Monday, April 15, 2013

[C# and Win8] How to develop your first Modern UI application Part 3: Function declarations & Windows Store Deployment

In the last part we saw how to develop our first Windows 8 Modern UI application. I showed you how to create a very basic Image Viewer application. This part will show how to use system features (such as access to system resources or external devices) and how to deploy your applications via the Windows Store.

Application Manifest for Windows 8 Modern UI Applications

By default Modern UI applications do not have any access rights to system resources or external devices. You have to specifically allow and authorize those operations within the Application Manifest. In our example we had to edit the Package.appxmanifest file, as explained in the last blog post.

This declaration is especially important if you want to add your applications to the Windows Store. In fact, during the acceptance process, Microsoft verifies that the available functionalities are fully mentioned in your application description.

This is done to assure that everything is coherent, because Users need to know what access rights are required, if they want to install your applications from the Windows Store. Then they are able to decide if they want to download and buy your applications.

There are mainly two types of functionalities, for which access rights can be declared in the Application Manifest :

  • General functionalities : Media Files, Pictures Library, Removable Storage, Microphone, Webcam, Localization, Internet Connection, etc...


  • Advances functionalities : My Documents, Enterprise Authentication, Certificates, Share Targets, Background Tasks, etc...


You have to know that if you provide access to the advanced functionalities, then Microsoft will analyze your application in more details before your it can be made available on the Windows Store.

Windows Store Deployment

The Windows Store is the centralized and unique software distribution platform for Windows 8 applications. Customers find all sorts of Modern UI applications in the store. You can get more information here:

As already mentioned, applications are validated before they can be distributed via the store. This allows a high quality and controlled security access for all applications present on the store. There is a whole acceptance process, that each application has to comply on before it can be put on the Windows Store. It assures that applications work correctly, that they use only the accesses that are declared in the application description and that they comply to certain Modern UI design rules.

The validation is done by specialized Microsoft teams. It includes a thorough technical review, which aims at prohibiting malwares and viruses as well as unnecessary security accesses. Thus, a Windows Store customer may be confident to buy anything from the store without any risks of bad impact on his system.

Before you can distribute you applications on the store, you have to create a user account within the Dev Center for Windows Store Apps :

The are two types of user accounts: individual accounts and enterprise accounts. You have to know that only enterprise accounts can submit applications using advanced functionalities.

After the account creation you are now able to submit your first application to the Windows Store via the the “Submit an App” button. Choose a name for you application, enter a meaningful description and apply for the technical review.

After Microsoft has validated and tested your application it will be available on the Windows Store. That’s it you are now ready to build you own Windows 8 Modern UI application and distribute on the Windows Store.


Monday, April 8, 2013

[MVP Nomination] Third year as MVP Visual C# !!!

I am proud to inform you that I was awarded Microsoft MVP Visual C# again 2013. This is the third year as MVP, but I am still very excited, happy and honored for being selected MVP !!!


I want to take some time and thank my MVP Lead for having me nominated.

Also a big thank you to Microsoft for putting their trust in me. I will do my best and continue sharing my knowledge with the community. So be prepared for many new blog posts and articles in the technical press on Software Architecture & Design, Visual C# and Windows Azure, which are my main interests. I will also continue concentrating on speaking at conferences so I would be glad to see you at any Microsoft events (TechDays, MS Days, etc…). This year I am also working on several books !

Stay tuned and continue following me if you like this Blog !