Microsoft Windows App Studio Beta: Publish the Menu App in the Store

The purpose of this article is to show how to submit, in the Store, the Menu App created by Windows AppStudio.

Scope

The purpose of this article is to show how to submit, in the Store, the Menu App created by Windows AppStudio. See more in the following articles:

  1. Microsoft's Windows App Studio Beta: Connecting a Menu App to Azure Mobile Service
  2. Microsoft's Windows App Studio Beta: Creating a BackOffice App for Menu App
  3. Microsoft's Windows App Studio Beta: How to add Push Notification to the Menu App
  4. Microsoft's Windows App Studio Beta: How to integrate Cortana in the Menu App

Introduction

Publishing an application to the Windows Store is the last step we need to do to make the application available in the Store, but publishing the application is not only to taking a package and adding it to the store, there is a procedure we need to do.

In general, the main procedure we must do is:

  • Test the app in the simulator or in a real device
  • Analyse all requirements for submitting an app to the Store
  • Analyse the common issues in Store certification
  • Fix any issue found in the preceding steps
  • Take screenshots for submission to the store
  • Associate the app with the Store
  • Generate the packages
  • Validate the package with Windows App Certification Kit
  • Create the required artwork (logo and others images, if needed)
  • Submit the package in Dev Center
  • Fill in all the data about the app, like description and keywords and define the category and age rating
  • Add up to 8 screenshots

Now, let's see it in more detail.

Test the app

After the application is created each developer should test the application in the simulator or in real devices, in some cases it is good to test the app in various devices with various characteristics (but that is not required!).

The following articles will help to run the app in the simulator or in devices:

For Windows AppStudio apps it is recommended to see the following video for help in the sideloading process: Generating, Sideloading and Publishing Windows App Studio 8.1 apps for Tablets and PCs.

Sometimes it isn't easy to test our application or we don´t know what to test, a simple and good test is to provide the package to our friends or beta testers so they can provide a feedback about the app, normally they see issues that the developer does not see. But before that, it is recommended that each developer does the basic tests provided in the following article Testing apps for Windows Phone 8.

In the article Testing apps for Windows Phone 8, we can find the App certification requirements for Windows Phone that is very important! If our app does not respect these requirements then the application will fail the certification and we should make the updates required by the requirements. To see the last changes read the article the App certification requirements change history for Windows Phone and finally we could read the Top Windows Phone app certification failures and how to avoid them. For Windows apps, you should read the App certification requirements for the Windows Store and the common certification failures.

Each issue we discover from the tests should be fixed and a new version should be created to apply new tests. After the app looks great you can skip to the next step.

Take the screenshots

The next step is to take the screenshots that are required and the screenshots will be shown to the user and we only can upload up to 8 screenshots. To take the screenshots we can use the simulator, because it has a great feature for it, we only need to deploy the app in the simulator as in the following:



When we click in the “Capture” button, the screenshot is taken and the image is saved in a folder we defined.

Associate the app with the Store and generate packages

We can associate the app with the store and for that there are two ways: associate it in Windows AppStudio or associate it in Visual Studio.

In Windows AppStudio

The last step before generating the app (in Windows AppStudio) is Publish, where the user can define the app title, the app description, the language and allows them to connect the app with the store. The following screen showsthe Publish separator:



In the Publish separator (that we saw above), click in “Associate App with the Store”, it will show the following form:



To fill in this form, we should open the Dashboard in Windows Phone Dev Center or in Windows Dev Center to get the information about our account (Publisher GUID, Publisher name).



And in the Dashboard we will find the Account option.



The information about the Menu App (App identity and App display name) is obtained after we create the application in the dashboard by clicking in Submit App.



Then we will have:



At the end, we will have:



After a save all, it's time to generate the app. To do that, click on Finish and then Generate. Now we need to choose Publish Packages, to create the packages for the Store.



We will then get:



At this moment we have the packages for the store.

In Visual Studio

To modify the app in Visual Studio or get the source code in Windows AppStudio, it is possible to connect the app with the Store, by doing:



And then need to follow the wizard.



At the end we will have an XML file with the store information, like the following:



It is then possible to generate the packages, as in the following:



And we will get another wizard where we can choose if the package will be for the Store and at the end we can set the package version, the output folder and others.



In this case, the packages are created for submission to store and the last panel will show the output path for the package and an option to run the Windows App Certification Kit.



Running Windows App Certification Kit

If we click “Launch Windows App Certification Kit” then we will see the following wizard:





Windows App Certification Kit is an automatic process to verify if the app is okay and it allows selecting which test we want to run. In general, we should select all!





At the end, it will show the result, if it passed or not and provide a report with more details. See the complete report here: MenuApp-WindowsAppCertificationKit-Report. If the app does not pass these tests, we should not submit the app to the store until the issues reported in the report are fixed.

Note: An app that passed in this test can fail in other tests that this test does not test, but if the app does not pass in these tests then it will not pass in the store either. To get more information about it, see the article Using the Windows App Certification Kit.

The artwork

Before going to the Dev Center to submit the app, we should prepare all the artwork. The screenshots are taken, the app title icon with 300x300 should be created and if necessary create the background image with 1000x800, square icon with 358x358 and wide icon with 358x173.

It is recommended to see this App submission checklist that helps to prepare and organize all the required info.

Uploading packages

Now it is time to upload the package and fill in the required data (description, keywords,…).



Choose the option 2, click “Add new” and then choose the package.



It will be uploaded and we will be shown the package name, version and package details.



A form for description and keywords.



And the options for adding the artwork:



Note:

  1. This form needs to be defined for each language supported.
  2. If for some reason you get any issue when uploading the packages, see the article Resolving package upload errors.

At this moment all the data was filled in and the app can be submitted to the certification process. If there is a question about the certification process and the various stages, we can find detailed info here.

In some cases, it can be useful to add some notes to the testers (from the certification process). To see how we should do it see the article Providing info to certification testers.

Now the sky is the limit and our app can be one of the top apps.



To promote your app, see more about that in the article How to Market and Promote your apps on Windows Phone and Windows 8.

See also: