App Maker provides application preview capability to help you test your application while working on it, without affecting the published version your users are seeing. Clicking the Preview button at the top of your screen will open the latest version of your application in a special preview instance.
Each author of an application has their own preview instance, which means you and another author can preview different versions of your application at the same time without overwriting each other. Only you will have access to view your preview instance.
An application needs to be published before others can use it. When you're ready to publish your application, you'll need to create a deployment configuration, referred to simply as a "deployment". A deployment is a specific instance of your application which can be run at a specific URL.
Once a deployment is configured, you can publish new version of your application by clicking the Publish button and selecting the deployment you wish to update. Deployments don't change as you edit your application. You need to publish your latest version in order to test it, or to give users access to it.
Publish an application
To create a deployment, click the Publish button and choose whether to:
- publish a new deployment—the default option if you're publishing an app for the first time.
- update an existing deployment—replaces an earlier deployment with the current revision of your app. This action preserves the existing app URL and all other deployment settings.
- edit your existing deployments—takes you to the Deployments screen, where you can make additional changes before publishing.
If you're publishing a new deployment, complete the following fields:
Use the name to keep track of multiple deployments. For example, you might deploy test and production instances of your app.
Choose who can access this deployment. You can grant access to everyone in your domain or just the email addresses you add to the list.
You can add Google Groups to this list if:
- They belong to your domain. You cannot add a public group with a googlegroups.com address.
- Your Google account has permission to view the Group's membership list.
Enter addresses for individual users and Google Groups you want to add to the Admins role and to any access roles you created in the app's settings.
Google Analytics ID
If you have a Google Analytics account that you want to use for this app, add its ID to your deployment.
Once the deployment is published, it's listed on the Deployments screen. Click the down arrow keyboard_arrow_down to reveal additional actions. You can edit the deployment settings, republish, delete, etc. Incidentally, the link on the left side of the listing (under Deployment ID), is the actual link to your published application. You can click on it to visit your published application.
After publishing an application, you can customize the published application further, such as specifying who can access, or specifying the database settings, or performing bulk data uploads among other things.
A published application's customizations are accessed by clicking edit on a deployment in the Deployments Settings screen.
You can view any server-side logs for a given deployment from the Deployments page. You can read more about logging here.
Republish an earlier revision
To restore a deployment to an earlier revision, open its deployment settings and click Republish. Choose the revision from the dropdown and click Publish.
There are important differences between databases in preview and published applications:
- For applications that use Drive Tables, each deployment will have its own independent database. This means that even if you've inserted data into the application earlier during preview, later upon publishing the application will not have any data. It also means that data between different authors preview instances will not be shared.
- For applications that use the Cloud SQL database backends, it's important to note that the same application (either when previewed or published) will use the same database by default. It is possible to switch Cloud SQL instance address in your Deployment Settings. App Maker will even detect when your data models are out of sync with the Cloud SQL database, which can often occur after a Cloud SQL address change. Once detected, App Maker will allow you to reconcile the differences in a safe manner.