Showing posts with label Metro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Metro. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Six Free Modern... I mean Metro... um... Material Design Icon packs

Super Dev Resources - 6 Free Material Design Icon packs

Material Design, Google’s visual language, emphasizes on use of animations, shadows, bold colors and typography to allow users to easily comprehend the interface and provide them a delightful experience. Many of you would have seen material design principles in action in revamped Android apps from Google like Gmail and Chrome browser.

In case you are planning to embrace material design language in your own Android app interface, web app or website design, this post brings free Material Design icon packs for you. As an app developer and designer, we recommend you read Google’s design specifications which provides in-depth guidelines for designing system icons (or UI icons) as well as product icons (or your app icons).

In this post, we round up free material design user interface icon sets, towards the end you will find material design icon font resource and Sketch template as well. You may also want to check out our earlier post where we covered Material Design Web UI frameworks and Bootstrap themes for your web development needs.



Material, Modern, Metro... whatever... These look like they would be useful in our Microsoft world, don't they? Funny how...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Live Tiles live another day... 52 Patent clams ruled invalid in Microsoft's favor

WindowsITPro - Microsoft Wins Suit to Keep Live Tiles

In 2012, a company called SurfCast filed a suit against Microsoft that issued 52 different claims of patent infringement (U.S. Patent Numbers 6,724,403 and 7,933,632). The company claimed that it owned patents on a "computer display that organizes content from a variety of sources into a grid of tiles that is constantly updated." In Microsoft's circumstance, this is what we've all come to know as "Live Tiles" in both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone.

The case settled on October 15th, with the New York Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that all 52 of the suit's claims are invalid, handing SurfCast a resounding defeat and allowing Microsoft to retain and develop its Live Tile functionality.



Law360 - Microsoft Gets SurfCast Display Patent Nixed In AIA Review [Paywalled]

Law360, New York (October 15, 2014, 2:48 PM ET) -- The Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Tuesday that a SurfCast Inc. graphical user interface patent is invalid, in a win for Microsoft Corp., whose Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7 operating systems are accused of infringing the patent.

All 52 claims of SurfCast's patent,...

Love them, or hate them, looks like they live another day. Personally I love them, but hey, that's just me... :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

4+1 Free Resources for Windows Store and Windows Phone App Development

Rob W Irving - Great free resources for improving your Windows Phone App

Last month at the MMADNJ user group Nick Landry (@ActiveNick) started doing a ‘show & tell’ segment for published app developers to share some of their work. I talked about Car Dash and shared some tips and free resources I used to make the app successful.

Today I wanted to go into some more details on some of these resources. There a lot of great tools available, and many of them are free for independent app developers.

UserVoice ....

OneSkyApp ...

WPCentral and WMPowerUser ...

Modern UI Icons ...


See you learn something new every day. I hadn't heard of OneSkyApp or Modern UI Icons before reading Rob's post. I love the Net! :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

LOB help in the WinRT world - "Brokered WinRT Component Project Templates"

Brokered WinRT Components was one of the hits of Build 2014. These project templates will help you make your own...

Visual Studio Gallery - Brokered WinRT Component Project Templates

This package contains project templates used to created Brokered Windows Runtime Components and their Proxy Stubs, which enables side-loaded modern applications to communicate with pre-existing desktop components.

This solution works on Windows 8.1 update or later version.

It contains two project templates:

1. A C# project template for you to create the Desktop Windows Runtime components that are used to bridge modern application and pre-existing desktop code.

2. A C++ project template to generate the IPC proxy stub that will be used in your modern application.

For more details about the Brokered Windows Runtime Component, please review whitepaper on MSDN:

Here is a brief guidance on how to use the template to create a brokered WinRT component:

  1. Create a new Brokered WinRT Component using the Templates -> Visual C# -> Brokered Windows Runtime Component (Let’s call this BrokeredComponent)

  2. Make updates to Class.cs (change file name if needed) to define the component.



Brokered Windows Runtime Components for side-loaded Windows Store apps

[This documentation is preliminary and is subject to change.]

This paper discusses an enterprise-targeted feature for the Windows 8.1 Update that allows touch-friendly apps to use the existing code responsible for key business-critical operations.


Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 brings an entirely new class of applications, designed for touch, running on a new generation of hardware optimized for touch, and using a new runtime and APIs. The new runtime, called the Windows Runtime, brings with it a host of new functionality, new APIs for existing concepts and new generations of UI frameworks (XAML and HTML) for these applications.


The sample code that accompanies this paper may be downloaded from this location.

