Continuously deploy and monitor your UWP, WPF, and Windows Forms app with App Center

Winnie Li (MSFT)

Winnie

App Center is an integrated developer solution with the mission of helping developers build better apps. Last week, we announced General Availability support of distribute, analytics and diagnostics service for WPF and Windows Forms desktop applications. We also expanded our existing UWP offerings to include crash and error reporting for sideloaded UWP apps.

In this blog, we’ll highlight how App Center can help you continuously ship higher quality apps. Get started in minutes by creating an App Center account.

Managing your releases

App Center Distribute makes releasing apps quick and simple so you can ship more frequently to gather feedback and continuously improve your app.

Invite your testing teams and end users via email and organize them into groups to easily manage your releases. Simply upload an .app, .appxbundle, .appxupload, .msi, .msix, or .msixupload package to App Center and your end users will a receive a link to download the latest release.

Whether it’s a new feature or a bug fix, with App Center Distribute, you can quickly deploy a new release to your users in minutes.

Monitoring app analytics

Once you release your app to your users, how do you know what features your users are using? App Center Analytics provides out of the box usage metrics such as active users, sessions, devices, languages, and more.

You can easily define custom events and properties to understand if your users are using the new features you built, what trends are occurring so you can ultimately improve the user experience.

Diagnosing app issues

No matter how much testing is done, your apps will inevitably ship with bugs . App Center Diagnostics helps you monitor, prioritize, and fix issues in your app so you can be proactive about your app health instead of waiting for those negative reviews and complaints from frustrated customers.

Simply integrate the App Center Diagnostics SDK and you’ll see your crashes and errors smartly grouped with the number of users affected, and other important information to help you fix your crashes.

Crashes

App Center will process and display your app crashes with complete stack traces and contextual information that helps you pinpoint the root cause faster. You can add attachments or track specific events to better understand user activity before the crash. App Center Diagnostics also integrates seamlessly with all your current bug tracking tools including JIRA, GitHub, and Azure DevOps so your team can stay organized.

Errors

Not every issue will result in an app crash but these can be just as important in helping you detect and prevent issues. If you know where an issue might occur, you can track non fatal errors by using an App Center method inside a try/catch block.

Other services

For UWP apps, App Center offers build and push service.

Automating app builds

App Center Build helps provides fast and secure builds on managed, cloud-hosted machines. Just connect a GitHub, BitBucket, Azure DevOps or GitLab repo and automate builds in minutes. Learn more here.

Sending push notifications

App Center Push provides an easy solution for you to send push notifications to specific users and devices.

Get started today!

Create an App Center account. You can also follow us @VSAppCenter on Twitter for the latest updates and give us feedback via AppCenter on GitHub to let us know what you’d like to see.

Winnie Li (MSFT)
Winnie Li

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7 comments

  • Andy Beil
    Andy Beil

    This is very nice, but using SQLIte Encrypted libraries collide with your Analytics dependency on SQLite, so can’t use it. The one from HockeyApp didn’t use SQLite at all and works better.

  • Avatar
    Stephen White

    It says in the documentation that you need to associate your app with the store in order to use push notifications for UWP.

    If I am using WPF with the Desktop Bridge and Side Loading and have no intention of using the store (this is an internal LOB app that we deploy to an Azure Blob) does that mean that we can’t make use of this feature?

  • Avatar
    Michał Bator

    Does it still use old MSBuild from VS2017? It is useless for projects using MSBuild 16 like those using Fody library.

  • Avatar
    Rodolfo M.

    I’m using Application Insights in my desktop app. Is App Center better? What about Windows Desktop Application Program? Too much overlap.

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