Removing old/beta applications from the App Hub

Written by Tom Verhoeff on. Posted in MSP, WP7

A while ago I blogged about one of the most useful features introduced with the new App Hub: private beta distribution. I have to admit, I use this one pretty often. Updating is not supported for beta’s (vote here if you would like it to be), so with every app I build my list of apps grows bigger and bigger. Unfortunately Microsoft appears to have missed a pretty obvious option, the actual deleting of beta’s that are finished anyway. I am able to end a beta, but it keeps showing up in the list.To keep thing manageable I decided to fire up my favourite tool Fiddler again. It helped me out with App Hub exceptions before and to my big surprise Fiddler again is the solution here. It does take some effort, but at least it keeps your App Hub account nice and tidy.
Notice the missing "Delete submissions" button

Notice the missing "Delete submissions" button

So what do we need to get the job done? To get a list of the required appids just open up an empty notepad file and open up the detail view for the apps you want to remove. Check the url in your browser and save the part that is formatted like this: applicationId=<appid>&applicationInstanceId=<appinstanceid>. While you are at it make sure you end the beta by using the appropriate button if you haven’t done so already. If you have your list we are ready for the actual removal process. Before moving on do note that I don’t know what actually happens on the server side when pulling this trick. I haven’t noticed any strange consequences but we’re still screwing with the App Hub, so take care. Ready? Let’s go. To get started just start submitting a new application. All you need to do is enter a name, upload a random XAP (doesn’t even have to be valid) and hit “Save & quit”. Now fire up Fiddler if you haven’t done so already and verify that HTTPS traffic gets captured. If you go back to the detail page of your random app you should notice a “Delete submission” button.

This time there actually is a delete button

Hit the delete button and confirm deletion of the app. This will remove your submission. Notice that a delete request should show up in Fiddler. In Fiddler select the request builder in the upper right and drag the delete request into the request builder. It should look like this:

The actual delete request

The delete request in Fiddler’s request builder

Now notice the familiar applicationId=<appid>&applicationInstanceId=<appinstanceid> in the request URL, just replace these with the ones you just noted. Now hit execute and keep a look on Fiddler traffic. A request should show up and turn green after a while. This means the request has been received and accepted. Your app should not show up in the list of apps anymore. You can repeat this last steps for every application you want to remove 🙂
Just a few remarks to wrap this up:
  • This does NOT remove beta applications from your beta testers devices
  • You’ll only notice the app not showing up in the list anymore, it might still be present in the marketplace by using the detail url
Of course tricks like this should not be required. Hopefully Microsoft will get a normal delete or archive button in place soon so we don’t have to deal with this hassle anymore.

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