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Can LOB apps be put on the windows store?

    Question

  • Hi,

    We are developing a few internal apps (LOB) for our small business, and we would like to deploy to our Windows RT tablets.   We read about sideloading (but it seems very complicated and expensive).  We would like to just put our LOB apps on the windows store as a fee app, and just have our employees (5-10) download them just like a normal app.  We do not care if other people download the app as well.  The app will be pretty useless to them because they will not have login credentials.  A few questions:

    1) can we do this?

    2) How does Microsoft verify a LOB app on the store?  Say our app is for employees to check the stock of items in a store.  How does verification for this type of app even work?  If we send this to the store for verification, do we need to provide Microsoft with login account info, and then they could "wrongly" add info about stock items, which the Microsoft employee knows nothing about (since they do not know our internal business processes).  How would Microsoft verify that our internal (LOB) processes are correct, it app would make no sense to them because they do not know our internal business procedures? 

    3) Android made this so easy, and so does Mac (with its $300 flat enterprise account).

    4) Any thoughts?

    Friday, March 7, 2014 2:56 PM

Answers

  • Hi.

    You could put your app up in the Store. There are no restrictions, except that the certification team has to be able to test your app fully. If they can't then that might prevent it from getting up into the Store. Also you might get bad ratings when users download it and can't actually use it. There was some talk about having the ability to have a specific private area of the store, something like a Company Store that your employees could access, but I haven't heard anything recently about those plans. Maybe I'll hear something at //Build in a couple of weeks. If I do, I will post here.

    I have done a lot of sideloading (since most of my apps are Company/Enterprise apps) and it is not really difficult. It takes about 1-2 minutes to sideline an app per machine. With only 5-10 employees, that should be a big problem for your organization. I think the issue will be whether those employees are remote/geographically dispersed or not.

    I would also look at Intune and/or System Center as a delivery mechanism for your apps, especially if you will be developing other Win8 apps or updating this one frequently.

    Monday, March 10, 2014 10:38 PM

All replies

  • Hi.

    You could put your app up in the Store. There are no restrictions, except that the certification team has to be able to test your app fully. If they can't then that might prevent it from getting up into the Store. Also you might get bad ratings when users download it and can't actually use it. There was some talk about having the ability to have a specific private area of the store, something like a Company Store that your employees could access, but I haven't heard anything recently about those plans. Maybe I'll hear something at //Build in a couple of weeks. If I do, I will post here.

    I have done a lot of sideloading (since most of my apps are Company/Enterprise apps) and it is not really difficult. It takes about 1-2 minutes to sideline an app per machine. With only 5-10 employees, that should be a big problem for your organization. I think the issue will be whether those employees are remote/geographically dispersed or not.

    I would also look at Intune and/or System Center as a delivery mechanism for your apps, especially if you will be developing other Win8 apps or updating this one frequently.

    Monday, March 10, 2014 10:38 PM
  • thanks for the note.  A private area of the store sounds great, let me know if you hear any updates on that. Thanks for your thoughts.
    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 1:51 PM
  • Also, since we are small we do not need 100 pack sets to sidelaod.   I called Microsoft support and they told me that resellers sell them in packs of 10. Any idea where to get 10 pack (or something) of sideload keys?
    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 1:53 PM
  • sideloading is covered in windows 8 forums on technet. this forum is for store publishing.

    As long as you are willing to bear the cost to certify your app (e.g. extra programming time to meet store requirements,developer program fees), you should be fine.

    Authorized resellers can probably be found in Microsoft's partner network. 



    Visual C++ MVP

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 3:30 PM