SkyDrive is not to be used by devs for app backup

Windows Phone developers and users who have been using SkyDrive to backup application data have been violating Microsoft's policy, according to recent comments from company personnel. The news comes less than a week after a user said Microsoft blocked his access to the service for files in a private folder regarding a separate policy violation.

According to a post on MSDN from Mark Chamberlain, a Microsoft representative, developers who use SkyDrive as a backup tool for personal data are violating the service's policies. The Microsoft employee said developers who use SkyDrive in this manner put their apps at risk from being removed from the marketplace or rejected during the submission process.

SkyDrive is not intended to be a free backup solution for applications. Any attempts to use it as such is outside of the intended use of the service and the restrictions present in the API are intended to reinforce this. Any apps that do this are at risk of being rejected from Marketplace, or pulled from Marketplace at a later time.

The statement came in response to a user's question regarding why archive file formats aren't supported in SkyDrive. The user specifically stated that he or she was archiving data for upload to SkyDrive's servers. Chamberlain's statements were quickly met with objections from MSDN users, including a Nokia employee, Justin Angel, who stated the policy Chamberlain gave is not part of Microsoft's application certification guidelines.

Chamberlain later clarified the policy, saying that its goal is merely to "avoid the scenario whereby a user’s personal cloud storage doesn't end up overwhelmed with a collection of non-human readable content, that is the equivalent of computer files such as INI and XML config files." Chamberlain's statements have since led to a debate between Windows Phone developers in the thread about the lack of backup options for application data and the policy outlined by Chamberlain.

On Saturday, Microsoft responded to privacy concerns about SkyDrive by releasing a statement that said the company uses "strict internal policies" to limit its employees' access to private user data. The statement also said that any content found to be in violation of Microsoft's policies are subject to removal and the possible "temporary or permanent shutdown of an account."

Via: WMPowerUser
Source: MSDN App Hub Forums

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

New WP8 Lumia devices to be announced on September 5th?

Next Story

Did Apple kill support for Safari 6 on Windows?

46 Comments

View more comments

The reality is that this move is designed to save Microsoft money. It knows that most people will use only a fraction of their storage, yet if apps were to take advantage of such space that usage would increase dramatically - it might double or treble the amount of space being used by the average user.

This is a cost saving move.

theyarecomingforyou said,
The reality is that this move is designed to save Microsoft money. It knows that most people will use only a fraction of their storage, yet if apps were to take advantage of such space that usage would increase dramatically - it might double or treble the amount of space being used by the average user.

This is a cost saving move.

LOL not true. XML data files are typically less than 1 MB.

ahinson said,
I upload SQL Server backups (split to multiple volumes) to SkyDrive. Am I breaking the rules?

No, this info is in reference to developers backing up Windows Phone app data on SkyDrive automatically.

dagamer34 said,

No, this info is in reference to developers backing up Windows Phone app data on SkyDrive automatically.

So if it's not automatic, it's O.K.? That's not how I read it.

This is stupid. Microsoft is trying to kill innovative apps on their own platform, what a stupid policy.

They will save a few bucks on SkyDrive and sink millions more when Windows Phone platform fails as all signs point to Microsoft does not want to support its devs and users.

Like SkyDrive is Microsoft vision for mass profit in the future over Windows Phone. Someone in Microsoft marketing needs to slap whoever made this statement and decision which has made this a headline news article.

Extremely dumb shortsighted move.

twistedddx said,
This is stupid. Microsoft is trying to kill innovative apps on their own platform, what a stupid policy.

They will save a few bucks on SkyDrive and sink millions more when Windows Phone platform fails as all signs point to Microsoft does not want to support its devs and users.

Like SkyDrive is Microsoft vision for mass profit in the future over Windows Phone. Someone in Microsoft marketing needs to slap whoever made this statement and decision which has made this a headline news article.

Extremely dumb shortsighted move.

How is this killing innovative apps? How is this stupid?
If you were a non-tech consumer, would you be happy seeing all those annoying non-readable files and folders on your SkyDrive? Obviously not. They are simply stating the current rules because SkyDrive is a platform for USERS to store their files, not APPS to store files that the user doesn't know what it is. This doesn't mean they don't have other options on the way, because I'm sure they do. They are just telling devs not to use user's SkyDrive's for that purpose. They will probably come up with a hidden AppData area similar to Windows and Office. This is all very reasonable and not stupid at all.

twistedddx said,
This is stupid. Microsoft is trying to kill innovative apps on their own platform, what a stupid policy.

They will save a few bucks on SkyDrive and sink millions more when Windows Phone platform fails as all signs point to Microsoft does not want to support its devs and users.

Like SkyDrive is Microsoft vision for mass profit in the future over Windows Phone. Someone in Microsoft marketing needs to slap whoever made this statement and decision which has made this a headline news article.

