Creating an app package (Windows Store apps)

In the Create App Packages wizard, you can specify metadata for an app package. For more information, see Packaging your Windows Store app using Visual Studio 2012.

To create an app package for the Windows Store

  1. On the menu bar, choose Project, Store, Create App Packages.

    Note Note

    If you’re running Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8, instead choose Store, Create App Packages.

    The Create App Packages wizard appears.

  2. On the Create Your Packages page, choose the Yes option button, and then choose the Sign In link.

    The Sign In dialog box appears.

    Note Note

    If you haven’t already established a developer account, choose the create an account link to display the page from which you can get an account.

  3. In the Sign In dialog box, enter your Microsoft account and password, and then choose the Sign In button.

  4. On the Select an app name page, choose from the list the App Name for the app that you’re packaging, and then choose the Next button.

    If you’re packaging an update to an app that you’ve already published, select the Include app names that already have packages check box to display names of published apps in the list.

    If no app names appear in the list, choose the Reserve Name link to open the Dashboard and reserve a name.

  5. On the Select and Configure Packages page, in the Output location text box, enter the location where the package files will be created.

  6. (optional) In the Version text boxes, update the version number of your app.

    In each field, you must enter an integer that’s between 0 and 65535, inclusive.

    Note Note

    If the Automatically increment check box is selected, the last field of the version number will increase by one each time that you package the app. However, the major version number typically shouldn’t increase unless you’ve significantly changed your app.

  7. In the Select the packages to create and the solution configuration mappings section, select the check box for each build configuration for which you want to create a package.

    The build configurations grid lists the possible platform architectures of the package (that is, Neutral, ARM, x64, and x86). In each row, a combo box displays the combination of the current Solution Configuration and Architecture choices that are relevant for that row’s architecture. The check box for the default platform is set to the current, active project platform. The combo box for the Neutral row show the Solution Configuration combinations that contain AnyCPU as the project’s platform. If no Solution Configuration combination is relevant, the entire row for that platform is unavailable for selection. One package is produced for each configuration that you specify.

  8. For each build configuration that you specified, choose the Solution Configuration that you want to build.

    When you package an app for the Store, you can specify Release or any custom solution configuration that you’ve created.

    A package will be created for each build configuration that you specified.

  9. Select or clear the Include public symbol files, if any, to enable crash analysis for the app check box.

    When the check box is selected (default), Visual Studio generates the public symbol files (.pdb) and adds them to the .appxupload file. The .appxupload file is created as part of the packaging process and contains two other files: .appx and .appxsym. The .appxsym is the compressed file that contains the public symbols of your app. When you upload the app and the .appxupload file to the Store, the Store analyzes the file and uses the public symbols to map crashes of your app. The resulting telemetry information about your app is published for you to review on the developer dashboard. For more information, see Submitting your app and Analyzing your apps in the Windows Store.

  10. Choose the Create button.

    When the packaging process has completed, the Package Creation Completed page appears.

  11. To verify whether your package meets requirements for the Store, choose the Launch Windows App Certification Kit button.

    Note Note

    This option is available only if you specified at least one solution configuration that supports local validation. For more information, see How to test your app with the Windows App Certification Kit.

To create an app package for testing or local distribution

  1. On the menu bar, choose Project, Store, Create App Packages.

    Note Note

    If you’re running Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8, instead choose Store, Create App Packages.

    The Create App Packages wizard appears.

  2. On the Create Your Packages page, choose the No option button, and then choose the Sign In link.

  3. On the Select and Configure Packages page, in the Output location text box, enter the location where the package files will be created.

  4. (optional) In the Version text boxes, update the version number of your app.

    In each field, you must specify an integer that’s between 0 and 65535, inclusive.

    Note Note

    If the Automatically increment check box is selected, the last field of the version number will increase by one each time that you package the app. However, the major version number typically shouldn’t increase unless you’ve significantly changed your app.

  5. In the Select the packages to create and the solution configuration mappings section, select the check boxes for the build configurations that you want to package.

  6. For each build configuration that you specified, choose the Solution Configuration that you want to build.

    The build configurations grid lists the possible platform architectures of the package (that is, Neutral, ARM, x64, and x86). In each row, a combo box displays the combination of the current Solution Configuration and Architecture choices that are relevant for that row’s architecture. By default, the platform check box is set to the current, active, project platform. The combo box for the Neutral row shows the Solution Configuration combinations that contain AnyCPU as the project’s platform. If no Solution Configuration combination is relevant, the entire row for that platform is unavailable for selection. When you package an app for testing, you can choose Debug, Release, or any custom solution configuration that you’ve created.

    One package is produced for each build configuration that you specify.

  7. If you don’t want to include symbol files (.pdb) in the package, clear the Include public symbol files, if any, to enable crash analysis for the app check box.

    Note Note

    You must include symbol files if you want to enable telemetry information in the Store.

  8. Choose the Create button.

    When the packaging process has completed, the Package Creation Completed page appears.

  9. To verify whether your app package meets requirements for the Store, choose the Launch Windows App Certification Kit button.

    Note Note

    This option is available only if you specified at least one solution configuration that supports local validation. For more information, see How to test your app with the Windows App Certification Kit.

After you create the app package for testing or local distribution, you can install it on a local machine or device. For the installation steps, see Sharing an app package locally (Windows Store apps).

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