September 25, 2010

Zip for Distribution: The missing build step in Xcode

I have worked on a couple teams that have submitted iPhone Apps to the iTunes store, however I had never gone through the process on my own until this week. Well, turns out you need to use Apple’s “Application” to submit your app. So I fired it up, and was unable to select my .app bundle. This confused me, and the documentation probably mentions how to do this, but I just took a swing in the dark and zipped the file. This worked.

While right clicking on the file and selecting “compress” is pretty easy, I also had to rename my file to remove any spaces. Well this has become too many steps for any self respecting programmer. My solution is a custom post build phase:

Custom Build Phase Screenshot

Then I add the following script (making sure the shell is set to /bin/sh):

# We only want to build the zip file when we build for distribution
if [ "$CONFIGURATION" = "Distribution" ]
   # Create a short name with no spaces and remove the ".app" from the end
   SHORT_NAME=`echo "$EXECUTABLE_FOLDER_PATH" | sed 's/ //g' | sed 's/\.app$//g'`

   # Zip the file

   # Tell us what happened
   echo "Built distribution zip file: $TARGET_BUILD_DIR/$"

At this point I like to right click on the build step and rename it to something useful, something like “Zip App Bundle for Distribution”, but hey, that’s me.