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The update Windows SDK and Windows App Certification Kit tool (now checks branding images)

Pete Brown - 20 November 2012

A new version of the Windows Software Development Kit for Windows 8 was published last week. A new version of the Windows App Certification Kit (WACK) tool is included as part of this.


You can download the Windows 8 SDK from MSDN, here.

The installation is simple. I'll include the screenshots here so you can see what's included. Also, I encourage you to enable the Customer Experience Improvement Program as it really does help the product teams make better products.

image image image image image

The updated WACK tool

The WACK tool is an essential part of Windows Store app development. It's something which you should run not just at the end of development, but throughout the development process, or at least at milestones.

I'm going to check a Windows Store app created using the default templates, with no additional functionality added. The tile for the app (named App2) can be seen in this snip from my Start page.


You can see I forgot to update the app tile. I also failed to update the splash screen and store listing image.

The Barnyard Mahjong and cake stacking games are for my kids. Honest!

Now, we'll run the new version of WACK. The Windows App Cert kit shows up in your Start Page. It's quickest to find it if you just type "app cert" on the Start Page and then click the resulting item.


You'll then be prompted to pick a Windows Store app, Desktop app or Desktop Device app. The Desktop App one is for desktop apps that can be listed in the store by business accounts. The Device App is for OEMs and device manufacturers.

Pick Windows Store App and then select the app you are going to verify. Note that the app must be compiled/deployed to the local machine.

image image

The tool took several minutes to run. While it is running, leave the PC alone, and don't interact with the app, even if it looks like it is stuck.

As you can see, my default app failed. This is new - in the previous version of WACK it would have passed.


WACK now fails your app if you use the default branding images

Let's see why it failed. Aha! I forgot to update all those logo images.


This is great because WACK is something you can run locally, and is also something that is used by the Windows Store team as their first pass verification of your app.

For other tips on how to get your quality app submitted successfully, see these posts:

posted by Pete Brown on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
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4 comments for “The update Windows SDK and Windows App Certification Kit tool (now checks branding images)”

  1. Artsays:
    This is good news. There are many apps in the app store right now that have the default X image as their store icon. Looks really bad (for the developer and for Microsoft). I'm surprised those weren't caught during certification.

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