Android apps that have already been published can use Merchant Groups to release new app versions to a subset of current subscribers. Each group consists of a set of merchants and a set of APKs that have already been approved for publishing.
Any merchants in the group will be upgraded to the APK in the group that has the highest version code. As long as this beta override APK has a higher version code than the APK they currently have installed, the Clover app updater will install the beta APK on their system.
Merchants will remain on the APK associated with their merchant group, regardless of whether an APK with a higher version of the code is published for the general merchant population.
As with any release, allow time for your merchants’ devices to sync and download new versions.
Creating Merchant Groups
You can manage your merchant groups from the Merchants tab on your Developer Dashboard. You can create and manage merchant groups from this page. To manage an existing merchant group, click on the Group Name.
The details for that group will appear.
You can add a merchant to a merchant group individually by its Clover UUID or FirstData MID, or upload a CSV with the UUIDs or the MIDs. Alternatively, you can add a randomly-selected amount or percentage of your current subscribers to a merchant group.
Merchants must have your app installed already in order to be eligible for a merchant group.
The Clover UUID is the alphanumeric ID associated to the merchant. To find this ID, click on the Merchants section for your app. The Merchant ID is the alphanumeric ID listed under the merchant’s name (e.g., ABC123DEF567G).
Changing the APK Version for a Group
To change the APK version that will install for a merchant group, add the new APK version to the group.
- Go to the app’s Manage APKs page
- Next to the APK version, click the Actions drop-down menu
- Select Add to Merchant Group
Removing an APK from a group will prevent that APK from installing for any merchants you subsequently add to the group. However, it will not remove the APK from merchant devices that already have that version installed.
An APK will only install on merchant devices that already have a lower version of it.
Deleting a Merchant Group
To delete a Merchant Group, you must first remove all of the APKs associated with that group. Afterwards, you can delete the group itself from the main Merchants tab view.
Using Merchant Groups for Staged Rollouts
In addition to allowing beta releases, Merchant Groups also allow staged rollouts of new APK versions. You can release a version to incrementally larger subsets of merchants to confirm that the app is working as expected before releasing to all merchants.
For example, you might create a group containing 10% of an app’s subscribers. After confirming that no issues were detected within that group, you might include 50% of your subscribers in the group. Once you feel confident about the new version, you can publish it fully and delete the merchant group.