Workaround For Submitting A Project Siena App to the Windows Store

We reported on Project Siena a few days back.  It is a Metro app that allows you to create Metro apps with a minimal amount of coding.  The app is currently in beta and does allow project to be submitted to the Windows Store, however there is a workaround.  Note, this is an interim method that leverages the Store wizards in Visual Studio Express, you will not need to do any programming, but there will likely be an easier way to do this down the line.

Prerequisites

Register for a Developer Account: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj193592.aspx.

Have “Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8” installed. Free download from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30664. (Not Express 2013).

Produce the app

Create your app in Project Siena and publish it (File | Publish) to a destination on your machine. This produces a folder called PublishedPackage. Double click on InstallApp.exe within this folder and choose “Install on this PC” – if prompted, sign in with your Microsoft Account.

You will also see a sub-folder with your app name within PublishedPackage. Download the ProduceAppForStore.zip from http://aka.ms/ProjectSienaProduceAppForStore and extract all files into the PublishedPackage\yourappname sub-folder. Accept when prompted about overwriting an existing file.

One of the extracted files is ProduceAppForStore.cmd, double click to run it. If you get a message “Windows protected your PC,” click on “More info” and choose “Run anyway.” This script will modify published files and open your app in Visual Studio, ready for you to take the standard Store publishing steps.

Submit the App to Windows Store

At this point, you have an app like any other that a developer might have created in Visual Studio. You can see your app working anytime by pressing Ctrl F5.

Follow the Store submission instructions at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/apps/hh454036(v=vs.120).aspx. Below is a brief summary:

  1. Select Visual Studio menu Store | Reserve App Name, and choose the desired name for your app.
  2. Select Store | Associate App with the Store, and follow dialog to associate with the reserved app name.
  3. Select Store | Edit App Manifest, select the Capabilities tab, and uncheck any capabilities that your app does not use, like Camera, Microphone, Internet or Private Networks.
  4. In the Solution Explorer window inside Visual Studio, double click on privacy.html to review and edit your app’s Privacy Policy:
    • Remove the placeholder text “[REVIEW PRIVACY POLICY]” and edit the rest of text to accurately describe your app’s privacy policy
    • Substitute “[INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS]” with your own email address(es). The text should now look like this:<a href=”mailto:someone@somewhere.com”>someone@somewhere.com</a>
    • Substitute “[INSERT DATE]” with the actual date
  5. Choose Store | Create App Packages, and follow dialog to create the app package (.appx file). You will see a path to your .appx, copy and keep it for step #6.
  6. Choose Store | Upload App Packages to open the Developer Dashboard website. There, provide the information required by the Store:
    • In the “Packages” section, select your .appx using the path from step #5
    • In the “Description” section, make sure to choose the Windows 8 tab (not Windows 8.1) – don’t worry, your app will run on both Windows 8 and 8.1
    • When all information has been provided, the “Submit for certification” button will be enabled — click to finish

Source: Project Siena

About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin