Musings on the iTunes Connect app submission process/catastrophe

authored by Frank Lynam at 31/01/2017 20:02:31

I was reading recently about how we humans have a tendency to miss impending disaster. The idea being that for evolutionary reasons (or boredom or whatever) we don’t see the tell-tale signs that our lives and the lives of those around us are going to change drastically in a matter of months or even days. Obvious examples from the past being the great wars and so on. The article was written presumably because of all the recent political events.
Is it possible that catastrophe can be upon you and even at that point you fail to realise it? I think with the fiasco that is the Xcode-iTunes Connect app submission process we may have a prime candidate. Do Apple really think that this steaming mound of ambiguous language, mindless help documentation and lengthy processing (often ending in extremely unhelpful error messages) is acceptable in a world where a developer is used to being able to build and deploy to websites and web apps and so on with the click or two of a button? What is going on in Apple HQ that they have let this come to pass? Is it really that difficult for the Apple brains trust to come up with something better than is currently on offer? I appreciate that this is a problem for the developer community and is not something that touches its pristine customer base but for a company that prides itself on design, it should really think about going back to drawing board.
I am picking up this sorry tale midway along the tracks. To summarise the last seven or so hours of my day have been spent with me banging my head against the monitor in an effort to try to do something that should be very simple, given that it is existential to the whole Apple app development ecosystem - I want to upload an app for review to iTunes Connect. To add a slight variation, the app in question is an update to an existing App Store app, that was developed by my company a couple of years ago.  Anyway, surprise surprise, I've had numerous problems with certificates and provisioning profiles and so on. The last time I went through all of this was a couple of years ago and I remember wasting a comparable amount of time then as well. So nothing has changed.
I finally managed to get the app archived and validated in xcode and then at the last moment of the App Upload process, I get the following error:
WARNING ITMS-90076: "Potential Loss of Keychain Access. The previous version of software has an application-identifier value of ['XXXXXXXXX'] and the new version of software being submitted has an application-identifier of ['YYYYYYYYYY']. This will result in a loss of keychain access."
To attempt to resolve this:
I go into my Developer Control Panel ( find the App ID that was associated with the original version of the app and link it to the active distribution provisioning profile.
I then download the provisioning profile and select it under Project-Target-Settings-General/Provisioning Profile/Import Profile in xcode.
I build the archive again (for the 20th or so time but who’s counting at this stage).
I validate again.
I then get the following error:
An error occurred.
The operation couldn’t be completed. (ITunesSoftwareServiceAuthenticationErrorDomain error 434.)
I try again.
Now it tells me I have already a bundle with the build number I am using. Ugh! I change the build number, archive and try to validate again. Bare in mind that all of these uploads seem to take the Apple servers eons to complete.
Validation succeeds - hurray! - and I try to Upload to App Store again.
I then go to iTunes Connect and click on the Builds + button for my new app version. I see that there are now listed two builds - sigh! Anyway, once the latest one has finished processing, I add it and click 'Submit for Review'.
Let's see how the Apple app gods see fit to judge my works. And perhaps in the meantime, they might give the system an internal review.