The new generation of applications have been designed to be distributed through the Windows Store and its related infrastructure. A new certifications process for these applications include requirements that deprecate a large number of older APIs and frameworks. While creating a vastly simpler programming surface for the new style and design requirements, many existing enterprise software assets have been left in a state of limbo. They continue to operate in their "desktop" world, but are difficult to leverage in the new touch-friendly applications. Calling these deprecated APIs or using the legacy frameworks causes issues to be raised in the WACK certification tool included in Visual Studio and run as part of Windows Store submission.

Recognizing that critical business functions and rules are embodied in existing software assets and that enterprises have a wide variety of scenarios for which the new application style will be highly productive, the Windows 8.1 Update includes a new feature called Brokered Windows Runtime Components for side-loaded applications. We use the term IPC (inter-process communication) to describe the ability to run existing desktop software assets in one process (desktop component) while interacting with this code in a Windows Store app. This is a familiar model to enterprise developers as data base applications and applications utilizing NT Services in Windows share a similar multi-process architecture.

Side-loading of the application is a critical component of this feature. Enterprise-specific applications have no place in the general consumer Windows Store and corporations have very specific requirements around security, privacy, distribution, setup, and servicing. As such, the side-loading model is both a requirement of those who would use this feature and a critical implementation detail.

Data-centric applications are a key target for this application architecture. It is envisioned that existing business rules ensconced, for example, in SQL Server, will be a common part of the desktop component. This is certainly not the only type of functionality that can be proffered by the desktop component, but a large part of the demand for this feature is related to existing data and business logic.

Lastly, given the overwhelming penetration of the .NET runtime and the C# language in enterprise development, this feature was developed with an emphasis on using .NET 4.5 for both the Windows Store app and the desktop component sides. While there are other languages and runtimes possible for the Windows Store app, the accompanying sample only illustrates C#, and the desktop component portion is restricted to the .NET runtime exclusively.


Personally I still think there's more required, much better distribution story, like  an inside-the-firewall app store, but this IS a good step forward and will help smooth the LOB Modern App way a bit...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Business users building for Windows 8.1 with Project Siena Beta 2

Somasegar’s blog - Project Siena Beta 2: Enabling business users to create apps connected to enterprise services, web and social

Three months ago, we opened up Project Siena to the public.  The response from enterprise business users, partners and general app imagineers has been great to see.

The initial release of Project Siena delivered a tool for non-developers to create mobile apps.  Any business user with PowerPoint and Excel formula skills was empowered to build highly interactive experiences that are rich in data and media and full of custom logic and intelligence.

Today, we are taking the next big stride for Project Siena with the release of Beta 2.

This major update changes the kind of impact that apps built with Siena can have within a business.  Project Siena now enables business users to connect apps to powerful web services – from popular consumer services to enterprise SaaS to services created by IT.


Our mission is to make consuming services as easy as an Excel function. ...



The Potential of Project Siena Apps

In the first public release of Project Siena, we made it possible for business users and experts to build apps as easily, and as expressively, as editing a document. We have seen people build apps for consuming data and media content, apps for on-the-spot decision making, and task apps that involve capturing photos and voice and hand notes. We have seen small, transient-use apps built in a few minutes as well as high value apps with purpose-specific looks and rich business logic.

Now, we are setting out to enable the same business users and experts to build apps that intermingle their data, content and knowledge with functionality seen today in only high-end custom applications, e.g.

  • Social connections and instant communications
  • Text to speech, translation, voice recognition
  • Integration to SaaS and other back-end workflows

To get started with Siena, install the app from the Windows Store, check out , watch a tutorial video, download a sample app for inspiration, and then build your own.

With Project Siena, I believe every business user, every person with ideas and imagination, can be empowered to build these truly modern apps using SaaS and IT services.


Without an enterprise store, I just don't see this taking off. I mean an inside the firewall, easy for IT to setup, admin and for users to upload/submit their apps and finally to browse and download, I just don't see Big-Medium businesses jumping in on this for their LOB app's. And do you really want your general power user creating app's for your business that are publically available? Not that they couldn't but I'm talking branding, image, legal, etc concerns about an employee without oversight creating externally available app's.

Grumpy guy aside, I DO this it would be AWESOME if there was an internal business store, where my users could create internal app's with this and publish them. Now that would be cool...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

iXplain helps you explain, recording your voice, screen and pen (think "Killer Surface Pro app for anyone teaching or explaining about anything")

Australian Teachers Blog - Creating Tutorials using the Record Voice and Pen App

This post follows on with our focus on sharing tools which can help you make engaging tutorials for your classroom.

If you’re currently using a Windows 8 device and need to create a tutorial that records your voice, writing or annotations, it’s time to master the Record Voice and Pen App.

