Windows 8 launches globally on October 26th, as we move closer and closer, we’re supporting many Belgian developers go through the process of certifying their apps. To help other developers we might not be in touch with, I’m sharing an aggregation of tips and resources we use. It’s worthwhile browsing through this post before you submit so that you increase the chance of passing certification from the first time.
Before going into the details, keep the following resources handy when certifying apps on Windows Store.
From our experience, this is what I ask developers before they submit:
In the description page of the Store portal, after you submit your package, you will be able to enter the details for the Windows Store app listing. For a complete overview of the content needed to complete this page, please see the Dev Center Checklist for submitting an app. This is a great resource to send to your business team as they will provide visuals, description, features and category information in each language the app supports.
Failing to fill in the Support contact URL or e-mail address will have your app rejected. Double-check the content you are entering here.
We also recommend you add the same privacy URL as an entry in the app settings pane.
Review the guidance: Pick a suitable Windows Store age rating and Give your app an age rating.
Linked to the Age rating, make sure the screenshots you upload for your app listing (metadata) are viewable by 12+ if your app requires higher age rating.
Windows Store allows for global distribution. This is a huge potential you should take advantage of, and which will be even more successful if you offer the app in several languages.
When uploading the app package to the Store, detection of the supported languages is done through the AppManifest resources. Make sure you entered your default language correctly (default might go to en-US depending on your version of Visual Studio). Open the AppManifest file in the XML editor.
Case 1: single language (US English)
For English, you can either leave the default setting (x-generate) if you are using an English version of Visual Studio or adapt manually:
<Resources> <Resource Language="en-us"/> </Resources>
Case 2: single language (only Dutch for both Belgium and Netherlands)
<Resources> <Resource Language="nl" /> </Resources>
Case 3: several languages (English, French and Dutch as example)
The first language in the list is the default language. We are using the country code to make it more specific. You can choose to omit it.
<Resources> <Resource Language="en-us" /> <Resource Language="fr-be" /> <Resource Language="nl-be" /> < /Resources>
See full details: 4. Windows Store apps put the customer in control on the Resolving certification errors documentation.
Depending on the content you use, information you share, a disclaimer and about sections in the Settings pane are also recommended.
I wish you a lot of success with your app. Don’t forget our local events and support options through App Clinics.
In this post you’ll find our top tips for going through Windows Store developer registration, based on the learning’s we’ve had these past few months as we work with Belgian developers to get ready for Windows 8 launch.
Store Portal Dashboard: https://appdev.microsoft.com/StorePortals/ Logging in and accessing the Store Portal, learn about Strong Authorization and account security: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj553414.aspx
The registration process is a seven-step flow in which the following elements are important:
Before your apps can go through certification your account needs to be validated. Depending on the account type, there are several steps to be completed.
Both Company and Individual verification is done through a withdrawal on your credit card, which is then reverted directly. The transaction number or amount is used to verify your account. Go to the Dashboard > Subscription page to go through verification.
Here’s a good overview of where to find the account status.
Under the “Profile” link, check the status of your account:
1 – Developer identity validation – Must be set to “Authorized” before any apps can be certified. (Only Company). Vetting is done by an external party “Symantec/GeoTrust” that will send an e-mail to the Approver e-mail you entered in the process of registration. Make sure Spam folder is checked and followed up. You can find more information on the types of proof needed for Belgian accounts through Symantec knowledge base: https://knowledge.verisign.com/support/ssl-certificates-support/index?page=content&actp=CROSSLINK&id=SO17796
2 – Payout account: the status of your bank account information being complete. Must be complete if you are certifying paid apps, or in-app purchase. (Company and Indidual)
3 – Tax profile must be set to “Valid” if you are certifying paid apps, or in-app purchase. (Company and Indidual) Important to note is that the Tax Profile section should be filled in by a company representative, for example the CEO or Financial director.
If you run into an issue with your developer registration, there are several support options available including community forums and the official support team ready to help you (through chat or e-mail).
Join us next week (October 8, 2012) at Microsoft Belgium for a free full day training for advanced Windows 8 coders.
