Create your first Windows Store app

1 Mar 2013
Certify your app

The Windows Store opens up a great opportunity for developers. As a developer, here's what you'll need to know to create your first Windows Store app.

If you've already read our feature on creating tablet-style Windows 8 apps, you'll be ready to create your first submission to the Windows Store. Here are the steps we took in Visual Studio create our own first app - a basic RSS reader, consisting of a page with a grid element on it, set as two columns. You can download the accompanying code from Pastebin.com.

Choose a language

Choose a language

When creating a new Windows Store app project, you have a choice of four languages – see the list at the left-hand side of the requester – but the useful Designer view isn’t currently supported in JavaScript. Whichever language you choose, you’ll be offered a selection of templates. For simplicity, we’ll start with a Blank Application. This screenshot is taken from the beta release of Visual Studio for Windows 8, so it refers to “Metro” instead of Windows Store, but the process is otherwise the same in the final version.

Set up your working environment

Set up your working environment

The coding environment will be very familiar to anyone who has used Visual Studio to write .NET applications. Although Microsoft recommends using a dual-monitor setup, the environment defaults to this split single-screen view, with the Designer view at the top of the window and the Code view in the lower pane.

Write your code, then test on touch

Write your code, then test on touch

Our sample app (see below) uses a scrollable list and a content window. We developed it on a non-touch system, but since many of Windows 8’s elements are designed for “touch-first” interfaces, it’s crucial to test on a touchscreen device, to ensure that the list scrolls smoothly and that a tap of the finger has the desired effect.

Certify your app

Certify your app

Once you’re happy with your app, ensure it’s suitable for submission to the Windows Store. Launch the Windows App Certification Kit from within Visual Studio to generate a report. As you can see, our app worked as desired, but we might consider optimising performance where possible before submission.

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Tutorials