If you want to sell your software through app stores run by Dixons, Currys, PC World, Best Buy, or Intel, you need to submit it to the Intel AppUp developer program. At Apps World in London last month, Christoph Weinmann and Paul Farquhar from Intel outlined the submission process.
The steps to getting your app in the store are:
- Register for the Intel AppUp developer program. You’ll need to be a program member, which normally carries an annual fee of $99, but which is currently free. If you want to sell your apps, register using an email address that has a PayPal account attached to it. No other payment methods are currently supported.
- Download the software development kit (SDK). The aim of the SDK is to enable your app to interact with the store architecture, so it doesn’t include (for example) video streaming or gaming features. The SDK enables authorisation, instrumentation and crash reporting. Authorisation is required and checks that the user has a valid licence to use your app. Instrumentation is optional and enables you to understand which parts of your app users spend most time in. Crash reporting is optional but recommended, and enables users to send crash reports directly to you through the AppUp architecture. The SDK is compatible with the Visual Studio 2008 IDE and includes an emulator you can use for testing your app’s compatibility with the Intel AppUp center.
- Get a GUID. This is a 128bit authorisation code that uniquely identifies your app and is used for managing app licensing. When you start a new app in the Intel AppUp developer program, you can provide a unique name for your app and then receive your GUID. You need to copy this and paste it into your app’s source code. For debugging purposes, you can use a testing GUID, made up exclusively of 1s. Don’t forget to replace it with your real GUID later.
- Develop your app. For the purposes of AppUp, the main differences are that you need to incorporate the authorisation code and GUID. The ATDS software debugger simulates the app store so you can test your app will validate okay.
- Package your app. It’s ideal to use an MSI installer and you must ensure it performs a silent install. That means it’s okay to tell users what’s going on, but you can’t require them to make decisions or confirm options to complete the installation. You can find the full packaging requirements here, and they’re strictly enforced. You need to add at least one shortcut and have all shortcuts pointing to the same executable. You also need to check for the correct runtime and include it in the installer if necessary.
- Upload your packaged app. You can add beta testers by email address, and they will be provided with access to the app through the Intel AppUp center. Beta testing will give you confidence that the app can be downloaded and installed correctly.
- After testing, submit your app. Validation takes seven calendar days. You can set a start and end date for availability for your app if you want to, but otherwise it will go into the store until you decide otherwise.
The talk was similar to one presented in Berlin that same week, and you can find the slides here (AppUp SDK details, linked at the end of the article).