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Windows® Phone 8 Unleashed by Daniel Vaughan

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Understanding the Role of XAP Files

The output of a Visual Studio project normally consists of a multitude of files, which may include assemblies, images, config files, manifest files, and so forth. XAP (pronounced zap) files contain project output that is bundled up, ready for deployment.

XAP files have been around since the early days of Silverlight 2 (beta 1) and allow developers to easily deploy an entire Silverlight application to a remote server. On the Windows Phone platform, they are used to deploy an app to the Windows Phone Marketplace or to a developer unlocked device.

A XAP file is a compressed zip file that contains your project assemblies and resources, along with two application manifest files: AppManifest.xml and WMAppManifest.xml, ...

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