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Software development Chapter 7 – Application distribution and sales Contents • • • • • • • ❷❸ Your applications on your devices Windows Store developer account Distributing applications Publishing your app in the Store Essential Visual Studio windows Assignments Questions and answers Your applications on your devices • You may not need a Windows 8 touch screen device for testing during the development period • Light testing can be performed with the Visual Studio simulator • Final testing should be done on a real device, such as a tablet Visual Studio simulator Microsoft Surface -tablet Installing applications • The way Windows 8 is constructed prevents direct installation of Windows 8 applications – This way the data security of the whole operating system is kept at a high level • However, as a developer, you can transfer your application to a device through Visual Studio • Normal users can install applications only through the Windows Store Transferring applications 1. Open your Visual Studio project. 2. Ensure that the application can be built without errors. From the Build menu, choose Rebuild. 3. From the list of choices on Visual Studio's toolbar, choose Device as the deployment target. 4. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable. 5. Click on Build/Deploy in Visual Studio. 6. After a moment, your application should be transferred to the device. Disconnect the USB cable. You should now see your application in the device's Start screen. Choosing the target device in Visual Studio Windows Store developer account • To sell and distribute your applications in the Windows Store, you will need a developer account • This account enables to send your application to Microsoft for certification • If your application is accepted, you may publish it in Windows Store at a price of your choice (or for free, in which case we would talk about distribution) Acquiring a developer account • Anyone who pays the annual account activation fee on a credit or debit card can get a developer account • At the moment the annual fee is 20€ for private individuals and 75€ for companies • After paying to fee, you can submit an almost unlimited number of application for sale and distribution • Registration: http://dev.windows.com/ Developer account's dashboard Distributing applications • You can decide how widely you want to distribute and sell it • You may choose any and all of the 80 Microsoft Store-supported countries – The number of supported countries is increasing, so your business possibilities keep getting better • Especially if your application is in English, you may not need to limit the number of countries Matters of note • Distributing applications globally may require changes in the application • The most concrete example is translating the interface • You may also have to think about the used colors, icons, sounds, and the direction text is read Application detail in the Store, note the number of languages Publishing an application in the store • Publishing your app in the Store begins by ensuring that: – – your application's features are finished it's appearance and usability are as polished as possible • In the most recent 2013 version of Visual Studio the publishing process has been made quicker with automated processes • The publication of Windows 8 applications ss a webbased Information needed for publishing • The application title – This title is what users use to find your application in the Store • The countries where your application will be distributed or sold (and the possible price range) – The most popular pricing options are the lowest 1-2 euro prices, such as 1.19€, 1.69€, 1.99€, and 2.49€ • A deployment package – The APPX file contains your applications compiled binary file and related supporting files • Graphics, screen captures, and a short description – The application is presented in the Store with its title, graphics, and screen captures The manifest file • The manifest file is a part of every Windows 8 application – – It includes the technical details required by the store For example: system requirements, available languages, etc. • You can locate the manifest file in Visual Studio by using the Solution Explorer window • The manifest file is XML-based, and it can be edited in Visual Studio and manually in XML code The manifest file Editing it Visual Studio Submitting your application • Once you're application is finished, tested, and its manifest file is ready, it's time so submit your app to Microsoft for certification • There are two ways to do this: – – Use a web broser to log into your developer account at dev.windows.com Start the process from Visual Studio Creating a distribution package • In Visual Studio you can click on the Store menu and choose Create App Packages • This command creates a deployment package of your application and combines it with the manifest file to a bundle that is sent to Microsoft Create App Packages Prepared deployment package • There are four steps to the submission process • Once these steps have been successfully passed, Visual Studio will create an .APPX file in the project folder • Next you must upload the application package to the Store – You can do this in Visual Studio with the Upload App Packages command Prepared deployment package Essential Visual Studio windows • Visual Studio 2013 is a versatile development tool, and its intended for both amateur and professional use • Being familiar with your tools helps you develop applications faster • We will now go through the most essential Visual Studio windows Solution Explorer • The Solution Explorer is one of the most important Visual Studio's sub-windows • It's used primarily to manage the files connected to your application – It can be used as a useful search tool for your whole application – you can search files by name, or classes and methods in the program code. Solution Explorer Toolbox • The Toolbox window contains all the components you can use to design your application's interface • The contents of the Toolbox window will change according to the currently active Visual Studio mode – If you're designing an XAML interface, Toolbox will display the available interface components Toolbox Properties • Properties window is usually positioned in the lower right corner of the Visual Studio main view. • Properties displays information of the selected object and lets you edit the object-specific properties • Sometimes the Properties window will not be visible and you must bring it up – The Properties keyboard shortcut is F4 Properties Team Explorer • The Team Explorer is your gateway to source control and its features • Source control between different developers is necessary when more than one person is working on the project at a time – source control can be useful even for solitary developers, so it shouldn't be underestimated. • Team Explorer gives you access to Microsoft's own source control service, known as Team Foundation Server (TFS) – Git source control is also supported Team Explorer Assignments 1. Find out how many countries you can distribute your applications to at the most. Estimate how many consumers you could reach. 2. Name three things you should take into account when creating multi-language versions of your application. 3. Consider how providing a trial version of your application might increase its sales. Questions and answers 1 I have finished my Windows 8 application and would like to sell it in the Windows Store. What should I do? • Ensure that you have registered a developer account either as a private developer or as a company • Ensure that you have completed the approval process for your credit card. This will take approximately 3-4 days. • After this you can create a deployment package as described in this chapter and submit it to Microsoft at dev.windows.com. Questions and answers 2 In the manifest file I can choose which features my application uses, such as location data, voice, contact book, etc. How will I know which features I must choose? • As a developer you must inform Microsoft of the technical features (such as network traffic, phone location, etc.) your application uses • The final inspection of the features used by the application is performed during the certification process, so accidentally made wrong choices will be fixed before the application is distributed and sold. • The certification process is interrupted, however, if the made choices are radically different from reality. Questions and answers 3 Where can I find more information on Microsoft's cloudbased source control system? • Microsoft's cloud-based free source control service for under five users is called Visual Studio Online Basic (earlier know as Team Foundation Service). • More information on the service and the registration page can be found at www.visualstudio.com. • Visual Studio has a direct connection to this service through the Team Explorer window.