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This post is with response to a question asked by my friend Abhimanyu. Yesterday he asked me whether it is possible to test the Windows Phone app on computer by installing in emulators?


I answered him personally but thought to write a post on the same with proper steps so that, if you want to deploy any Windows Phone XAP file in your emulator to test it, this post will guide you.


Problem Statement

Many question has a single problem and we will cover all the questions related to it in a single problem statement. Today in this post we will cover the following scenarios:

    • If I don’t have physical Windows Phone device and want to test a XAP received from my friend, will I be able to test it?
    • Is it possible to deploy a Windows Phone XAP file in an emulator and test it from there?
    • How to deploy a XAP file in a Windows Phone emulator that comes with WP SDK?
    • What are the issues that one will face while testing a XAP from emulator?



Ok, let’s begin with the above mentioned questions one by one. Yes, if we don’t have a physical windows phone device, we can test any XAP file but for this we need the Windows Phone Emulator which comes with the SDK tool. For this, you must have to install the Windows Phone SDK Tool which you can get it from here.


If you already installed the SDK, you will also have the emulator installed in your computer. The Windows Phone SDK comes with an utility named “Application Deployment” which you can find from Start menu program folder named “Windows Phone SDK 7.1”. Here is the screenshot of the same:


Start Windows Phone Application Deployment Tool


Click the “Application Deployment” utility as shown above to launch the same. As shown in the below screenshot, you can choose the target device from the utility screen. If you have your Windows Phone unlocked, you can deploy the XAP in that physical device too. To unlock your Windows Phone device, follow this post: How to Unlock Your WP7 Device for Development?


Windows Phone Application Deployment - Select the Device


Once you select the proper target from the above screen, click “Browse” to select the XAP file that you want to deploy either in your physical device or phone emulator. Now click “Deploy” button to start the deployment process.


Windows Phone Application Deployment - Browse for the XAP


Once it has been deploy successfully, you will see a success message in the screen as shown below and you can close this window:


Windows Phone Application Deployment - Deploy the XAP to the Device


Now you open your device or emulator to see the installed application in the application list. For our case, I deployed one of my Windows Phone application “ABC For kids” and you can see it as shown here:


Windows Phone Application Deployment - Find the deployed App in Device


If you don’t open your emulator before the deployment process, the utility will auto launch the emulator. Once booting process done, it will start the deployment process.


Issues Testing an Application from Emulator

You can deploy any app in emulator but all the features will not work in emulator. As you can’t setup email account, hence you will not be able to test email functionality. Same is applicable for social networking features and hence you can’t test them here too. There are many other features that you can’t test in your Windows Phone emulator. So, if you face such issues, don’t blame me or the developer.


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