Dev tools: SEXap–modify WMAppManifest inside a XAP

Hey developers!

(Get the tool here)

I recently decided to create a version of Urban Dictionary which was ad-free and cost money. Of course, the challenge then becomes how do you modify the XAP (the icon, title etc) to be different.

Usually, when the difference between apps was more than cosmetic (as is the case here), I would create a new project, link the old project files and compile it. That works great, but has the issue of maintaining two source trees (even if one is just a mirror of the other). And since I hate MSBuild scripts, I also didn’t want to go all fancy and create whole programs just for that.

Enter SEXap (Social Ebola XAP) which allows you to modify the content of a XAP in-place. I use it in a post-build step in my Urban Dictionary app to change the content. In this case, I change the the icon to have “ad free” at the top (note that I include both icons in the XAP, making it a smidge larger). This is what my post-build step looks like:



  1. if "$(ConfigurationName)" == "RelPaidBeta" ..\..\..\..\Tools\SEXap -x $(TargetDir)\UrbanDictionary.xap -i "ApplicationIconAdFree.png"
  2. if "$(ConfigurationName)" == "RelPaid" ..\..\..\..\Tools\SEXap -x $(TargetDir)\UrbanDictionary.xap -t "ApplicationIconAdFree.png"

In this case, I am checking for one of two configuration name and running the exact same command line – modifying the icon.

You can modify the following details in the XAP:

App title – That’s the guy that appears on the app-list.

Tile title – That’s the text that appears by default on the tile.

Icon – The icon of the app in the app list.

Background – The tile background that appears by default.

Run the app w/o any parameters for more help.

Get it here

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