Now that you understand the four main parts of an app you can begin the process of packaging and publishing your own app. When you package an app you essentially take the Web deploy package, database package, SharePoint solution package and app.manifest and combine them into an .app file. After you have an .app file you are ready to publish it to a location where users can install it. You can publish an app either using a private app catalog or the public SharePoint store. The following sections walk you through publishing to a private app catalog and Chapter 8, “Distributing SharePoint 2013 Apps,” discusses publishing to the public SharePoint store.
After you have completed developing an app and are ready to deploy it to either an on-premises SharePoint farm or to SharePoint Online, you need to get it ready for deployment by packaging it.
As Chapter 3, “Developer Tooling for SharePoint 2013” discusses, Visual Studio 2012 provides some excellent tools to increase your productivity when writing SharePoint apps, but the help doesn’t stop there. Visual Studio provides a number of tools to help you package your apps into .app files for either automated or manual deployment. In fact, when you press F5 to debug an application, Visual Studio packages the app and deploys it automatically to SharePoint for you!
Visual Studio provides integrated publishing wizards that guide you through the process of packaging your application. This wizard ...