Windows Store quality reports detailed by Microsoft

So you have made a Windows 8 Metro app. You have sent it to Microsoft for their approval and certification and it later appears on the Windows Store. But what happens after that? Microsoft attempts to answer that question with the latest entry on the official Windows Store blog.

Microsoft has set up a way to view quality reports for Windows 8 Metro apps via the Windows Store app summary page. This page offers up information to app makers on issues such as the JavaScript exception rate, the crash rate (as seen in the above screenshot) and the unresponsive app rate. Microsoft states:

The data for calculating the failure rate is collected from a random sample of machines—called a quality panel—on which your app is used. We consider a quality panel of at least 500 machines to be an adequate sample size for calculating the failure rates.

The failure rates are calculated on the basis of the average number of failures during a Windows 8 app's first 15 minutes of active usage. Microsoft also provides a list of the top five most common failures for a Windows 8 app. Developers can download a .cab file for each failure. Microsoft says, "The .cab file contains a process dump associated with the failure in your app. You can get the stack traces and other details for the failure from the process dump."

The blog goes into a lot of technical detail of how Windows 8 Metro app creators can process the .cab files to find out what went wrong with their app so they can fix it and release and updated version. Microsoft adds:

We believe that understanding and improving quality is critical to building a successful app. We have designed the quality reports to provide you useful and actionable data to improve your app. We are confident that these reports will help you prioritize improvements and deliver quick updates to your apps in the Store.

Source: Windows Store blog | Image via Microsoft

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8 Comments

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useless but better than nothing. what I'd like is a good error report center. Give me full visibility on crashes such as:

-OS version and patch level
-phone model
-language/region
-current page that was open when the crash happened.
-debug stack trace dump with line number and function names.

a DECENT UI to group, slice and dice it all in order to prioritize bugs.

The current way they handle this is via a fulgy excel document that doesn't even let you group things by actual bug without lots of manual re-formatting.

Why aren't they providing these errors to developers submitting apps to the store? It takes up to 5 days for an app to fail submission. You are returned a list with bullet points like "Error 3.2" with a link to the certification guidelines page ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u.../windows/apps/hh694083.aspx ). Error 3.2 is a cryptic message saying "Your app must not stop responding, end unexpectedly, or contain programming errors". How is a developer supposed to handle that?!

Peter Knobloch said,
Why aren't they providing these errors to developers submitting apps to the store? It takes up to 5 days for an app to fail submission. You are returned a list with bullet points like "Error 3.2" with a link to the certification guidelines page ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u.../windows/apps/hh694083.aspx ). Error 3.2 is a cryptic message saying "Your app must not stop responding, end unexpectedly, or contain programming errors". How is a developer supposed to handle that?!

I feel your pain.

ccoltmanm said,
Looks like a nice way for developers to pin point errors and push updates quickly.

Well if it's anything like the current App Hub (which is abysmal) you have to wait 6 days for crash reports. How it takes 6 days I will never know unless they have some school kids writing down all the errors and then retyping into another system. I pray for the day they can do live updates of crash reports and download stats (which take 10 days) so again - sounds great but not as great as it should be.

ccoltmanm said,
Looks like a nice way for developers to pin point errors and push updates quickly.

except that it isn't. like the current crash reports for windows phone, it lacks a lot of information such as what OS they had, what phone, what version of the app. Even line numbers are missing. it is a joke.