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Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Oct 11

Written by:
Monday, October 11, 2010 10:38 PM  RssIcon

WP7 Marketplace emailToday, Microsoft opened up their WP7 Marketplace for early application submission.  I've been VERY lucky to have access and here is what happened tonight, page by page, blow by blow.  Read on if you want to learn what you can expect (for the most part) when you goto submit your WP7 application!

WP7 Marketplace emailTonight I received one of the best emails from Microsoft I've ever received, it was the "go ahead and submit your WP7 apps man!  GO FOR IT!"  Ok, ok, so I'm taking some poetic liberties there, but that was the jist of the message!

Today Microsoft announced the delivery of a complete reboot of their mobile strategy.  Can you say CTRL+ALT+DEL for your smartphone division?  That's basically what it amounts to!  If you're reading my blog, you're familiar with some of my past blogs about WP7, well, it all comes to a head tonight!!!!  Tonight I submitted miFlashlight and here's my story!

First I had to get miFlashlight ready.  I was working on two things today with it ("dimmer swipe" and double tapping to toggle min/max brightness) and tonight I was double checking everything was ready.  DOH!  I missed some graphics!  hhmmm  Fastest thing to do there is take what I had and resize them correctly.  Done.  Next I needed to remove all the Debug.PrintLines, then do a Release Build.  Check, check, check, lets get on with it ok Peter?  Sure, sure, sure!

Ok, I got so excited I missed the screen cap of my first screen after navigating to the newly updated and HUGELY improved Marketplace site.  But this is what it looks like now.

New Marketplace site

But the thing that surprised me was I had to sign in then navigate over to the XBox site to register and update communication information over there.  Huh?  Uh, ok, sure, I want in, I'll do that, sure, ok.......but........uhhh........

Uh oh?

But once I did that "thing" over on the other site, I returned back here and started miFlashlight submission!  COOL!

Step1.Upload

First thing I notice is the apps not html but Silverlight.  Shouldn't surprise people (I hope? LOL).  But since this is my first business Silverlight application I've ever paid money to use, I'm paying a bit more attention now.  I then noticed the question marks and they aren't clickable....hhhmmmm Let's try checking the checkbox and seeing if I can glean any info there.

OhThatsWhatTechnicalExceptionIs

Ok, so then I unchecked that, and click Next to, as Colin said tonight "keep moving forward!"  There's "a please wait" type of message while your XAP file is uploaded to Marketplace.  miFlashlight's small, so this didn't take long.  PHEW! haha

PleaseWaitMessage

Next we have to enter in Description information about our submission.  Uh, don't forget too speell chack ur wurk der eh man?!  Nothing worse than waiting five days for your app to get accepted only to find a glaring spellling mistake on the Marketplace.  hhhmmmm let me see..........

Step2-Description

All pretty standard stuff.  The only thing I hummed and hawed about was the Category.  My options were Productivity or Tools, and as you can see I picked Productivity.  For right or for wrong, I figure I can change it in the future if I want/need to.  But I wanted to continue plugging forward right! 

Clicking next.....uh oh.....  Error occurred, something about my internet connectivity?  huh?  UH ok, I'll try THAT again, it's SL right?  I can just hit Next again......uh oh, there's that error again.  Ok, so I cut'n'paste my values out to Notepad the restart IE again.  COOL!  The site saves info after each step, sweet, I didn't lose anything from Step 1.  Sweet!  But I did get this error again and again.  As you can see below, I DO indeed have a live connection to the "internet."  I'm guessing the problem was just too many people like me (too anxious to get their WP7 apps submitted! LOL).  (Sorry for the yahoo ping, but MS and Bing don't respond to pings and yahoos just quick to type)

UhHoustonWeHaveAProblem

This is the error I was tweeting about earlier tonight and I even asked on the forums about it (how's that for a cool seque into looking at the new and improved Forums? LOL).  The "old" Marketplace forums were nice (standard MSDN ones) but this one just looks updates, slicker, cooler.

