My First API – Windows Store Wrapper

So I got to thinking recently. Which is always dangerous for me. I thought, “Hey, what if I’m working on some app or service, and I need info about an app from the Windows Store? Is there a way to get that via WinRT?” As it turns out, there’s not. Then I thought, “Surely, there has to be a simple way to get it from Microsoft via the web, right?” Wrong. “Wait, maybe someone did this already so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.” There IS no damn wheel.

So I chiseled one.

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I found a way to pull the raw XML data from the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 stores, then parse it, and spit it back out into a nice, pretty, READABLE JSON file. Or XML, whichever is your preference. Either way, you get pretty much the full list of metadata for any published Win8/WP8 app. It also pulls app icons and screenshots and spits them out in PNG format. All YOU need is the app’s GUID (or the PFN for Win8 apps, if you’re so inclined). It’s built on top of ASP.NET Web API, which turns out to be pretty damn awesome, REALLY powerful, and yet surprisingly simple. Wanna find out the nitty-gritty about my implementation? Go check it out. Also, let me know if you plan on using it in your app/service. If so, I would love to hear all about it. And if you REALLY like it, feel free to buy me a tall glass of milk next time you see me. Or food. I’m not picky.

Also, HUGE thanks to Shayne Boyer (@spboyer), my go-to guy for everything PCL and Web API. This guy really knows his stuff, and he’s not afraid to share it. He got me interested in Web API and by going to his Code Camp talks, I learned the basics on how to wire this stuff up. That, and I bug him sporadically when I have questions about what the hell I’m doing. Seriously, though. This guy is a great part of our Florida dev community, and I’m very thankful for the guidance he’s provided me while getting going on this project. Check out his stuff. It’s awesome.