Telerik Platform: Connecting AppBuilder to Git

The Telerik Platform is a Tiny Bit Finicky (Sometimes)

The Telerik Platform lets you manage AppBuilder projects using Git, but connecting to your repository can be a bit tricky. Sometimes, some of the basics aren’t very clear, such as which credentials you have to put where, or how to get the repository’s address. And if you enter the wrong details, it might take a while to figure out what went wrong. This post explains the basics and helps you connect to GitHub and BitBucket repositories. Even if you use other git hosts, it might prove useful if you’re having trouble connecting.

First, A Word About Git Protocols

The first thing you need in order to connect to any repository is its clone url. The clone url is basically the repository’s address.

But Git is very flexible and clone urls can have a number of different formats. In fact, the same repository can have many different clone urls, depending on how the repository is set up and configured.

One of the more basic components of a clone url is its protocol. Git supports multiple protocols: git, http, https, ssh and local. The main differences between these protocols are the server configuration, the url structure, and the security profile.

However, these protocols are not always relevant or even supported. For example, the local protocol, which lets you clone a repository from a local or network file system, is irrelevant when working with Git hosts such as GitHub or BitBucket. Also, some of them only support reading repositories but not writing to them. This includes the git protocol on GitHub.

Here’s the breakdown of supported and available protocols:

Service/Host git https ssh local
Telerik Platform yes yes
GitHub yes yes yes
BitBucket yes yes

So we’re going to connect with the https protocol for a few reasons:

  • It’s generally more secure than git.
  • It’s the only protocol supported by both the Telerik Platform and both hosts (and likely other hosts as well).
  • These hosts support both reading (pulling) and writing (pushing) only over https.

Before we continue, go ahead and create a new AppBuilder Hybrid project or open an existing one. Then open up the Version Control menu and click on Configure Remote Repository to open the dialog that will let you connect to whichever repository you choose.

##Take One – Connecting to GitHub, The Easy Way

The Configure Remote Repository dialog has a special Connect to GitHub button. You can click that button instead of entering a clone url manually.

You can click that button, and then click Next and sign in with your GitHub credentials. The dialog will show you a list of your existing GitHub repositories, public and private.

This is an easy way to connect to GitHub, and it also offers additional options, such as inviting and managing the GitHub project collaborators.

If you ignore all the extra features, which you probably won’t need when simply connecting to the remote repository, this option is essentially identical to manually entering the https clone url. In fact, if you reopen the Configure Remote Repository dialog after connecting to GitHub, you’ll see that the https clone url appears in the text box.

Take Two – Connecting to Any Repository

But if you need to connect to a different host or if you need to enter a different clone url for GitHub (for whatever reason), you can also connect manually. These instructions will help you connect to your GitHub or BitBucket repository. I’ve tested
this with public GitHub repositories and public and private BitBucket repositories.

  1. Open another browser tab, browse to your host (github.com or bitbucket.org) and find your repository. If you don’t have one yet, go ahead and create one.

    GitHub: On the sidebar, you’ll see a box titled HTTPS clone URL, SSH clone URL, or Subversion checkout URL. You need the HTTPS clone URL. If one of the others is selected, click the HTTPS link under the url. Copy the url to the clipboard.

    BitBucket: On the sidebar, click Clone. If the drop down button shows SSH, click it and select HTTPS. Copy the content of the text box to the clipboard.

  2. Go back to the Telerik Platform tab and paste the url in the text box.

    GitHub: GitHub gives you just the clone url, so there’s nothing left to do here.

    BitBucket: Note that unlike with GitHub, BitBucket gives the whole command with the url to make it easy to run the command correctly from the command line. We don’t want the whole command; we want just the clone url. So delete git clone and the extra space before the url.

  3. Click Connect.

  4. If the Telerik Platform asks you to authenticate with a username and password, make sure you enter your credentials on the git host, not your Telerik Platform credentials.

    GitHub: In the username text box, enter your GitHub username. (I haven’t tested authentication with an email address.)

    BitBucket: In the username text box, enter either your BitBucket username or email address. Both should work.

  5. Click OK and wait for Telerik to finish synchronizing your repository.

That should do it!

After connecting to the repository, the Telerik Platform will push the source code automatically (if you tell it to earlier in the process). You should be able to see your code in GitHub or BitBucket immediately.

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