Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
The Windows 8 store is open for individuals to publish and students can get a Windows store account for free through the DreamSpark program, here’s how you do it.
Microsoft announced this week, that the Windows 8 Store is open to individuals and that they will be providing free accounts to students through the DreamSpark program, the same awesome deal we got for the Windows Phone marketplace. That means the only thing standing between you and an app in the store is some time at your keyboard geeking out!
How do you get your free marketplace account, go here and follow the instructions, the rest of this blog provides more detailed instructions on how to create your marketplace account.
Then jump to step 2 and Get your registration code!
You need a DreamSpark account in order to get a registration code. It’s the registration code that allows you to create your store account for free. Only students or educators can create DreamSpark accounts. If you are a student or educator and do not have one yet, create a DreamSpark account.
Go to DreamSpark and Sign in with your DreamSpark account, now from the top menu select Students | app development
Select Windows 8 Learn more
Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Get Your Registration code
You will be brought back to the top of the screen. In the box with the title Get Registration Code. Select Get Code Now.
After you select Get Code now a code will be displayed in the box. Write that code down. That’s the code that will allow you to create your Windows Store account for free. Now you can creating your Windows Store account!
Go to the Windows Store
Yes, even if you get a free Store account you are required to enter credit card information. Pre-paid credit cards won’t work. That’s because this is another way of confirming your identity. You enter credit card information and a small amount is charged to your credit card and then reversed. You will need to look at your credit card statement to find the transaction in order to be able to verify your Store account.
Now that your account is created, you need that credit card statement! It may take a day or two for your online bill to show the transaction. If you are in a hurry, you can try calling your credit card company to get the information sooner. If you do not have online billing, you will have to call the credit card company or wait until you get your credit card bill in the mail.
Once you have the credit card bill with the transaction information return to the Windows Dev Center, Sign In, select Dashboard from the menu, and select Verify your payment method.
At the bottom of the screen you are asked to enter the 3 digit code that appears in the transaction description OR the transaction amount that was charged (and will be refunded to the credit card!)
Once you have entered that information, Congratulations! You are ready to submit your first app to the Windows store! Whenever you are ready return to the dashboard and choose Submit an app to get started!
Go reserve the name of your app (before someone else nabs it! Better to be Timer than Timer74) and get coding! Here’s a few resources to help
Many of us don’t have touchscreen devices (yet) so here’s a few good keyboard shortcuts.
Even though I do have a touchscreen laptop, I still use keyboard shortcuts. Just like CTRL+C and CTRL+V come to you without thinking, a few of these shortcuts are sure to make their way into your collection after you install Windows 8 and start coding apps. If you haven’t downloaded Windows 8 RTM yet. Check out our blog post with instructions on how students can download Windows 8 for free!
or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out
<Windows> + E – Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.
<Windows> + F – Brings up the Metro File search screen.
<Windows> + H – Opens the Metro Share panel.
<Windows> + I – Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.
<Windows> + K – Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)
<Windows> + L – Lock PC and return to Lock screen.
<Windows> + M – Minimize all Windows on the desktop
<Windows> + O – Locks device orientation.
<Windows> + P – Choose between available displays.
<Windows> + Q – Brings up the Metro App Search screen.
<Windows> + R – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.
<Windows> + U – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.
<Windows> + V – Cycles through toasts.
<Windows> + W – Brings up the Metro Settings search screen.
<Windows> + X – Launch Start Menu.
<Windows> + Y – Temporarily peek at the desktop.
<Windows> + Page Up / Down – Moves tiles to the left / right.
<Windows> + , (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.
Student can publish their apps to the Windows Phone store at no charge through the DreamSpark program. Here’s how.
There are perks to being a student, in this case it’s not having to pay to register and publish in the Windows Phone or Windows 8 stores. In this blog post you’ll see how to get your complimentary Windows Phone store account. If you haven’t created your free Windows 8 store account yet, there is a blog on how to do that here.
The basic instructions on how to create your Windows phone account can be found on the DreamSpark site here, the rest of this blog provides more detailed instructions on how to create your Windows Phone Store account. The steps for registering in the Windows Phone store are similar to those required to create an account in the Windows 8 store. If you plan to publish Windows 8 and Windows phone apps you need to create accounts in both stores. You can tie the same publisher name to both stores or you can choose to use different publisher names in each.
To create a Windows Phone Store account for a student, you must
Then you can go ahead to step two and map a Microsoft account to your DreamSpark account.
You can create a DreamSpark account and verify your student status through one of the following 3 methods.
DreamSpark does not require you to have a Microsoft account, but the Windows Phone store does.
If you don’t have a Microsoft account? You can go ahead and create a Microsoft Account now.
Go to the Windows Phone Store to register, enter the Microsoft account that is tied to your DreamSpark account. Select Account type individual or student.
You will be asked to enter your name, email address, phone number and so on.
You will also be asked to specify a Publisher Name. This is the name that will appear in the Windows Phone store.
When you get to the Payment screen, choose the option “I’m a student” since you have already tied the account you used to for the store account to your DreamSpark account, your account will be verified as a student account and you will not be charged.
The store is waiting for your app! There are lots of great resources out there to help you get started.
Don’t forget to check out some of the tips and tricks shared by other Canadian students who built Windows Phone apps, if you publish an app and want to share your tips & tricks, let us know!
Ever wanted to develop a Windows 8 or Windows Phone app which reads and writes data from a database? It just got a lot easier.
You want to build an app, a really good app. Depending on the type of app you want to build, you may need your app to access a database.
Normally, when you want to create an app to read and update data, you create a WCF “Windows Communication Foundation” web service. This web service usually connects to a SQL server database hosted on your server or on SQL Azure. In your web service you create methods to read records, delete records, add records and update records in the database.
There are lots of apps built with this model. But chances are your school never taught you how to build a web service, so there is a learning curve. If your priority is to add this functionality as quickly as possible with the confidence that you have a good architecture, check out Windows Azure Mobile Services. Windows Azure Mobile services provides an API that you can use to call methods to add, update, or delete records and you don’t have to publish your own web service. How do you get it? Sign up for Windows Azure, create a new Mobile service and then add a reference to the Windows Azure Mobile service API and start using it!
For more details on how to get started with Windows Azure Mobile Services, check out this video.
This year’s Imagine Cup finals are in Russia, and there are lots of ways a Windows 8 app could get you to the finals.
You are going to see a lot of Windows 8 events and resources over the next few months as we approach the release of Windows 8 RTM. What’s really cool for students is the fact that if you build a Windows 8 app, not only can you publish it to the store which presents a huge opportunity in itself, you can also double down and enter that app in the Imagine Cup. You can enter any Imagine Cup category and potentially be flown to Russia for the World Wide Finals next July.
There are lots of great resources to get you started at dev.windows.com
In particular I recommend the Getting Started with Windows Store apps which has getting started guides for all flavours of Windows Store apps.
Your first step is just to register at www.imaginecup.com. You can enter the challenge as an individual, and you can enter the Games, Innovation, and WorldCitizenship competitions in teams of 1-4 students and you are also allowed a mentor for your team. Dream it. Build it. Live it!