Windows 8 Line of Business (LOB) Guidance – Prism on .NET 4.5 and the road to Windows Store apps

Just a quick post to highlight an interesting article by Blaine Wastell about a new project (codename “Kona“)  that will provide guidance on developing line of business (LOB) apps for Windows 8.

Check out this link for the details of this interesting project!

Windows Phone 8 Multi-Touch Behaviors available on CodePlex

The last week has been very exciting for Microsoft developers: The //build/ conference in Redmond was full of amazing content including Windows 8Windows Phone 8 SDK, Microsoft Surface, Xbox SmartGlass, Kinect for Windows and the new language TypeScript.

Unfortunately I hadn’t the possibility to participate at the conference but had some free time during the week-end to watch some of the recorded sessions available here on Channel9: this is really a great resource and I suggest everyone interested in Microsoft technologies to download some videos and have fun with it.

I decided then to take a look at the new features available in Windows Phone 8 and the related SDK: Justin Angel has a great article about this topic in the Nokia Developer Community.

To get my hands dirty I moved then on my personal Open-Source project “Multi-Touch Behaviors” on CodePlex: this is a set of Epression Blend Behaviors for different platforms including Windows Phone, Silverlight and WPF for applying gestures and manipulations (like the one available in the “old” ScatterView control) to generic XAML elements.

The project was not yet updated to Windows Phone 8 so I took this opportunity and experimented with the new SDK: this was really a great experience since I was able to upgrade quickly all my samples to the new platform using the same codebase used for the Silverlight version.

Unfortunately I haven’t the possibility  to test the performance on a real Windows Phone 8 device at the moment but the first impressions are really positive.

I have already checked in the code for WP8 here, I’m planning more testing and development in the future.

Happy XAMLing everyone :)

Kinect for Windows 1.5 released: Face tracking, Kinect Studio and more!

Great news for Kinect lovers today: a new version of the SDK and tools has been released and includes tons of new functionalities like

  • Kinect Studio: a new tools for recording and playing back Kinect data;
  • Face tracking SDK: real-time 3D mesh of facial features;
  • Lot of new samples, additions and documentation improvements;
  • New seated Skeletal tracking;
  • New capabilities to enable avatar animation scenarios;
  • Four new languages supported for speech recognition: French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.

Click here to read the official announcement in the “Kinect for Windows” blog.

Happy Kinecting!

Callisto library for Windows 8 XAML applications on GitHub

Great days and lot of new tools for Metro XAML developers on Windows 8.

Callisto is a new library of controls and helpers (including SQLite support) for Windows 8 XAML applications (aka Metro style apps) developed by Tim Heuer (@timheuer) and Morten Nielsen (@dotmorten).

Click here to access the project and download the new bits!

Enjoy :)

WinRT XAML Toolkit available on CodePlex

The “Windows Runtime (WinRT) XAML Toolkit” is a new resource containing a set of controls and helpers for building Windows 8 Store applications.

Click here to read the details and access the download link on CodePlex.

New to Windows 8 development? Mark your calendars: the new book “Programming Windows, Sixth edition” by Charles Petzold is coming soon!

Happy XAMLing everyone :)

Expression Blend Preview for Silverlight 5 Update available

A new version of Expression Blend for Silverlight 5 is now available for download with these features:

  • Expiration date – June 30, 2013;
  • Go-live license;
  • updated Silverlight 5 SDK.

Check out the original post by the Expression Blend Team and download the new bits from here.

Happy Silverlighting!

Download Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update!

As announced on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update is now available for  download on the Microsoft Download Center.

The WPSDK 7.1.1 Update provides a WPSDK patch that enables developers to develop and test for the recently announced Windows Phone 7.5 256 MB devices, as well to run the WPSDK 7.1 on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release via the following:

  • Updated 512 MB OS Emulator Image: An updated build Windows Phone OS 7.1 (Build 8773)
  • New 256 MB OS Emulator Image: A new Windows Phone OS 7.1 emulator image (Build 8773) that emulates running on 256 MB devices
  • Emulator Choice: Ability to debug or run your WP apps in either the 256 MB or 512 MB emulator
  • Windows 8 Support: An updated emulator is included, which can run on Windows 8
  • IntelliSense support for adding the new 512 MB requirement to the Windows Phone App Manifest file

News since the CTP release last month:

  • ‘Go Live’ license: The update now has a ‘Go Live’ license; developers running WPSDK 7.1.1 are now empowered to publish their Windows Phone apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace
  • Full Localization: WPSDK now supports all 10 IDE languages; and the OS image now has Malay and Indonesian
  • Windows 8 Support: The updated emulator will now run on Windows 8; note that the OS is still not officially supported by developer support until the final OS release

Useful links:

Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update CTP Download Center page

Documentation

For additional information on this release, please refer the post on the WP Developer Blog.

Calcium framework for Windows Phone available

Fellow MVP Daniel Vaughan has published in these days on CodePlex a new version of his “Calcium” framework targeting Windows Phone.

From the official release notes:

Calcium for Windows Phone is a consolidation of the infrastructure code that has been written for the book Windows Phone 7.5 Unleashed, and is already used by a number of published apps. 

Some of Calcium for Windows Phone features include: 

  • A user option’s system that allows you to add a settable option to an options page, with a single line of code.
  • A bindable application bar with toggle buttons and menu items, hyperlink button/menu items, which allows you to host multiple application bars in a Pivot.
  • Built-in support for localization. Bindable resources allows the user to change the interface language at run-time.
  • An IoC container and DI infrastructure, and templates to allow you to hide or show a Purchase link in your app depending on the • Trial state of your app and so forth.
  • Templates for Views with ViewModels.
  • Attribute based state persistence system.
  • Message service that allows you to display messages and ask the user questions from your ViewModel.
  • Launchers and Choosers abstraction layer.
  • Input Validation system, with styles customized for displaying validation errors.

And much more! 

Unlike Calcium for WPF and Silverlight, Calcium for Windows Phone does not depend on Prism and has a smaller footprint, more suitable for the mobile platform.

Other useful resources:

Fortify your apps with Calcium for Windows Phone! :)

Prism 4.1 – February 2012 available for download

Prism provides guidance designed to help you more easily design and build rich, flexible, and easy to maintain Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) desktop applications and Silverlight Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) and Windows Phone 7.1 (“Mango”) applications.

The new version 4.1 released on February 2012 is available for download here.

Read the official announcement by Blaine Wastell: Prism for Silverlight 5 Ships.