Using the Windows App Certification Kit

Applies to Windows and Windows Phone

To give your app the best chance of getting certified, validate and test it on your computer before you submit it for certification and listing in the Windows Store. This topic shows you how to install and run the Windows App Certification Kit. For more details on specific tests carried out by this kit, refer to the following topics:

For a high level look at the certification process, and where the use of this tool fits in, see Certify your app.

Prerequisites

If you are developing a Windows 8 app:

If you are developing a Windows 8.1 app:

  • You must install and run Windows 8.1.

  • You must install Windows App Certification Kit version 3.3, which is included in the Windows SDK for Windows 8.1.

    Note  

    Because it is frequently recommended that you test your app on Windows RT, be sure to also install the Windows App Certification Kit for Windows RT (available as a separate download for Windows RT devices).

    To run Windows App Certification Kit version 3.3 on a Windows RT machine (Windows 8.1 RT), the kits policy needs to be installed as well. For details on installing the kits policy, see ARM Kit Policy Installation.

If you are developing a Windows Phone 8.1 app:

Other pre-requisites:

  • You must have a valid developer license for your computer. See Get a developer license to learn how.

  • You must deploy the Windows Store app that you want to test to your computer.

    Note  If you're using Visual Studio, you can run the Windows App Certification Kit when you create your app package. See Creating an app package to learn how.

Enabling in place upgrade

The installation of Windows App Certification Kit version 3.3 or higher will replace any previous version of the kit that is installed on the machine.

Instructions

Validate your Windows Store app or Windows Phone app by using the Windows App Certification Kit interactively

  1. From the Start menu, search Apps, find Windows Kits, and click Windows App Cert Kit.

  2. From the Windows App Certification Kit, select the category of validation you would like to perform. For example: If you are validating a Windows Store app, select Validate a Windows Store app or Validate a Windows Phone app.

    When the Windows App Certification Kit is run for the first time, the UI lists all the Windows Store apps that you have installed on your computer. For any subsequent runs, the UI will display the most recent Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps that you have validated. If the app that you want to test is not listed, you can click on My app isn't listed to get a comprehensive list of all apps installed on your system.

  3. Select the app that you want to test, and then click Next. For Windows 8.1 Phone apps, specify the path where the app package exists and then click Next.

  4. From the next screen, select the tests you want to run on your Windows Store app and click Next.

    The Windows App Certification Kit begins validating the app.

  5. At the prompt after the test, enter the path to the folder where you want to save the test report.

    The Windows App Certification Kit creates an HTML along with an XML report and saves it in this folder.

  6. Open the report file and review the results of the test.

Validate your Windows Store app or Windows Phone app by using the Windows App Certification Kit from a command line

Important  The Windows App Certification Kit must be run within the context of an active user session.

  1. In the command window, navigate to the directory that contains the Windows App Certification Kit.

    Note   The default path is C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\8.1\App Certification Kit\.

  2. Enter the following commands in this order to test your app:

    appcert.exe reset
    appcert.exe test -apptype windowsstoreapp -packagefullname [package full name] -reportoutputpath [report file name]

    where:

    [package full name] is the fully qualified name of the package.

    [report file name] is the fully qualified file name, that includes the file path, of the XML file that the kit will create to contain the test report.

    Select either windowsstoreapp or windowsphoneapp for the -apptype parameter depending on the type of app you've developed.

  3. After the test completes, open the report file named [report file name] and review the test results.

Note  The Windows App Certification Kit can be run from a service, but the service must initiate the kit process within an active user session and cannot be run in Session0. For more information on this test scenario, download the Windows App Certification Kit white paper.

Note   For more info about the Windows App Certification Kit command line, enter the command appcert.exe /?

Remarks

Testing with a low-power computer

The performance test thresholds of the Windows App Certification Kit are based on the performance of a low-power computer.

The characteristics of the computer on which the test is performed can influence the test results. To determine if your app’s performance meets the Windows and Windows Phone Store Policies, we recommend that you test your app on a low-power computer, such as an Intel Atom processor-based computer with a screen resolution of 1366x768 (or higher) and a rotational hard drive (as opposed to a solid-state hard drive).

As low-power computers evolve, their performance characteristics might change over time. Refer to the most current Windows and Windows Phone Store Policies and test your app with the most current version of the Windows App Certification Kit to make sure that your app complies with the latest performance requirements.

Windows App Certification Kit tests

The following updates were included in the latest version of the Windows App Certification Kit:

  • Image validation

    Verifies that preview tiles are under 200KB in size.

  • Performance tests

    The launch and suspend performance tests have been removed.

  • Updates to Banned File Analyzer test

    Included new test to ensure that pre-released versions of the Microsoft Advertising SDK are not included in an app.

  • Ensures no reverse map in PRI file

    Verifies that the reverse header has not been added to the PRI file to prevent unnecessary system resource usage at runtime.

  • Inter process communication (IPC) verification

    Verifies that an app does not communicate outside of the app container to desktop components.

  • Windows Phone 8.1 app support

    Validates Windows Phone 8.1 apps before submission to the Store. Please refer to the Windows App Certification Kit tests for Windows Phone apps for the complete list of tests applicable to Windows Phone 8.1 apps.

  • General fixes and performance improvements.
  • Better integration within Visual Studio for evaluating Windows Store apps.

Testing on ARM devices

If you're creating an app for Windows RT devices, be sure to check out Debugging and testing on Windows RT PCs. It contains info to help you test apps for these devices.

Related topics

Windows App Certification Kit tests
Windows and Windows Phone Store Policies

 

 

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