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I was sceptical when I talked about Xcode Cloud last week, and a few people responded, saying that while it wasn’t perfect, my fears were somewhat unfounded.

I also mentioned that I recently received beta access, so I spent some time getting a project of mine set up in Xcode Cloud this week.

Before I say more, it’s important to note that Xcode Cloud is still in beta, and while I couldn’t find any mention of an NDA or any restrictions on talking about it, you should read everything I write here with that in mind.

My first impressions were great. Without a doubt, the easiest CI I’ve ever configured. I opened my project, connected GitHub, configured a couple of settings, and off it went! No code signing issues, no configuration files. So easy! Of course, my first build failed, but has anyone ever had the first build on a new CI platform pass the first time? 😱 That doesn’t happen.

I did find a couple of problems as I experimented. It consistently refused to launch a process to run my tests, and I also had a conflict with my automatic build numbering system. I didn’t manage to fix the issue with my tests, but the build numbering problem was easy to solve once I figured out what was happening. However, I bet this is a common problem, and some guidance through a better error message would have been lovely.

But my experience isn’t what I wanted to talk about today as I had no doubts that it would fit my needs. My project is small, written entirely in Swift using modern APIs, and uses the Swift Package Manager (and only has one dependency, too!). My scepticism of Xcode Cloud was not around projects like this.

So that’s why I was delighted to read this article from Julio Martínez Ballester this week. He talks about exactly the situation I was sceptical about, and the experience they had was good, or maybe even great! They have a ten-year-old large project with multiple dependency managers and needed numerous CI workflows to run. A complex task for sure and precisely the kind of situation that I thought would present a challenge. If you were sceptical, like I was, you should give it a read.

It also goes to show you shouldn’t listen to me! 😅

Dave Verwer

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