Deploying a Windows Store app

Unofficial Content

This document provides a detailed description of the steps necessary to publish a Windows Store application in Microsoft’s application store.

Preliminary Steps

Once our application is functionally complete, we must add the URL to the privacy statement. Windows Store applications require a privacy statement in a public internet site. The GeneXus Labs policy has been published at http://www.genexus.com/privacy/windows-store. This URL must be added to the Privacy Policy property in the generator.

Its correct generation must be verified by going to the settings charm, where the Privacy Policy item, when clicked, should take us to the referred URL.

When our application uses Bing maps we need to set a valid Bing Maps Key in the Bing Maps Key property below the generator’s properties (Windows 8.1 Specific). This key can be obtained free of charge from the site http://www.bingmapsportal.com/. If you use the default key provided by Genexus you will see a white horizontal line across the displayed map.

The application packaging is done from Visual Studio 2013 (VS), for which purpose there is a free (express) version for Windows Store applications at http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng#products/visual-studio-express-for-windows-8.

Prior to packaging the app we need to reserve the name in the Store. To do that we go to the Dev Center of Windows Store apps at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/, where we click on Dashboard.

Devcenter

Once in the dashboard, we must click on 'Submit an app'. In that context there are a series of items to be completed in order to publish the app. We will be going over each of them later, but now, we will focus on the first one, 'App name'. At this point we need to select our app’s name in the store. We reserve our name by clicking on the 'Reserve app name' button.

Generating the package

To open the sources in our app with Visual Studio we must open the file called <Environment Folder>\mobile\Win8\<Main>\<Main>.jsproj. To compile the app from VS we must change the solution’s setting to 'Release' and then go to the menu BUILD -> Build solution.

To create the app package we go to PROJECT -> Store -> Create App Packages. In the wizard we check 'Yes' for the question asking if the app is to be uploaded to the store and then click on the 'Sign in' button. We then log in with the developer account we used to reserve the app’s name. We will get a list of the names we have reserved, where we can select the name previously reserved and then click on 'Next'. In the following dialogue we leave all settings in the app as they are and click on 'Create'.

After we complete the creation of the package a dialogue will ask us if we want to execute 'Windows App Certification Kit', a utility that will test our app to verify whether it complies with Microsoft’s requirements. We must click on Launch... and then wait until the tests are done (we must not interact with the app while it’s being executed).

Windows Developer Dashboard

After the testing is completed we should upload the package and go on with the steps of the dashboard at http://dev.windows.com.

submitanapp

The required information is:

Selling details

Select the app’s price and the markets where it will be available, as well as the date for release and the app category for Windows Store.

Advanced features

If your app uses push notifications or the StoreAPI external object (X Evolution 3) you need to fill in the needed info here. If not, click next.

Age rating and rating certificates

Because the application will be connected with the Internet, we should not select anything lower than 12+. The values above that will depend on the type of contents in the app.

The certificates down below are only meant for games, and they are to be received from the corresponding certifying authorities.

Cryptography

At this point, we will indicate that the app does not support encryption. We will also confirm that it is distributable without the need for approval of any kind (governmental or other).

Packages

Here we will be loading the package previously created, just by dragging the file .appxupload generated under the folder <Environment Folder>\mobile\Win8\<Main>\AppPackages   (we should wait until the package is correctly uploaded and then click on 'Save').

Description

At this point we must add the app’s description and the sample images, as well as features, keywords, etc.

The most important thing here is that the last input must include the URL to the privacy policy we added before.

Once all the required fields have been completed, our app will be ready to start the certification process, which usually takes less than a week’s time.