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Pushing new Sparkle releases of our internal apps is a pain. I have to make the build, make the release notes file, sign the .zip with the private key, and add a new entry to the appcast file tying everything together.

I'd love it if Jenkins could help: use the commit messages for the release notes, and automatically do the rest of it.

Should I be looking at writing a new Jenkins plugin, or using shell scripting, or is there something already that will do what I want? (A quick Google didn't find anything.)

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why can't Jenkins help? The build steps that occur when code is checked in can be completely customised - so whatever it is you do, ensure that they are reproducible and put those steps into Jenkins as part of the build as shell scripts.

You may have to parametrize things like path or project name, and you may want to create a new 'dummy' or 'release' project that you can run manually (or chained as part of a Jenkins dependency so it builds automatically after several other projects have built).

Open up a Jenkins project and see the steps, look at the documentation and play with a dummy project.

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