 LoggingTheErrorOnForums-VeryNice

Ok, so after a bit of time (entering the question above), I returned back and the rest of the process occurred without event. 

Next, I had to enter my "artwork."  (HAHA ya, artwork from a developer, ya I laughed too LOL).  But the cool thing is, the page reminds you about the size requirements, and which ones are optional.  I really do like the new UI!  Intuitive IMHO.  The only hiccup I have is I wish I could drag'n'drop my graphics.  The default directory never remembered my previous directory, so I had to cut'n'paste the dir over and over.  Not a big deal, but now that you know, you can save a bit of time.

Step3-Artwork

Next, we get to the pricing.  First thing you should notice is the tiered pricing model (ie you can't just pick your own price) and the cheapest price you can set is $0.99 US.  I say cheapest price because you can't for example set your price of $0.49 if you wanted (like what I was thinking for miFlashlight).  And if you select $0.00, you are only allowed five freebies across all Regions.  What's nice on this screen is it gives you prices for the other regions, I'm assuming they're using current/estimated conversion rates?

Step4-Pricing-USFocused

The thing I noticed was the prices are anchored in US currency.  When I changed to CAN currency, notice how the prices in the dropdown change.  No big deal, but if you're not in the US, and want to give you app some type of standard 1.99 rupee price, you won't be able to.

Step4-SamePricesButConvertedToSelectedCurrency

Something else I noticed was the max prices available.  Selecting the More... option at the bottom refreshes the dropdown with up to $499.99.  I'm guessing that's the max eh, considering it's a dropdown and that's the only option? LOL  Besides, if you're releasing a consumer WP7 application for $499.99...is it really considered a consumer application?  Just a thought.

TieredPricing HowDoYouGoMoreThanThat

Anyways, back to the process, we're nearing the end, the painful stuff's over actually.  Next step is just to figure out if you want to publish to the Marketplace after passing certification.  I'm guessing about the only reason you'd want to uncheck this is if you want to submit your app early for certification, but not release it before a specific date, upon which I'm assuming there's a RELEASE ME ON x/y/z!  button in the Marketplace for those times.

Step5-Submit

And, that's it, we're done!  We're back to the beginning of the process with feedback saying things are in motion.  Hopefully in 4-5d I'll hear good news!

BackToTheBeginning

 

hhhmmm At this point, the Marketplace has impressed me a bit too quickly/easily.  I want to poke around here a bit more!  Click on the View Details.  Very interesting.

ViewDetails

And lastly (this blog is getting quite long right now and you might need a coffee refill too LOL), I wanted to look at the Support link.  Ya know what, if Microsoft is going to goto the effort of putting a Support link right off the main dashboard, you have to think they believe they've got something here!  If they are THAT confident to put their support people at arm reach like that?  I think that speaks volumes!  (No, I didn't write an email.....yet LOL).

PokingAroundFoundSupportLink-MSNotAfraidHere

So!  There we go, a blow by blow, screen by screen example of a real to life WP7 application submission for certification.  I hope this helps show you it's not THAT bad nor painful, nor a very lengthy process (if you have all your deliverables ready).  Now that you know how to submit your apps, it's time to grab a coffee and get coding!

 

 

Resources

Microsoft News Center: Windows Phone 7: A Fresh Start for the Smartphone

APP HUB: Develop for Windows Phone & XBOX 360

PCHenry.com: Are you ready for the WP7 Marketplace? Here's an in-depth analysis of the Application Certification Requirements

PCHenry.com: Are you signing up for the Mobile developer program for the WP7?

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15 comment(s) so far...


Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Hi Peter,
Nice blog. It's nice to see what the submission process look like!

Good Job!
Louis-Philippe

By Louis-Philippe Pinsonneault on   Tuesday, October 12, 2010 8:37 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Thank you very much! I wanted to document it to show people it's not that bad (easier than what I had in my head). That first screen asking to goto the xbox site was a bit different, but I'm just attributing it to the early access thing and that everything is completely new.

