Student Access to the AppHub for Windows Phone 7

One of the many benefits of the DreamSpark program, besides all of the free software, is access to the AppHub for submitting Windows Phone 7 applications for sale for free. Businesses and other individuals have to pay to join the App Hub and submit apps to the system. The process for getting started can be a little confusing though. In this post I will try to explain it in language a reasonable human being can understand. In other words, the directions I myself would like to read.

Note that college/university students sign up through DreamSpark on their own while high school students get access through their schools. The extra step is so that Microsoft doesn't find themselves in the tricky business of validating who is and is not a high school student and gathering a lot of personally identifying information on minors. In short the extra step is for everyone's best interested. My friend Gautam Reddy has a wonderful blog post that explains the step by step of signing a high school up for DreamSpark BTW.

The first step is to get a DreamSpark account. You’ll need a free Windows Live id for that but the DreamSpark site will help you though that simple process. If you already have a DreamSpark account, sign in and let’s get started.

  1. First register for AppHub through DreamSpark.
    • Under the Download Software link on the DreamSpark home page find the Windows Phone link and select it.
    • Once there select the Register for the App Hub link. (You may want to download the development software while you are there as well.) 
    • Select Student as your account type on the App Hub registration page and enter your contact information
  2. You will get an email to verify your registration. Make sure you use a valid email address that you check. You may want to check to see that this email doesn’t get filtered to your SPAM folder – It happens sometimes.
  3. Now you can submit an app but you are not done yet (sorry) After you submit the first time you will receive an email from a company called GeoTrust. The final verification process is a it of necessary seriousness that neither you  or Microsoft really wants or needs to go through until you actually have an app to submit.
  4. After GeoTrust has verified your identity, you will receive a second email from GeoTrust that asks you to send an signed copy of an ID.  It’s all about making sure people are identified so that they can receive payment  for and take responsibility for their work. This second email can take up to 2-3 days
  5. After you send in the Signed Copy of your ID GeoTrust sends Microsoft the identification information, this can also take up to 2-3 days. At least you only have to do this once.
  6. Once the Signed Copy of the your ID is received the certification process for your application starts.
    • Please note: it can take a maximum of 5 business days to complete the certification
  7. If your application doesn’t meet the certification requirements, the application is rejected. You will be told what requirements are not being met so that you can fix them and submit the app again with the fixes (and you are back to step 6). 
  8. When the certification process ends and certification is successful it takes about 5/6 hours for the app to be placed up in the marketplace.

Once your app is in the marketplace you’ll want to promote it to friends and potential customers. Make sure that you have a good explanation of the app and its value to others. Good luck!

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