updated 01:00 am EDT, Fri October 25, 2013
Promotional offer meant to encourage use of app-building 'bots'
Apple is offering free copies of OS X Server for 10.9 Mavericks to iOS developers in the hopes of encouraging the use of Xcode bots, which take advantage of the new "continuous integration" in the latest version of Xcode to automate some of the app-building process, specifically testing apps on a remote machine. The use of bots allows developers to see the test reports on their development machines running Xcode rather than split their time between testing and correcting issues.
OS X Server for 10.9 Mavericks was released along with Mavericks on Tuesday, and costs $20 from the Mac App Store. To accompany it, a final 5.0 release of Xcode was also unveiled, though it received a minor update on Thursday to version 5.0.1. The updated development environment features a heavy emphasis on automating the process of generating new builds and testing them, along with other routine functions.
To get the free copy of OS X Server, developers must visit the iOS Dev Center to claim a redemption code, which can then be used to download the product from the Mac App Store. Most iOS development is done by necessity on a Mac using Xcode, and the offer of a free copy of the Server version of Mavericks is intended both to foster rapid adoption but also to take advantage of Xcode's automation features to help create higher-quality and better-tested apps.