Where did my ads go?

Since a few weeks, Windows Phone developers can retrieve data on crash counts and stack traces for each published application through the App Hub. Because two of my applications indeed showed a few crash counts, it was of course time to fix the issues and to update the applications. One of those applications, ClickerLite, uses the AdControl to display advertisements inside the application. Besides fixing bugs, I also built the application against the latest version of the Windows Phone SDK. Instead of having to download and use a separate assembly to enable (Microsoft Advertising pubCenter) ads, the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone is now part of the Windows Phone SDK. Of course this makes it easier to use the AdControl with full designer support in both Visual Studio 2010 and in Expression Blend 4.0. However, when I started to test my application, the AdControl was not visible, even though I did set the control up to receive test ads.

ClickerLiteDesignerView

As often, the solution to the problem was easy, although it took me some time to find it. I simply needed to add the ID_CAP_MEDIALIB capability to my application’s manifest file. In the previous version of the Advertising SDK, this capability was not required and therefore not included in the manifest file. The end result was test advertisements showing up in the Visual Studio 2010 designer. However, when running the application (both in the emulator and on a real device), the test advertisements did not show up. This of course was also a clear indication that real advertisements would not show up in a released version of the application.

Adding ID_CAP_MEDIALIB solved the problem, the test ad showed up during testing, and the application was ready to be updated.

On a side note, if you are curious about ClickerLite, you can find it here on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Note: This link will work from a Windows Phone 7, or from a PC with Zune software installed.

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