Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
Submit your app to the marketplace. Read this walkthrough and you will know what is essential and what isn’t!
This is a two blog series about how to get your app ready for certification and then how to submit it.
Remember to register for the Developer Movement. Each app you publish earns you great rewards!
Before we start, I want to thank Nuvodo for creating the awesome WhipIt app for us to make this blog post. If you ever wanted a portable whip, here is your chance. Those McGill students don’t get tired of creating apps ever since the McGill App Run!
Before we start make sure you have done everything I said in my last blog and go get your app ready for certification.
Doing this will really speed up the process and save you a lot of anger moments in case something goes wrong.
Start by navigating to the App Hub at create.msdn.com
if you haven’t already, you need to register for the app hub. Make sure you select student, since registration is free for students. (On the next step during registration you will have to authenticate your school credentials through Dreamspark.)
After you have logged in with your liveID (the one you used to register), you will need to go to “my dashboard” and select “Windows Phone.”
In this dashboard, you will be able to see the amount of times your apps have been downloaded, their status in the certification cycle and the $$$ you are getting from their sale.
But before you make that money, lets make sure you submit the app. Go to the right hand side and click on the long navy tile.
This name is not the one that the customers will see in the marketplace. So feel free to make it as weird and hard to understand as you like.
Browse to and select your applications xap file. It can be found in the YourAppFolder/Bin/Release/ folder.If it is not there, go to your visual studio project. on the top part select release instead of debug, for the Windows phone device and then build your solution. The folder should appear.
If you want to do a private beta with your app, select that option, but I’ll only focus on the Public Marketplace distribution. In this screen, make sure you increase the version number every time you update your submission. This will ensure users get your updates.
Do not select the technical exception box, you don’t need it. if you want to find out you can click on the link
Once everything is ready, click next.
In the case that you have to stop at some point of the registration because you forgot one of the things I mentioned above click “save and quit.” If your cat/dog/kid/trolling brother unplugs the internet router, beg that you had at least clicked on next earlier! Go once again to the dashboard; you will notice the following in the notification section:
Now click on it and lets move on to the branding and marketing section.
Remember that list of things I told you to have at hand? Well, this is where you are going to use it. Just browse to the images and copy-paste the blurbs. Something that normally would take you forever to go and do during the submission, now takes just one or two minutes!
***Make sure you write a support email! When getting your rewards for the developer movement you will need to provide this email for every app!
After you have clicked next, you will find yourself in the pricing selection section. You are able to sell your app in any country listed there. You can even select different prices per location. Be aware that as a developer you are liable for taxes in some of those locations. Mostly in Asia and South America. In others, like North America and Europe, Microsoft will take care of your tax liability for most of the countries (discounting it from your sales). This has a big impact on your sale decision, and there is a list you can check here.
If you are submitting a free app, then it doesn’t matter!
For Nuvodo’s sake, we are selecting the $0.99 equivalent on all countries where Microsoft takes care of the taxes and adding China, Colombia and Japan, since Nuvodo has accountant friends in these countries.
Once you have selected all the countries you want to publish your app to, it is time for the last step.
You do not need to fill the tester’s notes. just go ahead and select the publishing option.
You can have it published after certification or you can do it manually, where you will have to come back after certification and choose to publish it. The marketplace gives you this choice for scheduling purposes.
That said, my thinking is that it should be up there as fast as possible! Especially, if it is your first app. You want to see that little piece of goodness around the world immediately. Unfortunately, even after certification it may take up to a week for your app to be published and then appear when you look for it in the marketplace. Fortunately, your second app or any updates to the same one will be done in one or two days. The reason for such a delay is the large amount of apps being ingested into the system.
In the end, you will find this nice message
After that you can monitor the progress in the dashboard until it is published!
you can also get a link to the online marketplace to send people directly there.
Now, what are you waiting for. Go get your app published now!
The Windows teams is travelling across Canada showing students how to be more productive, and giving you chances to get cool stuff too, there’s even a chance to win a year’s tuition!
A Windows trailer is travelling across Canada showcasing cool features of Windows 7 on awesome hardware.
