Under the Bridge

App Store sales tracking

So now that Trollwerks is actually an active publisher (and it’s going well so far, thank you; a perfect five-star review record! Woo-hoo! ‘Course, that is out of a very limited sample, “two” to be exact, but hey) we’ve got to sort out plans for making reports to our authors, and the tax man, and yadayadayada. And Apple’s sales reports are … not the most elegant. So we dug around a bit, and here’s a roundup of what we found.

PART 1: DESKTOP APPLICATIONS

First off, there’s omz:software’s AppSales — which you can download for free here. However, it’s no longer being developed, and the author recommends what appears to be by far the most popular desktop application, Ideaswarm’s AppViz. It’s $29.95 to buy, but has a 30 day free trial; so we downloaded that. Certainly couldn’t be any easier, all you do is enter your iTunes Connect ID and password and it goes off and fetches all your reports, and makes pretty graphs. And as an extra convenience, fetches all your reviews too. So for the next while, we’ll see how we get on with that . If it seems reliable, hey we may not be motivated to look further. But if we are, there’s a just slightly cheaper desktop application called iPhone Sales Report to check out as well, although our superficial impression is that AppViz is more complete. And prettier. It’s all about the pretty.

[EDIT: Then here’s this AppStore Clerk application — with source, no less — but it only parses downloaded reports; and there’s this new one App Store Sales which looks like an AppViz competitor…]

PART 2: IPHONE APPLICATIONS

We’re not too sure that we’re obsessive enough to actually want to carry a sales checker app around on the phone, especially since the main point here is to easily pass individual reports along, but there’s two choices here. First off, there’s AppSales Mobile, the mobile relative of the above-mentioned orphan AppSales, which is not only free but open sourced on Google Code. [EDIT: Now on github!] Which would make that a most excellent choice if we wanted to add our own automation, no doubt. There is also Sales Report, “The Must-Have App for iPhone Developers” — but for $14.99 and not open source, we’re probably not going to bother looking any closer at that one if AppSales Mobile is anywhere close to whatever our mobile needs might turn out to be.

[EDIT: And then there’s this poor fellow who had “MyAppSales” rejected for … doing the same exact thing as “Sales Report”. Apple, gotta love ‘em. But he’s selling the source code for $15!]

PART 3: WEB SERVICES

Whilst we have an instinctual bias towards things that run, you know, on our computer and don’t need a network to be functional — particularly since getting the appropriate applications’ reports extracted and prepared for delivery is just the kind of task we’d relegate to our out of network reach time by choice — there’s always a place for the cloud thing too. In this category we have Heartbeat, a really quite comprehensive solution to not just formatting Apple’s reports but all sorts of other goodies as well. However, we’re thinking that it’s just plain too expensive for what we need. At least at the moment. We’ll keep an eye on this one. An apparent future competitor currently in beta is AppStatz, but it’s just not looking in the same class as Heartbeat so far.

[EDIT: And here’s another free one in beta to check out.]

PART 4: MISCELLANEOUS

There’s a variety of homebrew solutions, strategies, and snippets we stumbled across of possible usefulness. We’re pretty sure if we decided to actually put some work into something we’d start with the AppSales Mobile source, but we’ll list them here for completeness.

Jonathan Johnson’s appstorestats.py

appdailysales on Google Code

appstorereports on Google Code; screenshot here

itunes-connect-scraper on Google Code

appstorestats on Google Code from Jonathan Johnson

maddyhome.com’s bash shell script; discussion here

Analyzing iPhone App Sales with Zoho DB

Process Transaction Report droplet

iTunesConnectArchiver from Rogue Amoeba

Maddox‘s Piano on GitHub

And from that last, we’ll share the author’s description with you, for a parting comment which sums up pithily why all of the above was necessary in the first place:

Piano

Because Apple hates you.

POSTSCRIPT: OTHER ROUNDUPS

09.04.17: Sales Stats Tools For iPhone Apps

09.05.15: The Definitive List of Sales Report Tools

09.05.18: The Ultimate App Store Sales Tracking Software Roundup

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