Since first exploring Record Voice and Pen, I have put it in my must-have apps for Windows 8 in Education. It is such a simple and effective app that suits a variety of skill levels. I also like that you are given the ability to save your video onto your device, then share it through whichever platform you currently use in your classroom. It is a great tool for the Flipped Classroom.

Some handy uses for tutorials made with this app include:

  • Flipped Classroom style tutorials
  • Mathematic tutorials showing working out
  • Explanations of diagrams in Science or Geography
  • Discussions of Sport positions and movement
  • Script writing for Foreign Languages studies
  • Students creating their own tutorials for each other
  • Students creating presentations which describe images, diagrams or concepts


Step 1

Install the Record Voice and Pen app onto your Windows 8 device. You can access Record Voice and Pen via the Windows Store.

Step 2

Watch video...

Step 3

Plan the tutorial that you would like to create. Here are some questions to help you plan your tutorial


Step 4

Use record Voice and Pen to create your tutorial. Save and upload to your video to YouTube, Vimeo, or your own online space for students to access it.

Optional Activity

Share with your peers for feedback to help you improve your tutorial style.

Record Voice and Pen is a great way to make classroom tutorials more engaging and memorable whilst also having a resource for future use. So why not have a go and share your experiences in the comments section below.




Explaining something in a presentation or a classroom is easy when you can use your voice, use images, and can annotate on them, all at one go. In iXplain you can record all this at once. It creates a video file which can be shared through email, Facebook or YouTube, or used in a presentation or a classroom.


  • Recording of your voice and pen drawings at the same time

  • Import images

  • Export recordings to video files (mp4)

Supported processors

x86, x64, ARM


This and the Surface Pro and you've got a cool, fairly inexpensive, teaching tool... (and the app's price of Free doesn't hurt).

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"Location Intelligence for Windows Store" the free eBook...

Ricky's Bing Maps Blog - Free eBook: Location Intelligence for Windows Store


I am happy to announce the release of my  book “Location Intelligence for Windows Store Apps”. This is available as a free eBook. Yes I said “free”, as in “Free beer”.

Location Intelligence has been one of the fastest growing industries in recent years and continues to grow at an exponential rate. Seventy to eighty percent of all business data has some sort of geospatial context. Many companies want to make use of this data however most of them do not know where to start. Many of these same companies are planning to create Windows Store apps.

In this book we will dive into the world of location intelligence and the different options for creating location aware applications in Windows 8.1. The first half of the book focuses on the inner workings of Window Store Apps and the various location related tools available such as sensors and the Bing Maps SDK. The second half of the book focuses on creating several useful location intelligent apps. All code samples are provided in JavaScript, C# and Visual Basic.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Getting Started
  • Chapter 2: The Sensor and Location Platform
  • Chapter 3: Bing Maps JavaScript API
  • Chapter 4: Bing Maps Native API
  • Chapter 5: Bing Maps REST Services
  • Chapter 6: Bing Spatial Data Services
  • Chapter 7: Working with Spatial Data
  • Chapter 8: Drawing on the Map
  • Chapter 9: Creating an Augmented Reality App
  • Chapter 10: Creating a Templatable Compass Control
  • Chapter 11: Cross Platform Development

... [Click through for the download links]

At 421 pages this is not your slim eBook... :)


From the PDF;

Location Intelligence has been one of the fastest growing industries in recent years and continues to grow at an exponential rate. Seventy to eighty percent of all business data has some sort of geospatial context. Many companies want to make use of this data however most of them do not know where to start. Many of these same companies are planning to create applications targeting Windows 8. You may well be reading this book for this very reason.

With Windows 8 you have the ability to create applications that reach across many platforms such as desktops, laptops and tablet devices. A Windows Store app is a new type of application that runs on Windows 8 devices. Unlike traditional desktop apps, a Windows Store app has a single, chrome-less window that fills the entire screen by default, so there are no distractions. In addition to this, these apps can support different layouts and views to create a fluid experience across different screen sizes and orientations. Several different types of input sources are supported, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard input. It’s also possible for apps to communicate with each other by sharing content in a standard way. Instead of icons, Window Store apps uses live tiles which can be used to display useful, at-a-glance data to the user, without the need for the user to open up the app. Windows Store apps can be written in several different languages including JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, C++ and C. Apps are distributed through the Windows Store in Windows 8 and gives you the ability to make your app available to millions of people around the world.

In this book we will dive into the world of location intelligence and the different options for creating location aware applications in Windows 8. The first half of the book focuses on learning what tools are available for creating location aware Window Store applications. The second half of the book uses a more hands on approach by demonstrating how to develop complete end-to-end location aware solutions.

