Microsoft: pick an app name, then start coding

15 Feb 2012
Windows 8

Microsoft looks to streamline app approval process for Metro Store

Developers creating apps for Microsoft's new Metro UI will be able to reserve a name for their creation before submitting it.

Microsoft revealed details of how to submit an app to the Metro Store, saying it wants to work with developers earlier in the process, rather than start talking when the app is written.

In order to keep app shopping easier for consumers, Microsoft has said each app must have a unique name - unlike apps for Windows Phone - and is encouraging developers to reserve it before they start coding, according to Jonathan Garrigues, a program manager, in a post on the Windows 8 blog.

Microsoft figures that by letting developers reserve their app name ahead of time, it will force them to actually read the rules and requirements for the Store, and encourage them to consider different features.

"One advantage of allowing developers to reserve app names in advance is that it brings them into the developer portal site earlier in the process, and exposes them to some of the other options and requirements that they'll need to keep in mind as they code," said Garrigues.

To reserve a name developers must head to the "submit an app" page, which also asks about features such as push notifications and localisation. The post said the steps were ordered "very deliberately, grouping the concepts that might inspire you to change your code conceptually earlier in the process".

Smoother process?

Developers will be able to run a Windows App Certificiation Kit for themselves before submitting, so they'll have a better idea if their app will be approved.

Microsoft also unveiled a tracking system, so developers will be able to clearly see what stage of certification their app is at, and how much longer it will take.

The company suggested in the blog post that it shouldn't take much longer than six days to approve an app - with the bulk of testing in the "content compliance" phase, rather than with technical issues.

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