Sideloading is the mechanism to install Windows Store apps without downloading from the Windows Store. This would occur if we want to distribute line of business (LOB) apps or for testing purposes.
For many Windows Store apps, the publishing flow is usually pretty basic and as easy as following this wizard:
Using this wizard, we can generate our app packages, and upload them to the Windows Store in an easy way. But sometimes we face more complex scenarios beyond the scope of Visual Studio. Sometimes we don't want to publish our app but need a way to distribute it in our organization.
Some common scenarios that could cause this situation are:
- Generating app packages within a Continuous Integration flow.
- Automating a Sideloading scenario to distribute the app outside the Windows Store.
- Installing on the same machine different versions of the app for different environments (Development, Release Candidate, Production, etc.)
This article will explain the mechanisms that will allow us to cover these three scenarios.