Who this book is for?
This book is aimed at developers who are being introduced to creating location based Windows Store apps using both Web (HTML, CSS3, JavaScript) and Managed (C#, Visual Basic) programming languages. Previous knowledge on creating location based application is not required or needed and all topics are explained from the ground up. This will including the use of Bing Maps and sensors such as the accelerometer, compass, gyro, and location services. It will be assumed that you have a working knowledge of one of these programming languages; JavaScript, C# or Visual Basic. Experience creating Windows Store applications will help but is not required.

Chapter Overview
In the first half of this book each chapter builds on top of the previous such that by the time you reach the end chapter 7 you will have gained a good working knowledge on how to use all the tools available for creating location aware Windows Store app. The chapters in the second half of the book are independent of each other. Each of these chapters show how to create a complete end to end application. If you wish to skip between these chapters, you can do so without missing out on any content that might be required


A Windows 8.1 C# Code Snip Sheet, Vol 1...

msplebanon - "W8.1 C# Cheat Sheet Vol.1" by Moalla Ilani

After a long experience with new developer students, I have seen some are thirsty for very basic codes to startup their first apps. Some spend hours on search engines to find the codes they need from open source websites, and from professional point of view, being familiar with search engines is a great talent to have, while other fresh students are still not familiar and may give up from first time.

So cheers this is a safe place to start, this cheat sheet is full of very basic and useful C# windows 8 codes that will help you run your first apps, and you will always stay in need for it whatever professional you are. Of course I may miss some codes you may be waiting for, please feel free to tell me about in order to add them. So before beginning, I recommend everyone to save this cheat sheet on their desktop, in a notepad.txt file, and continue on adding some useful codes to it for future daily use, so that you save time and be more productive.


Nice little collection of Windows 8.1 code snips...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WAT? I said, Web App Template! (Which helps you Windows Store App your Web Site...)

JohnShew's Blog - Website to App — The Web App Template Simplifies Windows App Development


At BUILD last year, Guggs and I showed how Giorgio Sardo and his team here in DPE have been coding together with great companies — like Khan Academy — to move entire websites into Windows Store apps — more or less effortlessly.

As I showed in the demo, the trick to making this so easy is the new Web control we released in Windows 8.1. The Web control provides an execution environment for Web content that exposes the most essential features of the browser so your Web content largely just works inside the control.

We’ve been very excited about this approach and have been doing a lot of joint projects with developers using this approach. Coming out of this we found an even easier way to port website content.

Rather than requiring developers to recreate the wheel for features such as in-app navigation, charm integration and live tiles, all that functionality is now built into the template and controlled through simple settings in a config file. And with HTML5 as the app platform, there is one seamless development approach across your Web app and your Windows apps, which makes for an easy transition for all Web developers. It really is cool.

Giorgio, Jeff Burtoft, and a handful of other engineers on my team, have packaged these ideas into a nice Web App Template, a tool that makes this approach easy to do for both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 apps.

We’ve invested in this project because we think there are a lot of great Web apps out there that will also make great Windows apps. 


CodePlex - Web App Template


Web App Template is a tool that uses your Web App as the core for a full featured Store App for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8. The Web App Template (WAT) is implemented as a Visual Studio template that you install through our one click installer. You can then start a new project type of “Web App Template”. Plug your Web App values into the config file, and hit F5 to see it run.

At runtime, the WAT project will then take your Web App and config data (meta data), and build the Windows Store App:

WAT provides the key features most Web Apps will need to perform as a store app such as back buttons, navigation, Offline support, charm integration and much more.
The Web App Template allows you to use your web development skills and you’re touch friendly, responsive Web Apps to create high quality Windows Apps. Download the installer and get started today.

Source Code

git clone


In order to install the Web App Template you need to have Visual Studio 2013(Windows Store Express, Pro or Ultimate) or later and a machine or VM running windows 8.1. The Windows Phone 8 template requires that you have the Windows Phone SDK or Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone.

Then, download the installer for the appropriate project type and double click to install. Then choose “new project” from the file menu and select “web app template” from the file types. Note for the Windows Phone tool, an installer is not yet available, so you can instead us the development project as a base project.

Quick Start:

  1. Install the template. Note There is not yet an installer available for Windows Phone 8, so use the development project as a base project.
  2. In visual Studio, start a new Project and select the project type “Web App Template” under the JavaScript Section.
  3. Open the “config.json” file in the config folder, and enter data about your Web App
  4. Hit F5 and see you app in Action
  5. Update your app images and app details in the app manifest
  6. Submit to the store and reach new users


Web Application Template [Docs]



What can you do with WAT?

