Certifying trial apps for the Windows Store

Some of the applications submitted to the Windows Store are rejected during certification because of the following requirement:

1.2 Your app must be fully functional when the customer gets it from the Windows Store

The Windows Store offers only fully functional apps to provide customers with the best experience. Anything that might cause our testers to think that your app is not completely finished will cause your app to fail certification.

You can help us by testing your app thoroughly before you submit it, and by providing us the information we need to test your app thoroughly. For example, if your app requires login credentials, provide us with a demo account. If your app requires access to a server, tell us what we need to do to verify that it’s working correctly.

According to community experience, it seems that you should provide test credentials even if you are quite sure, that the testers also have them. For example if your app connects to Facebook or Twitter, you better create a test account and share its credentials with the testers.

The question is more interesting for apps, that provide full functionality only after purchasing the app. So by default a trial version is installed, and the testers can access all features only after paying for the app. What should you do in this case?

Don’t rejoice in advance, Microsoft won’t pay for you just to test your app Mosolygó arc  The solution is easy for apps that use the Windows Store commerce system: just replace the CurrentAppSimulator class you used for testing to the CurrentApp class, and you are done – testers will be able to bypass the payment and test your app. But if you are using any other payment system, you need to provide credentials or credit card info to test the purchase and the full functionality of your app. You should enter these details into the Instructions to testers field in the Notes to testers step of the submission form.

Unfortunately there are forum posts about apps, that although are using the Store commerce system, got rejected because of requirement 1.2. In theory this should not happen…

In the forums, people have suggested to build a voucher mechanism into your app as a workaround: so the user can enter a voucher code you provide in your app (for example in the About pane) and she will get the full functionality without the need of a credit card. In this case you can share the voucher code (or a time limited version of it) with the testers, and you can also use this feature to promote your app by giving full versions to reviewers, bloggers etc.

Do you have a better idea?


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One thought on “Certifying trial apps for the Windows Store

  1. Pingback: WOWZAPP preparation materials « Codes from the field

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