Windows App SDK
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I'm Peter and welcome to the second episode of the RoguePlanetoid Podcast where I'll be talking about the Windows App SDK. Firstly, there's been many user interface platforms for developers supported by .NET starting back in 2001 when it was first released with Windows Forms, which is still supported in modern .NET today. Windows Forms or WinForms allowed developers to create Windows applications using a WYSIWYG interface as well as being able to add controls and elements during runtime, but it had its limitations so in 2006 brought Windows Presentation Foundation or WPF which introduced XAML which meant you could separate the UI design of an application from the functionality and allowed for a Designer workflow using Microsoft Expression Blend and Developer Workflow with Microsoft Visual Studio. Silverlight followed a year later which was a slimmed down version of WPF that ran in a browser using a plugin, the same technology would later power Windows Phone mobile applications. Later for Windows 8 would also use XAML with .NET for the modern-UI style apps on that platform which let to the Universal Windows Platform for Windows 10 that supported Desktop, Mobile with Windows 10 Mobile along with devices such as Xbox and HoloLens.
Windows App SDK
Windows App SDK was a result in changes in strategy within Microsoft such as the end of the Windows 10 Mobile platform it was decided to bring together native Win32 development and Universal Windows Platform together in a process known as Project Reunion which resulted in the creation of the Windows App SDK using WinUI 3 and would support Windows 10 1809 up to the latest version of Windows 11. .NET developers can also choose to use .NET MAUI, or .NET Multi-platform App UI which allows .NET developers to target mobile for iOS and Android as well as Windows. Also, there are also third-party platforms that allow .NET developers to use their skills which includes the Uno Platform which is based upon WinUI and Avalonia UI which is seen a spiritual successor to Windows Presentation Foundation. You can find out more about Uno Platform at platform.uno or Avalonia UI at avaloniaui.net or you can check out any links in the show notes.
Windows App SDK is the platform for building native applications for later version of Windows 10 and Windows 11 and provides a unified set of APIs and tools to build applications for Windows Desktop. Windows App SDK is not tied to operating system releases from Microsoft so it can and has been updated more frequently to add more features as the Windows App SDK is continuously evolving to add more features along with adding a target platform for both .NET MAUI and React Native and Windows App SDK supports both WinRT APIs along with the Native APIs within Windows, to learn more about the Windows App SDK visit learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/windows-app-sdk or you can check out the link in the show notes.
Windows App SDK is always adding new features that developers can take advantage of in their applications, one up-coming feature includes Windows 11 Widgets, which are based on the Adaptive Cards technology which is used for elements within Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Bot Framework, and other platforms. Widgets provide a new way for users to see information from your app as well as interact with it from the Widgets Dashboard within Windows 11, these can be updated with information from an application. To learn more about creating Widgets using the Windows App SDK you can visit learn.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/apps/develop/widgets/widget-providers or to find out about Adaptive Cards which will allow you to try out and design any Widgets then you can visit at adaptivecards.io or check out any links in the show notes.
Windows App SDK is something any developer can get started with today by following the tutorials for Windows App SDK on my website tutorialr.com which includes how to get setup and started including what you'll need to install and beginning your first application with Windows App SDK. There are also examples showing basic features such as how to display a dialog with a message, use the command bar to access functionality or take advantage of notifications such as badges on the application icon on the task tray or how to display a toast notification. There are also many games such as a memory game, a dart board, a racing game and more. There are as of recording fifty Windows App SDK tutorials added so far with even more to come, to find my tutorials for Windows App SDK visit tutorialr.com/tutorials/winappsdk or check out the link in the show notes.
Windows App SDK hopefully will be the way going forward for native Windows app development, it would be nice if it is also supported by other Microsoft platforms such as HoloLens and Xbox as those are only supported with the Universal Windows Platform at the moment, so it would be good for developers to be able to target those platforms with modern .NET, although as an alternative they would also be ideally targeted by .NET MAUI instead. Being able to use the latest features of Windows using the Windows App SDK is a great selling point along with having access as many native APIs as possible, with more support for features coming in each release is really great and hopefully will be supported for a long time as when developing applications it is important to make the right choice but for now to support the most features on Windows that is the Windows App SDK but there is also the option to support cross-platform applications with third-party platforms such as Uno Platform and Avalonia UI as well as .NET's own .NET MAUI which targets the feature set available on Windows too. If you are a developer using Windows App SDK it would be great to be able to hear from you and share projects using the Windows App SDK for example Apple recently released some brand-new applications such as Apple Podcasts that use Windows App SDK. Of if you just want to know if Windows App SDK is for you then you can get in touch via Twitter at twitter.com/rogueplanetoid or check out the link in the show notes.
Thanks for listening to the RoguePlanetoid podcast where you can find insights for developers, whether you are a beginner or an experienced professional using Microsoft and related platforms, along with related technology and so much more. You can also find any links in the show notes for this episode or visit rogueplanetoid.com/podcast for details of this episode and podcast. Keep Current, Keep Coding!
- Uno Platform - platform.uno
- Avalonia - avaloniaui.net
- .NET MAUI - dotnet.microsoft.com/apps/maui
- Windows App SDK - learn.microsoft.com/windows/apps/windows-app-sdk
- Windows 11 Widgets - learn.microsoft.com/windows/apps/develop/widgets/widget-providers
- Adaptive Cards - adaptivecards.io
- Tutorialr.com - tutorialr.com
- Windows App SDK Tutorials - tutorialr.com/tutorials/winappsdk