informations related to the app. You can key in information as per your preferences.

Make sure you memorize the password, as it will be needed during publishing.

Keystore file asking for informations needed for app
Password and Details for KeyStore file

Type in ‘YES’ at the final step and press enter if the key password should be same as keystore password.

Final step asking for key password
Generating KeyStore file

Once done, your file will be generated in the directory you executed the command.

Generated keystore file and stored in same directory
KeyStore file generated

This way you are ready to fill in 5 fields on the app publish form

  1. Upload Keystore file: You need to select and upload the file you just created
  2. Keystore Password: Enter the password you set while generating keystore file
  3. Key Password: Remains same as above if you have not selected a different one, else enter the one you updated
  4. Alias Name: Put as the alias name you entered during keystore file creation
  5. Package Name: Typically its entered as com.<company_name>.<AppName>
5 fields data available for zoho creator app publish screen

Now for remaining 2 fields you need to go to Firebase

Create an account on Firebase and go to console, then click on ‘Add Project’

Create a firebase project by clicking 'Add Project'
Add Project on Google Firebase

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Enter the project name and hit continue, in the next step disable google analytics and click on ‘Create Project’

Enter project name for the firebase project
Project name on Google Firebase
Disable the google analytics for project and create project
Create project by disabling Google analytics

Your project will be ready in sometime and you can click ‘Continue’

The project is setup and can be used now
Project ready on Google Firebase

Click on ‘Android’ icon to add an app

Selecting the android icon for app configs
Add an Android app

Enter the package name which you gave on Zoho publish screen, add a nickname and hit ‘Register App’.

Reggistering the app after entering package name and app nickname
Register app on firebase

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Firebase will now generate the config file for your app, which you need to download

Google config file is available and can be downloaded
Download config file from Firebase

Next, go to console again, select your app and click on Android icon then on settings icon.

Select android icon on firebase console to find server key
Open registered app

Now go to cloud messaging tab and copy the server key

Navigate to the cloud messaging tab to fetch server key
Server key from Google Firebase

Now go back to Zoho creator screen, you now have data for other two fields as well.

ENter all information and upload dependencies on Zoho creator app publish screen
Configurations enteres for app publish

Now enter all the details and click ‘Generate client’, you’ll be asked to generate OAUTH client, and then click on ‘Code Sign’

Code sign for app in progress
Codesign process for app creation

Once the codesign is complete, the app will be available for download and distribution

Codesign completed and app is now available for download and distribution
Published app for Zoho creator Customer Portal

Excited to hear from you, comment below !

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