You’ve finished your first app or are about to finish it and you’re ready for the next level? We have the perfect training you have been waiting for. This ‘advanced only’ class will cover advanced topics such as login, services and error handling. The following topics are covered during this session: • Process lifecycle management: suspension manager, handling suspend, resume • Making your app work offline • Error handling, detecting offline mode, caching sets of data • Advanced XAML controls tips & tricks (data binding, variable sized grids, etc) • Accessing services – recommended approaches • Architecture with MVVM • Semantic zoom in detail • Live tiles through background tasks & maintenance triggers Your trainer: Kevin Dockx (RealDolmen)
October 26th is getting closer and closer … is your Windows 8 app ready? You’re invited to the last app-a-thon before Windows 8 hits the market. Join us at our offices in Zaventem on September 28!
Past hackathons we organized were an incredibly fun and interactive experience. We have people joining and putting their hands on coding Windows 8 for the first time, while others join to fine-tune what is already underway. It’s a very informal event, bring your machine, have Windows 8 setup and join the community! Check out some of the pictures of last app-a-thon on our Facebook page.
This time we’ve listened to the feedback, and we’re doing more: we’ve got a designer ready to help you with colors, visuals, and logo material for your app. What about UX and Windows Store guidelines? Covered too, a UX consultant will also be on site part of the day. And don’t forget the MEET community and the Microsoft evangelists ready to help you.
Hands on. Code. Build. Shine. Totally Metro. Totally Windows 8.
When? 28 September 2012 Where? Microsoft Belgium Leonardo Da Vincilaan 3 1935 Zaventem
There will be 2 coding sessions, 1 for Day Birds from 10am – 4pm and one for Night Owls from 6pm – 12am. You can join us for one or both sessions. Build an app, have fun and go home with a fantastic prize!
Deluxe App’ero Bongo Box
Professional Sharp Knife Set
Seats are limited so don’t lose a sec and SIGN UP NOW! All technical pre-requisites and resources are available on the registration page.
Questions about UX & design? Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered. You’ll be able to talk to a Windows 8 UX Expert (will be there for 4 hours) and a designer (will be there the entire day!) to help out with logo’s, graphic design, etc.
Looking forward to enjoy this day and/or night with you!
The re-imagined Windows 8 will come soon, and people will love playing games on it. Getting your game into the Windows Store prior to the launch on October 26, will bring you some key benefits:
Microsoft & Howest DAE invite you on September 11, 2012 to transform your XNA game into a Windows 8 App.> SIGN UP NOW
Morning: Setting the scene
Alex Schearer, one of the attendees of our previous Windows 8 Hackathon in August is presenting the MonoGame content. He's working on something attendees can all use to get started.
Afternoon: App-a-thon to get your game Windows 8 ready
Alex will coach you during the conversion of your game. At the end of the day, your game might be ready to go, and you can get all visibility with your game.At the same time, Microsoft evangelists and folks from Howest are ready to help you. Including yours truly, although XNA venturing will be a first one for me :)
Looking forward to seeing you there, and venturing into Windows 8 Games development.
We hope you have already enjoyed a bit of sunshine this summer! We sure did at the first Summer App-a-thon in Blankenberge with a full day of coding & fun topped with a great show of fresh Win8 Metro apps!
Grasp the first-mover advantage too and make sure your app is in the Windows Store by the time Windows 8 hits the market on October 26th.
Develop an app NOW and get a €100 Connections Gift Voucher!
Millions of people around the world use Windows every day. Windows 8 gives you the opportunity to access this huge potential market by listing your apps in the Windows Store!
An App Excellence Lab is a 2-hour review of your application together with a Microsoft engineer. If your app meets all the requirements, you will receive the €100 Connections voucher and a Windows Store token!
Read the full terms & conditions of this promo.
From the batcave: Nico Vermeir – ComicDB
First in our series of #win8devbe app heroes is Nico Vermeir with a juicy story on the development of his comic app.
Do you think your app deserves a place in the spotlights too? Then just contact us!
Summer App-a-thon 8/8 @ our place :-)
Our MSDN Belgium & Luxembourg team has been preparing some stuff to keep you busy this summer. Join us at hackathons or online!
It's summertime! Time for all of us to throw ourselves into something new, fun and rewarding. With Windows 8 around the corner, now is the time to start building apps! Will your app be the next big thing? Grasp that first-mover advantage and make sure your app is in the Windows Store by the time Windows 8 hits the market. We're here to help you get your app ready with a bunch of support tools ranging from online training to App-a-thons, App Clinics and App Excellence Labs. Follow the 4 steps to getting your app published and start building!