Can't wait to see your's when it's up there and to try it out on a new phone (Nov 8th right?). Can't wait!

By phenry on   Tuesday, October 12, 2010 8:41 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Thank you very much,

I was already wondering if it would be difficult

As L-P stated
Good Job!
Best Regards
Peter

By PNW on   Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:31 PM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Very cool Peter, thanks for commenting! Are you submitting something too? Do you have a webpage to check out for your app? I love to see what others are working on (if you don't mind that is).

Thanks for commenting and I wish you all the best of luck with submitting and getting accepted!

By phenry on   Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:34 PM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Hi Peter,

Great post and I know by you capturing your experience it will help others be as successful as you!

awesome work!

John

By John Oxley on   Wednesday, October 13, 2010 8:49 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

re successful
Oh that's yet to be decided! haha

But in all seriousness, I was just ecstatic to get the app done and submitted. I couldn't believe how easy the process was. It's not trivial, but not rocket science neither. Part of what I wanted to show with this post was just how easy it was.

This means devs know they can focus more on their apps than dwelling or humming'n'hawing on submitting it. That last mile can be tough, but I hope they'll know, it's not that bad.

Thank you for commenting John! Have a good week!

By phenry on   Wednesday, October 13, 2010 8:57 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Showcased on Joey deVilla's blog Global Nerdy and on Developer Connection.

http://www.globalnerdy.com/2010/10/13/peter-henry-on-submitting-a-windows-phone-app-to-marketplace/comment-page-1/#comment-10215

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdndevs/archive/2010/10/13/peter-henry-on-submitting-a-windows-phone-app-to-marketplace.aspx

Thank you Joey, that's awesome!

By phenry on   Wednesday, October 13, 2010 3:39 PM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Thanks for the post.
The whole process is so painful!!!!
Stuck in the XBox thing, no Canada available... fail.

By Laurent on   Saturday, October 16, 2010 11:44 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Hi Laurent, ya, I thought I was stuck too! But if I remember correctly, you just have to give them some information (copied from the application I think?), then you'll come back to the APP HUB and be able to proceed to the next step. Does that help or make complete non-sense? I hope it helps? I know I thought I was stuck after the xbox thing but then I tried to go back to the hub and it was ok.

Thanks for the comment, keep me up to date on how things are progressing!

PS I find it pretty cool to see people's names posting in the forum that I know, Kate G, Shawn W I think I saw LP on one too! haha VERY cool WP7 is getting this much love! All the RIM and Apple people would be jealous IMHO!

By phenry on   Saturday, October 16, 2010 11:47 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Thanks for the post.
The whole process is so painful!!!!
Stuck in the XBox thing, no Canada available... fail.

By Laurent on   Monday, October 18, 2010 9:00 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Hi Laurent, did you repost that one or was it just the DNN magic? :> How did things go this weekend?

By phenry on   Monday, October 18, 2010 9:00 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Hi Peter,

I noticed in your description for Zune you put a link to your website - is this allowed?

By Rod on   Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:22 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Hi Rod. I don't believe there is anything official in the spec documents about this (yet). It might come in the future? MS might be taking a wait'n'see approach to see how people use/abuse the privilege?

Thanks for commenting Rod. Have a good one!

By Peter Henry on   Monday, November 15, 2010 9:34 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

I've submitted my App on Nov 3 and still got no answer about success or failure :( I guess there must be lots of people trying to squeeze Apps in at the moment:)

By Marios on   Monday, November 15, 2010 9:34 AM

Re: Anatomy of a WP7 Application Submission

Hi Marios. Nov 3rd? WOW I would try making a change and resubmitting. Maybe your's somehow is in la-la land? If you resubmit, the worst thing is it'll take just as long as it is now. Don't forget to change the version number upon submission. Good luck and comment when you get it submitted (do you have a web page?). Good luck and thanks for commenting!

By phenry on   Monday, November 15, 2010 9:35 AM

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