Windows Phone 8 SDK tools

[ This article is for Windows Phone 8 developers. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation. ]

Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installs everything you need to build and test Windows Phone apps. This topic describes the tools that the SDK installs on your computer. Other tools that you may use later in the development cycle, such as the tools for publishing apps in the Windows Phone Store, are web-based tools.

This topic contains the following sections.

To install Windows Phone SDK 8.0, see Get the SDK.

Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installs everything you need to build and test apps for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone OS 7.1. You don’t have to install Windows Phone SDK 7.1 to build apps for Windows Phone OS 7.1. However, if you already have Windows Phone SDK 7.1 installed, you don’t have to uninstall it before you install Windows Phone SDK 8.0.

For info about developing Windows Phone apps on a Mac, see How to develop for Windows Phone 8 on your Mac.

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone 8

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone is a complete development environment for creating Windows Phone apps. It includes development features such as project templates, a code editor, a visual designer, and a Toolbox of controls. It also includes integrated testing features such as simulation, monitoring and profiling, and the Windows Phone Store Test Kit. For an introduction to building apps using Visual Studio, see How to create your first app for Windows Phone 8.

Blend for Visual Studio

Optionally, use this stand-alone visual design tool to build the UI for your app. You can open Windows Phone projects in Blend or in Visual Studio.

Design library for Windows Phone

Review the guidelines that can help you to make a good app a great app. For suggestions on integrating design principles into the app development process, see Implementing Windows Phone app design.

Windows Phone Emulator for Windows Phone 8

Test and debug your app on your computer on a software emulation of a Windows Phone device.

The Windows Phone 8 Emulator has special hardware, software, and configuration requirements. For more info, see System requirements for the emulator for Windows Phone 8.

(You can also test and debug your app on a registered Windows Phone device. For more info, see How to deploy and run an app for Windows Phone 8.)

Isolated Storage Explorer

List, copy, and replace files and folders that your app uses in the app’s local folder (formerly called isolated storage). For more info, see How to use the Isolated Storage Explorer tool for Windows Phone 8.

Simulation Dashboard for Windows Phone 8

Test how your app behaves under unfavorable real-world conditions.

Windows Phone Application Analysis for Windows Phone 8

Evaluate and improve the quality and performance of your app using monitoring and profiling tools.

Windows Phone Store Test Kit for Windows Phone 8

Prepare your apps to be accepted in the Store the first time you submit them with a suite of automated and manual tests.

Developer Registration tool

Before you can deploy an app to a Windows Phone, you have to register the phone. For more info, see How to register your phone for development for Windows Phone 8.

Application Deployment tool

Deploy your app to a registered device for testing before you submit your app to the Store. For more info, see How to deploy and run an app for Windows Phone 8.

(You can also deploy your app to a device directly from Visual Studio.)

Microsoft tools

The following updates and tools have been released by Microsoft since the original release of Windows Phone SDK 8.0.

Open source tools

The following open source controls and tools have been created by members of the Windows Phone team. These tools are not supported by Microsoft.

To find answers and solve problems as you work with the tools in Windows Phone SDK 8.0, go to the Tools for Windows Phone Development forum. To see all the forums for Windows Phone development, go to Windows Phone Development Forums. To review other support options, go to MSDN Troubleshooting and Support.