Extremely dumb shortsighted move.

So many BS into a single post.
Also, all WinRT apps can store datas into the MS account of the user, using SkyDrive to backup data won't be any issue with WP8/Win8.

The title is too confusing, The first time I read it, I understood that dev's wont be able to store there apps backs on THERE Skydrives. What the story says is that the dev's will not have access to user's (the person using the app from the developer) Skydrive.

WaqasTariq said,
The title is too confusing, The first time I read it, I understood that dev's wont be able to store there apps backs on THERE Skydrives. What the story says is that the dev's will not have access to user's (the person using the app from the developer) Skydrive.

No the title is clear... devs can't use the SkyDrive as backup purposes for apps. Apps can share pictures, documents and files to SkyDrive though as long as the user is aware of it.

WaqasTariq said,
The title is too confusing, The first time I read it, I understood that dev's wont be able to store there apps backs on THERE Skydrives. What the story says is that the dev's will not have access to user's (the person using the app from the developer) Skydrive.

Yeah see I thought the same thing! It's my guess that some people here are having the same issue which is causing some of the comments.

Devs cannot store their app's backup files in the USER'S SkyDrive (User = the person who downloaded the app from the store, NOT the dev)

WaqasTariq said,
The title is too confusing, The first time I read it, I understood that dev's wont be able to store there apps backs on THERE Skydrives. What the story says is that the dev's will not have access to user's (the person using the app from the developer) Skydrive.

The whole article is written to be very confusing. If it is confusing developers, imagine the people that think it has to do with SkyDrive in general.

There are file 'types' allowed and not allowed for the developers to access, store, etc. It is this simple. The user can do whatever they freaking want.

Ryoken said,
So why can't I use my store for saving/backing up whatever I want [ providing it isn't illegal ] ?

You can store whatever you want. You just can't store files on other user's SkyDrive (i.e. the people that use the apps you develop). It makes perfect sense.

j2006 said,

You can store whatever you want. You just can't store files on other user's SkyDrive (i.e. the people that use the apps you develop). It makes perfect sense.

Why would it make perfect sense? It's the USER'S data, not the developers... The USER should be in custody of their data, and should have the ability to back that up where THEY want to... I disagree completely that the developer should be able to back up this data to somewhere they deem... I think allowing the user to specify where (Their SkyDrive account as an example here) and their credentials is not only fair, but appropriate. It's their data, not the developers...

I remember hearing somewhere that WP8 was going to have Cloud Saves for games like the Xbox has, lets hope that expands to app data backups.

The way I understand it is that if I develop an app, I'm not allowed to store any of my app data on the users Skydrive. If that user creates any content with my app he still has the option to save that data to his Skydrive account.

Corriect me if I'm wrong. But if it is this way I don't see the problem

Stoffel said,
The way I understand it is that if I develop an app, I'm not allowed to store any of my app data on the users Skydrive. If that user creates any content with my app he still has the option to save that data to his Skydrive account.

Corriect me if I'm wrong. But if it is this way I don't see the problem

At least someone's getting it. Well done sir. +1 Internets for you!

The whole thing is a non-issue and should have been pretty obvious - developers can't store app data on users' SkyDrive account. If developers need app backup, they need to roll their own system.

I don't agree with this at all. Windows Phone already doesn't have a device backup option unless you're doing a firmware upgrade... If I have to replace my phone for any reason I appreciate the developers that do offer a SkyDrive backup so I can easily restore my app data.

ggarcia said,
I don't agree with this at all. Windows Phone already doesn't have a device backup option unless you're doing a firmware upgrade... If I have to replace my phone for any reason I appreciate the developers that do offer a SkyDrive backup so I can easily restore my app data.

This changes in just a couple of months to a unified solution handled by Windows Phone. It is better than having developer arbitrarily backup or not backup things.

The majority of your Windows Phone content is backed up online via Live/Skydrive or Synced to your computer like Photos, Music, Videos.

Applications can also store information and settings using secure servers outside of SkyDrive, or other settings/preferences preservation techniques.

Stop the confusion... The article author does not explain this very well and people are getting things confused.

This is about an APPLICATION DEVELOPER'S use of SkyDrive, and why Microsoft limits what they can put on a user's SkyDrive account.

This is NOT about you using the SkyDrive App and what you store on SkyDrive.

K?

(Suggest the article author explains this better and that they are just talking about the supported file formats and policies for developers.)

Isn't a .DOCX a zip file with a bunch of XML files inside? [/trollolololol]

Now seriously, I think they only mean backing up APP data instead of just... any data? By reading the comments my impression is that everybody understood a different thing.

So just spitballing. If MS decides it can choose what file formats we can store in our private Skydrive area - will you be surprised if encrypted files get added to the list eventually?

Commenting is disabled on this article.