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.
Once you click on ‘For Android’ under ‘For Customers’, you’ll be presented with a sliding window asking for app properties and dependencies.
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.
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.
Type in ‘YES’ at the final step and press enter if the key password should be same as keystore password.
Once done, your file will be generated in the directory you executed the command.
This way you are ready to fill in 5 fields on the app publish form
- Upload Keystore file: You need to select and upload the file you just created
- Keystore Password: Enter the password you set while generating keystore file
- Key Password: Remains same as above if you have not selected a different one, else enter the one you updated
- Alias Name: Put as the alias name you entered during keystore file creation
- Package Name: Typically its entered as com.<company_name>.<AppName>
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’
Enter the project name and hit continue, in the next step disable google analytics and click on ‘Create Project’
Your project will be ready in sometime and you can click ‘Continue’
Click on ‘Android’ icon to add an app
Enter the package name which you gave on Zoho publish screen, add a nickname and hit ‘Register App’.
Firebase will now generate the config file for your app, which you need to download
Next, go to console again, select your app and click on Android icon then on settings icon.
Now go to cloud messaging tab and copy the server key
Now go back to Zoho creator screen, you now have data for other two fields as well.
Now enter all the details and click ‘Generate client’, you’ll be asked to generate OAUTH client, and then click on ‘Code Sign’
Once the codesign is complete, the app will be available for download and distribution