Microsoft is making a number of announcements at the Build conference regarding sideloaded apps. Businesses often have internal apps that they do not want to publish to the Windows Store. Sideloading is a way of installing an app without going through the traditional process of finding and downloading the app from the Windows Store. Sideloading can be managed by the IT department.
Enterprises can now get rights to sideload apps very cheaply, for a little as $100:
- Enterprise Sideloading– In May, we will grant Enterprise Sideloading rights to organizations in certain Volume License programs, regardless of what product they purchase, at no additional cost. Other customers who want to deploy custom line-of-business Windows 8.1 apps can purchase Enterprise Sideloading rights for an unlimited number of devices through Volume Licensing at approximately $100. For additional information on sideloading licensing, review the Windows Volume Licensing Guide.
Windows is also providing developers with new tools to leverage existing code to easily create and deploy touch-friendly business apps, and improve efficiency across devices, including:
- Brokered Windows Runtime Components – Sideloaded Windows Store apps can access Windows runtime components running outside of the app container and have access to the full power of Windows and .NET.
- Network Loopback – Sideloaded Windows Store apps can communicate with desktop processes and apps via network loopback. Now, you can build touch-centric apps while using existing code that depends on Win32 or Base Class Library components, which is otherwise unavailable to Windows Store apps. Developers can use both tools and APIs to enable network loopback for Windows Store apps.
- Windows Notification Services – Sideloaded Windows Store apps are now able to receive push notifications via Windows Notification Services. Using a Windows Store developer account, you can reserve an app name and use its identity. This app identity will not be deleted from active developer accounts, even if your app has not been published to the Windows Store. Learn more about the process for reserving an app name on MSDN here.
Source: Windows for your Business