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Android Development

Application Development Toolchain

Stuttgart Media University

1 Agenda

  • Tools Overview
  • Integrated Development Environments for Android
  • Native Build Process
  • Version Control Systems
  • Testing Tools
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Continuous Integration

2 Basic Tools for App Development

  • An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) including (*optional):
    • Source-code editor*
    • Debugger*
    • Cross-Compiler
    • Linker*
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) for the target platform including:
    • Emulator & Simulator
    • Platform specific debug service
    • Platform libraries and source code or header files
    • Other build and platform relevant tools
  • Version Control System*, e.g. Git, SVN
  • Testing and Distribution Tools*, e.g. Bitrise, Firebase App Distribution
  • Collaboration and Project Management Software*, e.g. Gitlab, JetBrains Space, Jira, Trello, Slack
  • Continuous Integration Tools*, e.g. Jenkins

Most of the tools provide nowadays combined services.

3 Android IDE

For Android app development it is strongly recommended to use Android Studio.

Android Studio (based on IntelliJ IDEA):

4 Native Build Process


5 Cross-Compilation

  • Different CPUs have different instruction sets
  • In order to run an application on a certain processor it has to be compiled to the machine code corresponding to the processors Application Binary Interface (ABI)


6 Simulator & Emulator

  • Developing and deploying on the target device is time consuming
  • Debugging might be more difficult
  • Sometimes the target device is not available
  • Thus, development environments usually provide a simulator or emulator, e.g.:
  • XCode (iOS):
    • iPhone Simulator
  • Android SDK:
    • Android Emulator

7 Simulator vs. Emulator

Simulator Emulator
Software that imitates the behavior of a software system by providing the same set of interfaces as the simulated software Software that imitates the behavior of a computer device or other electronic system

8 Version Control System (VCS)

9 Why Version Control

  • Supports collaboration, i.e. development of source code in a team
  • Stores different versions of a software efficiently without using too much storage space
  • Keeps track and allows to restore older versions
  • Efficient backup tool for you work

10 Git Clients

  • Git client for Mac & Windows (next to the command line interface)
  • IDE integrations:
    • Android Studio
    • Visual Studio Code

11 Crash Reporting and Beta Delivery Tools

12 Collaboration Tools (examples)

13 Continuous Integration (CI)

  • Development procedure where changes are integrated frequently into a repository
  • Principles
    • Maintain a code repository
    • Automate the build
    • Test the build automatically
    • Daily commit of every developer & build including test of every commit
      • Keep the build fast (otherwise it would take too long for CI)
      • Testing is done in a realistic but not productive environment (clone)
  • Automate deployment for user tests
    • Make it easy for developers & testers to access the latest builds and see the build results
    • Also called Continuous Delivery (CD)

14 Continuous Integration (CI)

  • Some advantages of CI
    • Bugs can be found and fixed immediately
    • Due to frequent builds, integration problems can be fixed at an early stage (reducing debug time)
    • Can increase code quality
  • Disadvantages of CI
    • Initial setup is time consuming
    • Good test-tools are required
  • Tools for CI

15 Recap Questions

  • What are the benefit and drawbacks of a simulator vs. an emulator?
  • What is an ABI? Which tool makes use of this?
  • What is an instruction set?
  • Explain the concept of continuous integration? What are the benefits?