Poll: Windows Store Solution

So, if you want to package an Adobe AIR app for the Windows desktop
and you target the Windows Store with Windows 10

eg. this

This is something particularly complicated to put in place, especially if you want to use the in-apps purchase and other services. because they interact with Azure Active Directory which require a specific Azure App, and authentification methods, and server code, etc.

Supposing that somewhat a lot of people would be interested by that, what kind of solution would be better for you ?

“Tutorials” are like blog posts / wiki page, posted more or less on some regular basis
“Documentations” is more structured and detailed than “Tutorials”
“ANE” would be an ActionScript Native Extension giving access to the Windows Store API (Windows x86 / x86_64 only, no ARM)
“Server code” means source code in PHP (or whatever) to use as starting point and modify yourself for your custom needs
“Service” means some kind of backend that do a lot of stuff for you (you have no server side code to host or to write)
“forum support” means people can come answer your question when they have time but not guaranteed
“paid support” means direct email or skype 1on1 support

  • Only tutorials that explains most thing (free + donation)
  • Tutorials (free) + Support (paid)
  • Documentations + ANE (paid) + forum support (free)
  • Documentations + ANE (paid) + support (paid)
  • Documentations + ANE + Server code (paid) + forum support (free)
  • Documentations + ANE + Server code (paid) + support (paid)
  • Documentations + ANE + Service (paid) + forum support (free)
  • Documentations + ANE + Service (paid) + support (paid)

0 voters

this is a tough beast to price because many different piece of a puzzle need to be there for it to work

If I was working on a complete solution for that it would probably take me a good couple of months to have everything in place so it can be reused by other developers.

The kind of tutorials/documentations would be huge to write, at least 12 to 20 pages worth (I know that because I had to document how you connect Azure Apps to custom server code using Office 365 API and writing the doc for that took a long long time, even to this day I get called for “doing it for them” because “customers can not be bothered to do it”).

I did not make it complicated, it is how it is because you use the Azure Active Directory and Microsoft made things like that, see for example this official documentation
Service to Service Calls Using Client Credentials (that is just a very small part of everythign you need to understand to make it work).

Oh and yeah it is normal, if you do the same things with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to connect with Google Calendar API for ex, it is even harder (much more piece of the puzzle).

On top of that, because we are with AIR, we need an ANE to access the Windows Store API,
so even with tutorials and/or docs, you will need an ANE, either from Distriq (if they sell it?), or from someone else (me?) or do it yourself (good luck with that).

And with all that, you do need server-side code, what I pointed above “Service to Service Calls Using Client Credentials”, in short you need your server to talk to the Azure backend to authenticate your Azure app which then talk to the Windows Store service which then can give you the user id of whoever try to make a purchase, both the user id token and auth token are limited in time (for security purpose) and need to be renewed on regular basis (yep that is a freaking nightmare to put in place).

your AIR app <--- (user id token) --> your server <-- (auth token) --> Azure app <----> Store app

So it more complicated than that little schema above, but in short you need to talk to your server backend to confirm that the user id making a purchase is a legit and valid purchase, and to validate all that your server need to talk to Azure which then talk to the Windows Store.

Anyway, because of all those complicated piece of puzzle to put in place or to develop (ANE and server-side), this thing is not your classic ANE that you pay once and then forget about it.

I’m 100% sure that even with the most dedicated tutorials and documentations, many people will still need direct support to make it work, and that’s where there is a problem, such support take time and cannot be free.

And there come the other poll, the pricing

  • all free no matter what (eg. maybe you will make a $1 donation if you feel like it)
  • low fixed fee ($40) + optional paid support ($50/h)
  • higher fixed fee ($200) + optional paid support ($30/h)
  • subscription model ($50/month) give 1h support free + optional paid support ($50/h)
  • subscription model ($100/month) give hosted service and 2h support free + optional paid support ($50/h)

0 voters

the first option is a joke but I’m pretty sure many dev would want that

you can try to make it work as a “one time fee”, you provide the documentations, ANE (no sources), server-side sample sources, and then people try to figure out themselves based on the docs, if they can’t they can pay for support.

you can variate high/low one time fee with higher/lower price for support,
but pretty sure people will be happy to only pay $40 for all the stuff but then they will complain that $50/h support is too much
or the opposite, they would criticise hard that $200 one time fee is too much while tolerating $30/h support (which is dirt cheap not even worth doing it at this price)

Other is you can try to subscription model, and pretty sure would come back all offended
“how come the AIR SDK is cheaper than your Windows Store Solution subscription?”

you can variate on it, higher subscription model give free server hosting with solution in place (like an admin panel) to connect to Azure, then having the app connect to the server, but then how much connections do the server have to support ?

But I’m curious so I put those poll out there, as a dev I have the chop to build all that, I just know in term of time and money it would be a risky investment, eg. you have to build and test a lot first so then you can propose an “all in one” solution.

Just writing the whole documentation is risky, it would take a lot of time, and in the end if you have to fight with users who want free support on top, not worth the time.

See, personally I do not need such things with the Windows Store, at least not yet;
and if I needed it, I would do it slowly, maybe over 6 months, and it would certainly not be easy for others to reuse (eg. why document stuff I already know? nope I would document just what I need to know).

My point is when you build something for yourself is not the same thing at all than building something for others to reuse, and support time is non-existent as only you need to understand how it works.

Nightmare scenario for me would be, spent 2 months building stuff (this have a cost), then price it too low like one time fee $25, and then having to spent nights and days providing free support which would eat up all my free time, which cheery on the cake of users critiquing the whole thing because you know “it is still complicated” (not my fault, complain to Microsoft with their Azure shit).

Anyway, let’s see how those poll go.

I would pay 300$ ( maybe 500$ with payment services included) , for a cross platform store solution ( Windows Store + Mac APP store ). I would like it to be ANE as much as possible.