What's the msbuild command line for building an appxupload for store submission? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know that I can specify a solution that contains a Windows Store project, specify architecture, etc. We make test builds throughout the day this way. Now how do I get msbuild to perform the equivalent of answering "Yes" to "Do you want to build packages to upload to the Windows Store?" in the GUI?

    Manual steps in a build process are too error prone.


    • Moved by Jonathan S - MSFT Monday, February 16, 2015 10:29 PM Moved to tools for WS development
    Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:24 AM

All replies

  • (bump)

    I understand quite well that the Windows 8 app store ecosystem is ... um ... underserved. That means that there aren't a lot of developer blog posts or SO questions about things like this. I know MSFT as I worked there for 5 years and I know automating tasks is highly-valued. So I'm sure it's possible.

    If I figure it out somehow, likely by code-reviewing Microsoft.AppxPackage.Targets, I'll definitely post my solution here for the benefit of other developers.


    Saturday, February 14, 2015 7:16 AM
  • Let me ask around and get back to you soon.
    Sunday, February 15, 2015 6:57 AM
  • Hi Ted,

    I'm pretty sure you need to use the App packager (MakeAppx.exe) to do this. You can reference these links:

    App Packager

    App Package Requirements

    Create a Windows Store Appx package and sign it

    I'm also moving this over to the Tools thread so your question can get better visibility there.



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    Monday, February 16, 2015 10:25 PM
  • While I could probably spend a day or two figuring out how to automate the command-line tools to duplicate the VS IDE & MSBuild, I don't think I can get the certificate files necessary for store submission without using the VS IDE. I could try hacking the process by watching (via Process Monitor) to see where the VS IDE puts the pfx and just copy it from there. Or try to figure out what the VS IDE changes to allow future msbuild CLI builds to be signed for submission then commit those files to our SCM(?!).


    Given devdiv's reputation, I've been surprised by this lack of automation. MSFT usually thinks through at least the most common customer scenarios.


    Tuesday, February 17, 2015 12:54 AM
  • Just to make the business case clear, here's what's going to be happening within a couple months. Our company will have 1 game and will start work on a 2nd game. With a single click, we will build for Google Play, Amazon Appstore, iTunes, and likely more. While the game works great on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, I will have to manually launch Visual Studio on our VM-based build machine and slowly produce the winrt apps for submission. In fact, sometime today I have to do this manual release build process.

    What this means is that we can and will submit new builds every week to every app store except Microsoft's. Microsoft's end-users will likely be waiting over a month to see updated builds and bugfixes.


    Saturday, February 21, 2015 5:30 PM
  • Well, I'm unblocked but more confused.

    After having used the build machine Windows VM to login as our Windows Store MSFT Account (yeah, 5 of us using the 1 account for the company is what we have to do) from within Visual Studio, it appears that builds from that Visual Studio can now be submitted to the Windows Store and they pass cert.

    So, it appears that once you login as the appropriate user then the msbuild command-line always builds .appx & .appxupload that is signed for submission.

    1. I don't know if you have to first do a 'for submission' build from the VS GUI before this works.

    2. I don't know if our daily QA builds can now be accidentally submitted to the store but I really, really, really hope they can't.

    3. Does this mean that apps build for store submission can always be dev-sideloaded? I think so, but that's seems horribly wrong. I would have expected non-submission builds to be sideloade'able but not submissible, and submission builds to be non-sideload'able but submissible. odd


    Monday, March 2, 2015 4:54 AM