Stop by the trailer to get a group photo with your friends. The team will even show you how to fix those blinks and frowns by combining the best of two photos. Find out how you can record a lecture and sync your notes or learn how to work more effectively with your classmates on group projects.
Stop by the trailer and participate in a trial at the trailer and you could get some cool new sunglasses and be eligible to win cool instant prizes such as an Ultrabook PC, camera, or Staples Gift Card. The official rules and regulations will be available at the trailer.
What about that free tuition?
Yup Windows is also giving you a chance to win a year’s tuition free (up to $10,000), check out all the details here: www.windowshookmeup.ca
Where can I find the trailer?
You can still enter at www.windowshookmeup.ca for a chance at free tuition even if the trailer isn’t visiting your campus!
Get ready for submitting your app with this checklist and instructions. Getting of Icons, images, blurbs and the actual app package ready for deployment worldwide!
This is a series of two blog posts. One for getting ready and one for submitting your app to the marketplace.
There are a couple of things you need to do to ensure that your app will pass the certification process. I have created a list and walkthrough of the stuff you need to address before submitting.:
There are three placeholder images included in your project.
You will need to have your own to be able to submit to the marketplace. Here are the specs:
Make sure your app has its own 62x62 image in the PNG format. It is the picture appearing on the left of your app’s name in the App list menu.
When you pin an app to the start menu, the image appearing will be the Background.png. The name of your app will appear on the left bottom corner of the image. Make sure not to occlude it. Good design principles recommend to keep the logo in the center.
This is a 173x173 PNG image. Once you start playing around with live tiles and push notifications, you will notice that counters can also appear, as well as other text.
One little trick I learned to make your app look native and professional is to have your logo in white and then leave the rest of the image transparent. This will make your tile be the color of the theme chosen by the user. This trick also works on the Application Icon.
This is the image that appears when your application is loading. It should be used for displaying your brand and not have much text.
it is a 480x800 JPG image, it cannot have any transparency. and it is not necessary to have, but it does keep the feel of the app in a more professional level.
After having created these pictures with your awesome designing skills, go to visual studio, right click on the project and select Add Existing Item
navigate to your images and add them. Make sure to delete the old ones.
Just to double check, right click each image and select properties. make sure that the build action is “Content” and the copy action is “Copy if newer”
However, the names of the images don’t need to be the same as the template (except for the SplashScreenImage.jpg.
You can also double click on the Properties folder in your project.
The screen that opens up will let you choose the background and the icon from a drop down of the pictures that are included in your project.
if you click the expand triangle of the properties folder in your project you will see a file called WMAppManifest.xml. Open it.
Once in there you will be able to change a couple of things, but the only one you need to are the following:
They are all included by default. In the case that your app doesn’t use a particular, delete it.
Here is a quick description of each one in the list, but you can read more here
This is an important. Don’t just leave all of them in there, nor remove the ones you use from the list.
In one hand, If you remove say “sensors” and you use the gyroscope, your app will not pass certification. On the other hand, If you leave everything on your calculator app, then the user will be freaked out that you are going to access his identity, contacts, media library and location for no reason. This information appears when you download any app. Microsoft takes care of securing a user’s security, and as a developer you should care as well for your users.
Once all of this is done, you should build your project for distribution.
This is very simple process. Go to the top bar of visual studio. you should see these two drop down boxes. Choose Windows Phone Device and Release.
then go to to build and click on build solution.
This should have created a release version of your xap file. (this is the file you will upload to the Marketplace).
In the Solution Explorer, right click on your project and select “Open folder in Windows Explorer”; the second to last option.
Navigate to Bin/Release/ and you will find yourapp.xap there.
There are unfortunately, two common mishaps in this part. A couple of people, including myself, have had a hard time to find those two drop down boxes. if after selecting the project and and trying other toolbars to show up you don’t find it, you will have to reinstall visual studio. The problem occurs when installing visual studio, I happened to select a non developer view of the workspace that hides this toolbar. I haven’t found a way to make it show again, so for now you will have to reinstall VS.
