Thursday, December 15, 2011

Creating an Appx Package

In order to turn an application that runs in windowed mode into a full screen Metro application, I had to package it and deploy it. There are already a few places with lots of information about what's required for this, so I'll just go over the important steps I gathered from the following:

The steps I use to manually create an appx package are:
  1. Create a valid Appxmanifest.xml
  2. Package the files using makeappx.exe
  3. Sign the appx package with sign tool
  4. Use the PowerShell cmdlets to install the package to the dashboard: Add-AppxPackage, Get-AppxPackage, and Remove-AppxPackage.
I basically followed Peters guide for all of this.

Once it's running on the Desktop fullscreen, you might want to hook up a debugger. For that you need to tell it you intend on debugging. IPackageDebugSettings allows you to enable, disable, suspend, or resume debugging a package. Microsoft has provided a command line utility wrapper around this class that allows you to do this easily.

If anyone can provide me information on how to get a process (for example, a debugger after you've used IPackageDebugSettings to enable debugging) to launch a Metro app the same way Explorer does when you click it on the desktop, I'd appreciate it.

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