Video Transcript


Announcing New Review Apps: Expanded Options for Greater Control, Automation, and Easier Access

Faster application delivery with remote teams is the key to connect with your customers, now more than ever. A few years ago, we released Review Apps with the goal of improving the application development process and team collaboration. Today, we are excited to announce the release of an improved version of Review Apps to general availability.

The new version of Review Apps provides easier access management with a new permission system, and more flexibility for complex workflows with public APIs. It also no longer needs a staging, production, or placeholder app to host its configuration and collaborator access; this independence supports easier, more flexible application development.

Review Apps are disposable applications that spin up for each pull request in GitHub. They make it possible for development teams to build and test any pull request at a temporary shareable URL before merging changes back to production.

Improved Security and Control with Flexible URL Patterns

Review Apps have their own URL which makes it possible to share the result of latest code changes across your development team for feedback. Review app URLs can also be shared with contractors or clients outside your company, if you need to, so they can review and approve designs and features before merging the pull request and deploying to production. With the new version of Review Apps, it’s possible to select between a random or predictable URL. While the random URLs can provide better security, there are many use cases where you might need a predictable URL pattern. It’s even possible to have your own identifier as part of the predictable pattern, so you can easily distinguish between Review Apps in different pipelines or development environments.

visual of url pattern

Supporting Automation & Complex Workflows

The new Review Apps API makes it easier to use Review Apps in workflow automations in combination with other tools and products. Since review apps can now be accessed via the API, you can also control them from CI tools other than Heroku CI. Review Apps API is an extension of Heroku’s Platform API which allows enabling, disabling, creating, and deleting Review Apps. This new version makes it possible to enable Review Apps in multiple pipelines for the same repository, which in combination with the API flexibility can cover more complex workflows and use cases.

Also, the new Review Apps are no longer dependent on staging, production, or placeholder apps for collaborators access and configurations. So, a staging app can now be strictly a staging app, without also being used as a source of configuration for Review Apps. This enables easier applications development and makes it possible for customers to not create a staging app if it’s not part of their workflow.

Easier Access Management

A new pipeline permission layer will now bring more visibility and an easier way to manage access to ephemeral apps. You will have the option to get all users with the “member” permission in the Enterprise Teams and Heroku Teams automatically added to this table and given access to the Review Apps within the pipeline.

visual of auto join

For collaborators, and other users in your Heroku Enterprise Team, Heroku Team or personal account that can’t be added with auto-join, you can add them manually. For Enterprise Teams you will have the option to select and modify detailed permissions. For Heroku Teams and personal accounts, users inherit the hard coded permission sets.

visual of access tab

If you are using the older version of Review Apps, it’s very simple to upgrade to this new version, and we highly encourage it so you can benefit from all the improvements. New users of Review Apps will get started on this new version automatically.

Feedback welcome

We hope you enjoy using the new version of Heroku Review Apps. Please visit the Review Apps (New) Dev Center article for more information. Your feedback is highly valuable, please write to us via the “Give us feedback” button above the Review Apps column of your pipeline.

Originally published: June 16, 2020

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