We have 2 App-a-thons planned this summer: join us in Blankenberge (12 July) or Antwerp Zaventem (8 August) and start building your Windows 8 Metro Style App! You can win fantastic prizes too: Xbox 360 + Kinect, Connections Gift Vouchers, ...
Correction: the app-a-thon for 8 August is taking place at the Microsoft Office in Zaventem, no longer in Antwerp due to location issues.
Want to stay in the know about all things Windows 8 app development? Sign up now for the (Belgian & Luxembourg) MSDN newsletter!
Your MSDN team.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup brings together students from all over the world and asks them to use their creativity and passion for technology to help solve the world’s toughest problems. Back in May you could read that 2 of our Belgian teams made it to the finals in Sydney.
One of the teams “Make a Sign” created this amazing project that uses Kinect in combination with Azure to recognize sign language used by deaf people and learn people how to use it. Earlier this week the 3 students from HEPL in Liege met with minister-president Rudy Demotte of the Walloon region. Press: On RTL TV news. In La Derniere Heure. In Le VIF.
So before you read/watch any further do this: go to the People’s Choice Award site and vote – and then ask your friends, family and network to vote too. Then read the rest of this post and you’ll know why you did the right thing .
This is where you can find the full project video:
The word is out: on July 12 we’ll be organizing the first of our Summer App-a-thons. And it’s going to be a special, seaside app-a-thon, at the Belgian coast in Blankenberge. What could be more inspiring for building great Metro-style apps than the sound of waves crashing into the beach, ice cream and a beautiful sunset!
We’re building upon the success of the coding night at the Windows 8 Developer Day and have a hackathon to build cool Metro-style apps. So team up with your best UX or developer friend and form a killer app team, come alone or sign up with an entire group, whatever you want!
This seaside Summer App-a-thon promises to be an experience like N.O. O.T.H.E.R! Hands on. Code. Build. Shine. Totally Windows 8.
There will be 2 coding sessions: 1 for Day Birds from 10AM - 4PM and one for Night Owls from 6PM - 12AM. You have 3 registration options:
So if you’re a developer or UX designer, sign up right now to join us for an unforgettable experience!
Windows 8 Release Preview Visual Studio 2012 RC Windows 8 SDK samples
Windows 8 Release Preview Visual Studio 2012 RC Windows 8 SDK samples
Yesterday, Microsoft announced previews of new Windows Azure services that help developers build applications that connect data to users across public and private clouds, take advantage of VHDs and deploy scalable websites quickly and cheaply.
Today, Scott Guthrie will host “Meet Windows Azure” to introduce these new services. And on Monday, as part of TechEd North America and broadcast live online, Scott, along with Mark Russinovich, Quentin Clark, and Bill Staples will host “Learn Windows Azure” to provide deeper demonstration of the latest Windows Azure features and services to build, deploy, and manage applications in the cloud.
Among the highlights of the announcements made yesterday:
To discover, learn and get started building applications on the Windows Azure platform, I encourage you to:
Set up a trial account for getting free access to Windows Azure.
Windows 8 Release Preview has been made available last week, representing another important quality milestone in the road to Windows 8 General Availability (GA).
In this post we provide you with the must-know information around what and where to download the bits, the tools and information on how you can count on our support in taking your app to launch.
If you have been following our local activities around Windows 8, ever since our developer event in March Windows 8 Developer Day and Night of Windows 8 (app-a-thon), you know folks are working hard on apps.
We are very happy to announce that two of our Belgian partners we’ve been working with since the early stages now made it into the Windows Store for Release Preview: Le Soir by Rossel and Slash Monsters by Fishing Cactus/Tokkun Studio. Le Soir is the first European newspaper in Windows Store!
As we get closer and closer to the next milestone for Windows 8, locally here in Belgium and Luxembourg we are preparing a bunch of ways to support you along the way into publishing that app in Windows Store by launch – you do want to take that first mover advantage.
How we’re helping you
Below you can find a collection of activities and resources coming your way. Or come our way by means of an App Clinic.
App Clinics: join Evangelists, external developer or Metro UX consultants to discuss any questions on your mind regarding your app.
By joining an App Clinic you are also on the right track to get access to App Excellence Labs.
