Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Please put some time and love into the WP7 marketplace submission process

I love my Windows Phone


I love it

And I love building apps for it too.

But in recent months, I've been finding the Microsoft AppHub slower and slower to use

  • certification which used to take 2-3 days now takes 7+ days
  • post-certification app publishing which used to take an hour, now takes a day
  • beta app publishing which used to take 2-3 hours now takes 2+ days
  • the support on my recent "stuck" app submission has been horrible - the app is currently on day 15 of waiting for testing and the support responses from Microsoft have basically just told me to wait, even though I told them the need for the app was urgent - it was for a conference last weekend :(

The few emails I've received from AppHub support seem to indicate that either Microsoft doesn't care, or that the team simply can't work in an agile way - their automated process has control and when it breaks, then their users don't seem to know how to detect it's broken or how to fix it.

Perhaps also, the Marketplace team are now too busy preparing for Win8 to remember WP7?

From the looks of a straw poll on Twitter today (see some of the comments below), it looks like I'm not alone in noticing the growing and slowing pains.

But I hold out hope that Microsoft care... In fact, I hope and believe that they care a lot...

Dear Microsoft. Please put some time and love into the marketplace. Please stop aiming to match Apple's experience - that's not an experience developers and app publishers love.



seems the general opinon about marketplace and the certification process is not good. 1 person even said "worse than Apple" :(
 Two weeks ago one of our apps was submitted, but got stuck before being signed, thereby stopping the process.
 Yes, In Firefox, trying to submit an app kicks me into a loop. Forcing me in to *ugh!* Internet explorer.
  I've launched one app and apart from not being able to delete a beta app, the process was find. I also release updates
 yes. update for current app submitted 7 days ago, still waiting for certification
 Haven't tried recently but, in the past, I couldn't submit using any non-IE browsers.
  Yes - beta apps now take 2 days, full app publishing 9 days and my current app is on day 14 "certified" + support no help
 yep, I've even emailed support but no feedback on what's up. My new app taken more than 1.5 weeks to certify, still waiting
 Not recently, but I've certainly seen tweets about it. Maybe I've been lucky and submitted off-peak times.
RT  quick straw poll: have you had issues with the marketplace and/or apphub submission? 
quick straw poll: have you had issues with the  marketplace and/or apphub submission? 

1 comment:

  1. The behaviour is certainly more inconsistent that it's ever been, whether it's down to workload (more apps submitted) or a directed move to the new marketplace (unlikely as they are separate business units) who knows, Microsoft certainly aren't telling.

    Probably a combination of many factors but as previous uses of the XBLIG realm these things are not uncommon when MS has it's sights on other areas.

    Personally I submitted 4 updates a couple of weeks ago and they came back in just over a week and were published 48 hours later.

    The testing process seems to have evolved and the same inconsistencies that were there before have gotten stranger, the 4 apps in question are pretty much identical except for their target (XNA tutorial apps in 2D / 3D and SilverXNA), one filed because it was showing ads in a non confirmatory way and it's description didn't match the game (all the apps have very similar descriptions explaining they are tutorials only and not games, RTFM) and I got a warning about another one (not a failure?) stating a test issue arose AFTER testing? that showed what was obviously a failure but it was found after certification and a non-show stopper and should be fixed in the next update.

    This last case does seem to indicate that tests are continuing post submission or there are multiple test teams are involved now, or an app has to pass through several hands with several devices to get approved.

    Maybe it's growing pains as they get better but this has to improve and it will be undoubtedly the proving ground for he new marketplace.