Enterprise guidance for publishing Windows apps
Note: this guidance applies to the Windows 8/8.1 Store.
My team has worked with multiple large corporations, helping them develop a strategy for publishing Windows and Windows Phone applications. If your company is developing a mobile strategy for Windows and Windows Phone, here is my advice for corporations on publishing Windows apps.
First of all, there is excellent official documentation on how to register for a developer account to publish apps to the Windows Store:
Secondly, here are some random tips that sometimes get overlooked.
- When you register for a Windows Store developer account, use an email from your corporate domain that links to multiple people (such as email@example.com). This email address will need to be registered as a Microsoft account. Of course, you will need to create an email group “windowsdevelopers” (or some such alias) on your corporate domain and make sure that it can receive email from external to your company. I recommend having multiple people on this email alias; linking your official corporate account to a single person’s email address can be less than optimal, in case that person changes roles, goes on vacation, etc. Many companies have a group of architects who determine corporate standards, a mobility department, or a strategy team – choose a small group to be part of the “windowsdevelopers” group, based on what works for your company. Here’s the step-by-step:
- First, create the email group on your corporate domain. Let’s assume that I work at Fabrikam. I create an email group called firstname.lastname@example.org and ensure that it can receive external messages from outside of the fabrikam domain.
- You can register for the Windows Store developer account here. Since I just created email@example.com, I have to register it as a Microsoft account by scrolling to the bottom and clicking Sign up now. Now there is a password associated with this account.
- After you have created the Microsoft account, don’t forget to come back to here and sign in with your Microsoft account credentials. Then you can complete the Windows Store developer registration.
- For your corporation’s official account, I would recommend a company account rather than an individual account. Read about the differences here and here.
- When you are asked to choose a publisher name during registration, this is the name that your apps will be published under in the Windows Store that customers will see. For an official corporate account, you would want to choose the name of your company, not an individual’s name.
- If your corporation has an MSDN subscription, it includes a token for free access to the Windows Stores; you can use that to avoid the registration fee. Navigate to https://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/manage/hh442900 and claim your registration code under “Windows and Windows Phone developer accounts”.
Finally, you need to define a process for how a developer would submit an application to the Store under the official corporate account. This strategy varies by company.
Some corporations prefer to have all publishing of apps go through one person/a small group of people (these would be the people on the “windowsdevelopers” email list). In this scenario, define a process to send all of the required information for publishing (the actual package to be published as well as the Store metadata needed, such as a description of the app for the app listing page) to the windowsdevelopers email list, and someone on that list would be responsible for submitting the app to the Windows Store.
Some corporations prefer to give many developers access to publish apps directly. In that scenario, add all of your developers who will publish apps to the “windowsdevelopers” email list so they can receive security codes when accessing the Store Dashboard. All developers who will be allowed to publish apps will also need the login credentials for the “windowsdevelopers” Microsoft account. The individual developers can then be responsible for submitting their own apps to the Store.