The other issue that presents itself is when it tells you that some release libraries can’t be found. Most of the time, you can track them down manually, but if this doesn’t work, try reinstalling the phone tools or visual studio.
your projects should not disappear if you reinstall the programs
You have now an app ready to be published, the only thing left to do is to get the marketing goodies ready too.
You need to create the following PNG Images for the Marketplace:
These three images are for the different locations where your app appears on the Online Marketplace and the Zune software marketplace.
4. 1000 x 800 Wallpaper
This one will be used as the marketplace background on the phone when your app is featured, and sometimes as the background in the Zune software download page for your app.
5. at least one and up to eight screenshots 480 x 800
you have to use the emulator for this.
click on the little “ >> " that appears when you place your mouse pointer on the top right outer side of the emulator. Then click the Screenshot tab. Navigate to the different locations in your app. and click capture and then save. Make sure you zoom into a 100% zoom level. otherwise your screenshots won’t be accepted. to do that click on the magnifying glass above the “>>” you just clicked.
Write down the following blurbs:
Doing this will really speed up the process and save you a lot of anger moments in case something goes wrong during submission.
Now you are completely ready to submit your app.
Check my next blog post on the submission process here.
Whether you are just learning Visual Studio because you are building a phone app, or you have been using it for a few years, here are some of my favourite and most requested links for Visual Studio resources.
I taught developer courses for a number of years, and there were certain questions and requests that came up on a regular basis. In this post, I’ve compiled some of the most common requests I received from my students and listed the resources I shared.
Bing and Google are great if you are trying to find the syntax for a specific method, or a code example for a particular API. What can be harder is finding more general help and tips.
I hope these resources will help both new and experienced users of Visual Studio to help you get started or get more out of the tool you already have.
What edition should I buy?
I always have trouble finding this when I want it so here is the Visual Studio 2010 Comparison
What can I get for free?
Hey you are a student, you can get all kinds of stuff for free at Dreamspark! But when you graduate, or if you are talking to someone who is not at school, we have some free stuff for them as well
How can Visual Studio help with testing or aspects other than coding?
We often think of Visual Studio as just a tool to help us code, but it can help with the whole application lifecycle. There are some good intros to using Visual Studio as an ALM tool here. Interesting to explore for courses about the whole project lifecycle, and something you may encounter on summer jobs.
Microsoft Test Manager was added to Visual Studio and helps track test plans, test cases and more on your project. Learn more about how to get started with Test Manager here. Often at school we focus on unit testing, but there is a lot more than unit testing required to release software into production. Tracking which tests have been executed and what requirements they met is a big challenge on big projects so these types of tools really help.
I’ve been working with Visual Studio for a while, how do I find those “hidden” features?
Are there labs somewhere I can launch to try out the tool and features?
Where can I learn C#? VB .NET? F#?
I want to get certified on Web? Windows? Where do I start?
Check out this blog series that covers how to figure out what certification to take, the exams required, and some tips on how to prepare for the exam itself.
Looking for anything else, I suggest you check out...
MSDN Learning Visual Studio – helpful resources to help beginners and seasoned professionals build their skills.
Microsoft Learning Training Catalog – helps you find both online and in person training resources
Do you have any great resources or tips to share? Join us on the GoDevMental Facebook page and share it with other students!
Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available, and you can start building apps for Windows 8 now so they are ready to go when Windows 8 is launched. We are having camps to help you learn how.
It’s time to register for camp, no tents required! I’m talking about a Windows 8 coding camp. It’s time to start building apps on Windows 8! Your first chance to get some in person training on apps in Canada is here! If you are in Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver check out the Windows 8 camps. Free, two day events where developers and designers can discover hands on how to build a Metro style app for Windows 8.
The Windows 8 Camp is a free, two-day event where developers and designers will discover HANDS-ON how to build their first Metro Style App for Windows 8 and the next steps to get those apps into the Windows Store.
April 3 & 4, 2012
Fairmont Pacific Rim – Star Sapphire Ballroom
April 10 & 11, 2012
Le Centre Sheraton Montréal – Salon ABC
April 16 & 17, 2012
Le Meridien King Edward – Sovereign Ballroom
If you want to get started now here are a few resources to get you started
What will you build?