Some Advice on the Windows Phone 7 AppHub

The submission process for Windows Phone 7 applications into the Marketplace is done via the AppHub and there are some interesting quirks that you may come across or have to work around. Here are just a few hints to get you started:

Registration: Register for the AppHub today. Yes I know if costs money but if you’re going to be releasing something via marketplace you’re going to need an account eventually. It’s best to get this process done as early as possible to avoid delays when you’re app is ready to submit.

Free Applications: If you going to submit free app be aware that you get 5 free submissions. If your application fails to pass certification that will count as a submission (so if you succeed the second time around you’ve used 2 of your 5 free submissions). For free apps, make the first submission the equivalent of Hello World (ie so simple that it can’t possibly fail) but DO NOT check the box at the end of the submission process that will automatically publish your application after certification. Once your application has passed certification all further updates to that app are free – now you can add all the real functionality, fails as often as you like, and not have to worry about using any more of your free submissions. When you’ve certified a version of your application that you’re happy with, then you can choose to publish it.

Updates: Every time you want to update your application you need to complete the entire submission process again (including uploading all the artwork, descriptions, keywords etc). To make this process easier, each time you publish your application, immediately start a new application update and copy all the existing values from the current application into the new submission. Then, when you do decide to update the application, you can quite easily change the xap file in the new submission and send it off for testing. I can’t urge you enough to double-check all values in the new submission to make sure they are correct….. the last thing you want is for your application to be listed as a game…..

Reviews: There is currently no way to provide feedback to users who have provided a review of your application. However, you, as the author, can download your own application and provide a review that responds to any feedback or comments from other users. You might want to annotate the review with “authors comment” or words to that effect to indicate that you are the author (don’t forget to rate your application of course – how many stars do you think it deserves?)

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