Update to interesting Windows Phone Build Error

Published on 15 January 2013

Windows Phone 8 handling of WPAppmanifest.xml has changed in Visual Studio 2012

Last year, I blogged about an interesting build error that I had noticed in a Windows Phone 7 application that I was creating.  This error circled around a problem that occurred when you had a very long name in the author property within the WMAppManifest.xml file.  The error that was reported in the Error Window was fairly cryptic:

“Manifest validation failed: AppManifestInvalidAuthor”

But after a bit of googling, I was able to find out what the problem was.  In all honesty, it was a very rare error, and it came down to a naming convention that I was using for a set of sample applications that I was creating, however, it was still slightly annoying!

Things are better in Visual Studio 2012

I am happy to report, that things have improved, a lot, in this area within Visual Studio 2012.  Firstly, you don't have to edit the WMAppManifest.xml file by hand.  Visual Studio 2012 now includes a designer that sits on top of this XML file, as shown here:

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This editor exists for both Windows Phone 7.1 and Windows Phone 8.0 applications.  You can of course continue to edit the XML directly (if you are that way inclined):

Edit WMAppManifest.xml directly

But doing so means that you lose the ability to get immediate feedback on the state of your WMAppManifest.xml file, as shown here:

WMAppManifest Editor showing error

This is a really great addition to Visual Studio, and another example of how Microsoft are ensuring that the end to end development experience is getting much better.  I first noticed this type of editor on top of XML files in Visual Studio 2010 when doing SharePoint development, and this is another very welcome addition!

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