We are looking forward to helping you take advantage of this huge new opportunity to reach millions of users worldwide. It’s going to be a hot Summer!
Last week the Microsoft Windows Store blog announced an expansion of the Windows Store coming soon. By the next milestone of Windows 8, the preview release of Windows Store will include new markets and new languages.
Currently Windows Store includes five markets in Consumer Preview: France, Germany, India, Japan and the United States and China, as well as a “Rest of World” setting that all other regions get to see. By the next milestone Microsoft is adding 33 new developer submission locales, expanding the possible reach even more.
And there is good news for Belgian developers: in addition to being able to publish to the new markets, developers will also be able to target a Belgian market specifically.
>> To learn more, please read the official announcement post: Windows Store expanding to new markets.
>> To learn more, please read the official announcement post: Windows Store expanding to new markets.
For developers and companies in Belgium and Luxembourg I’d like to take reiterate our support in getting your apps ready. We have training events (online webcasts as well as hands-on sessions), App Clinics to discuss apps face to face and validation of the app through Excellence labs which is your ticket to a Windows Store token later in the process.
Don’t hesitate to join us at either step of the way:
Windows 8: Windows Reimagined
With Windows 8 currently at the Consumer Preview stage for tech and devs alike, the next version of Internet Explorer is available in preview. Internet Explorer 10 brings 33 new HTML5 & CSS3 site-ready web standards and a noticeable change: One Browser: Two Experiences.
To learn more about the browsing experiences in IE10 on Windows 8, please read the IE Team Blog post: Web browsing in Windows 8 Consumer Preview with IE10.
In this post I’m gathering some recommended steps you can take to make sure your website is implementing cross-browser standards code, and optimized for rendering and using on both the desktop and the Metro style IE10 browser versions. We’ll look at the top recommendations for an optimal experience for your users, and I’ll add the links to the best resources to help you accomplish this.
More resources are available, here’s are my picks:
Just like in the Windows 7 (and 8) desktop, users can pin websites to the start screen in Windows 8. There are also new features available in the Metro experience, allowing users to receive information about updates (badges) without having to open the site.
For more information about the experience and the technical details on how to implement this, please see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/04/03/pinned-sites-in-windows-8.aspx
Watch the above video for a good overview of new site pinning in IE10.
Have you looked into the new developer opportunity with Windows 8 Metro Applications? Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a reimagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms - Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever.
But now what? In Belgium we have announced a series of developer camps, webcasts and MIC calls for projects. These activities will allow you to dive technically into the platform to support you in building apps. However, you probably need more.
What about testing on more than one device? What about discussing the best UX and experience to integrate with Metro? And most importantly, what about getting that access to the Windows Store and publish an app? If you are based in Belgium or Luxembourg don’t hesitate to take advantage of this option.
The answers are the App Clinics. Join us for a meeting with the Microsoft Evangelists and consultants to discuss the app, the ideas, the application flow, architecture, technical questions and more. It’s an open discussion and allows you to be ready for the next step: passing an App Excellence Lab with a Microsoft engineer, the last step before getting access to the Windows Store as a developer.
Are you actively working on a Windows 8 Metro app? Have an idea but are not sure what the next step is? Join us at an App Clinic and we’ll help you move to the next stage.
App Clinic dates (currently all dates are on Tuesdays): 24th April 2012, 8th May 2012, 31th May 2012, 5th June 2012 and 19th June 2012.
Join us on May 3rd for a special edition of Microsoft Web Camp to learn the latest on web development on the Microsoft Platform. Place to be is the exquisite Event Lounge in Brussels.
After the first Belgian Web Camp with Scott Hanselman keynoting in January 2011, as well as some local hands-on Web Camps the past few months by Kris van der Mast we now welcome another full day event with all new content.
This European edition has speakers flying in from the Microsoft main offices: Brady Gaster (of Channel9 Web Camps TV fame) and Matthew Osborn currently working on NuGet. Expect a lot of code and great fun!
Learn how to develop beautiful, interactive and scalable web sites using Microsoft’s web tools and platform including IE, ASP.NET, MVC, WebMatrix, Windows Azure and Visual Studio. Learn from experts and get the resources for publishing to the web. Quick preview of your camp content:
Check out the full program & register as places are limited.
We hope to see you on our campground !