Coffeehouse Thread

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My app made it to the store.

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  • Bas

    So, I've built a Windows Store App that's now in the store. It's a sort of front-end for an online retailer (bol.com) in the Netherlands. Basically, you can browse and search the catalog, add it to your cart, and buy stuff. It also provides videos like trailers, interviews, song samples etc. that the retailer itself doesn't have, just to sort of provide some extra value.

    All in all I have to say that the whole thing went pretty smooth. Most of the frustration was down to the retailer's api and its peculiar design choices (an HTTP 404 error when no products are found? Really?), though some of it was down to weird control behavior. The FlipView needs some definite work. It always briefly shows the first item in a collection before switching to the item you specified, which causes all sorts of pain. Also, setting up settings Flyouts is way more hassle than it should be. Fortunately the Callisto toolkit has a great control for that.

    What I'm impressed with is with how smooth it all looks and how little time that took me. Stuff like items being added and removed to a shopping cart all happens with these little animations that are built in. It's not that these things weren't possible before, but it would probably (and regrettably) have been such a low priority that it never would've happened. Now it's there for free. My favorite feature is syncing the shopping cart across PC's: I can add a bunch of stuff to my cart on the desktop and it'll magically show up on the laptop as well. This was a simple matter of saving the shopping cart data in a roaming folder and reloading it when a certain event was fired. Five lines of code. Sweet. Not bad for a framework that, according to some, only supports RSS and fart apps.

    The app should be available worldwide, but it's only available in Dutch for now. Partly because 99% of the target audience speaks Dutch, and partly because the English version I provided got rejected in the certification process. Some of the text comes directly from the retailer's api, and that's always in Dutch, so you get a weird mix that the approval people presumably didn't like.

    If you want to give it a go, feel free: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/nl-NL/app/wubbo/c3d1142d-2a9c-4ba1-a851-dc005348c702 Even if you don't understand Dutch, you can play around with it, though. Just try clicking on a bunch of stuff and dragging product images to the cart. You need an account to actually buy stuff, so you won't accidentally get charged anything. Let me know what you think, and if you do try it, please leave a rating. Smiley

    Edit: or just watch the video. But seriously, downloading and rating it is better. Tongue Out

  • dentaku

    Great video. That's how any serious developer should promote their app.

  • Harlequin

    Neat....but W3bbo will come back and sue Smiley

  • dentaku

    , Harlequin wrote

    Neat....but W3bbo will come back and sue Smiley



    What IS W3bbo doing these days anyway?

  • MasterPi

    , dentaku wrote

    *snip*

    What IS W3bbo doing these days anyway?

    Growing a beard.

    (It gets in the way of typing)

  • Ian2

    Looks good, nice video, will download and take a proper look soon.

  • cbae

    @Bas: Did you create this on behalf of the retailer? Or on behalf of yourself? Smiley

  • SOACowboy

    Great effort, looks super..!  Smiley 

  • Bass

    It's very nice, it looks like it world work well on a tablet. Congratulations, evil twin.

  • magicalclick

    congrats Smiley

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • Sven Groot

    , dentaku wrote

    *snip*

    What IS W3bbo doing these days anyway?

    Trying to dissociate himself from the name W3bbo, so he won't be back under that name (and if he comes back under a new name, he won't say it's him).

  • Bas

    , dentaku wrote

    Great video. That's how any serious developer should promote their app.

    Thanks. Camtasia is super-expensive but it sure is convenient. I would've preferred to just film my hand using it on a tablet rather than record the simulator, but I guess that'll have to wait until I can actually afford to buy one. Tongue Out

    I think it's a shame the Windows Store doesn't provide a way to at least link to videos. Screenshots are okay, but taking good screenshots is hard and they rarely give you a proper idea of how the apps work. Also, they want you to make apps fast and fluid, but then none of that is visible in a screenshot. Even a one minute video embedded in the store page would be much more effective than eight screenshots, I think.

    , cbae wrote

    @Bas: Did you create this on behalf of the retailer? Or on behalf of yourself? Smiley

    I did it on behalf of me. Tongue Out I wanted to give building W8 apps a try and they had an API, so I just picked that. I get a commission on each sale made through the app, so I guess that's another way to monetize apps that doesn't involve ads or a 70% cut. We'll see how it goes.

     

    Thanks everyone!

  • Sven Groot

    , Bas wrote

    I did it on behalf of me. Tongue Out

    There is actually another bol.com app called Bluester that seems very similar and does appear to be made on behalf of bol.com itself (at least, the creators claim to be partners). It's even listed as the really big spotlight app on the main page of the store for me.

    I hope that app won't steal your thunder. Wink

  • Bas

    , Sven Groot wrote

    *snip*

    There is actually another bol.com app called Bluester that seems very similar and does appear to be made on behalf of bol.com itself (at least, the creators claim to be partners). It's even listed as the really big spotlight app on the main page of the store for me.

    I hope that app won't steal your thunder. Wink

    No, that's also a third party app. If you're part of the affiliate network you're automatically a partner. Also the only bol.com logo you're allowed to use is the "Partner of" logo.

    Also, I'm happy with them being the spotlight app now if that means mine will be spotlighted some time when W8 is actually out and has more market share. Wink

  • fanbaby

    I thought that the purpose of native apps is to do something that's impossible/impractical/not-quite-as-beautiful to do on the web. Call me a party pooper, but I didn't see it here. I especially liked the punch line, the user gets transferred to the web-site (why was that?).

    Dude, I really, really suggest you brush up on current web development.

  • Bas

    , fanbaby wrote:

    I especially liked the punch line, the user gets transferred to the web-site (why was that?).

    Because the retailer's api doesn't support checking out via the API yet. Hence, you get transferred to a checkout page.

    Dude, I really, really suggest you brush up on current web development.

    Hahahahaha.

  • Maddus Mattus

    @Bas: A W E S O M E

    Except bol.com is Belgian Smiley

  • Bas

    Technically, they started out Germany and are now based in Utrecht, so I consider them to be Dutch. But thanks. Wink

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