WAT is a very powerful tool and you can achieve many things. Some highlights are:

Live Tiles & Push Notifications

You can configure any RSS feed to update live tiles for your app or easily setup your website to push notifications and update live tiles even when the app isn't running.


You can integrate the share charm so your users can share content just like they would on any other Windows app


You can search WAT-based apps the same way you would in any Windows app - via the search charm. Try it now

Navigation Bars

You can add navigation bars which help users navigation around your app, just like in any Windows app

CSS Overrides

You can embed CSS styles which get inserted over the existing styles on your website. This is great for adjusting the style of the site when it is presented as an app

Hide HTML elements

You can hide name HTML element from your site. Great for removing the top navigation, footers etc which you do not need when the site is presented as an app


You can configure which urls remain inside the app and which ones open in the browser

HTML app

The config file is just a starting point. The app is a regular HTML Windows app which you can develop further to meet your requirements.


Very interesting project and one I'll be keep a close I on...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

AppFeds, your Windows Store web portal, with searching, stats and more

WinBeta - AppFeds goes live, a new online tool for Windows Store app developers

Attention all Windows Store enthusiasts and app developers, our friends over at have gone live with their new online tool as of today. AppFeds is a new online tool aimed at providing statistics, app data, and app discovery.

With AppFeds, you can track the Windows Store and see which apps are trending, as well as see the stats of your published app. You can even review and rate apps directly via the AppFeds website.

"AppFeds is the best way to discover new Windows apps, learn about price drops, view detailed app statistics/ranking history, monitor the store for specific keywords, provide a direct line of communication between app developers and their users, and more!  In addition, we offer enhanced analytics services for app developers such as an API and soon to be complete Analytical Suite.  We also offer promotional tools to help developers expand their user base such as Localization services and the ability to promote on AppFeds," AppFeds stated in an email to WinBeta.

The primary goal of AppFeds is to provide Windows Store app developers with market trends, app performance tracking, and the ability to analyze the competition. Currently, the service provides tracking for the US market, with more to come soon - especially with the data analysis portion of the site.


AppFeds - About

Want to know more about AppFeds?

AppFeds is a project developed by a software engineering startup based in the US. The service went live in December 2013.

AppFeds is the best way to discover new Windows apps, learn about price drops, view detailed app statistics/ranking history, monitor the store for specific keywords, provide a direct line of communication between app developers and their users, and more! In addition, we offer enhanced analytics services for app developers such as an API and soon to be complete Analytical Suite. We also offer promotional tools to help developers expand their user base such as Localization services and the ability to promote on AppFeds.

We aim to become the primary source for Windows developers to identify trends in the market, track the performance of their apps, and analyze competitors’ apps.

AppFeds currently provides analytics for over 110,000 Windows Store apps and ~770,000 reviews, with more being added and tracked every day.


I think the coolest part is the Stats


"Enterprise DevCamps Training Kit" - 85MB, Five modules, code and decks for the LOB Dev

Microsoft Downloads - Enterprise DevCamps Training Kit

The Enterprise DevCamps Training Kit shows enterprise developers how to modernize existing .NET client line of business apps to target back-end services running on Windows Azure.

Version: 1.0.0

Date Published: 1/16/2014

EnterpriseDevCampTK.exe, 114 KB [Kind of, more like 85MB]

This training kit shows how to modernize your existing .NET client line of business (LOB) applications for multiple devices. You will learn how to move .NET client LOB applications forward without having to start from scratch with new technologies. You will learn about Microsoft’s devices and services strategy, what it means for you and how your existing applications fit in. You will review best practices for using a services architecture. You will see how and why to move your LOB applications to Windows Azure, how to use 3rd party controls to add a modern look and feel and how to provide your users the ability to use LOB apps on a variety of devices, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. And you will do all of this using Visual Studio 2013 and your existing XAML skills!


The Content is installed into the C:\EnterpriseDevCamp\ folder, where C: is the home drive for your Windows Installation.  ..."

The file size is a little misleading as it's just a WPI (Web Platform Installer] shortcut.



And note the install folder in bold above, C:\EnterpriseDevCamp\. This is buried in the download "Supported Systems" note.

image Don't know why I couldn't find it at first... :/

So what's in it?


By size, PowerPoint... Yet, in some of the modules there are some nice labs and code...


If you're a LOB Dev, it's a pretty quick download...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Siena says, "Make Merry with Metro App Building with this Metro App"

Microsoft's 'Project Siena': A Metro-Style app for creating Windows 8 apps

Codenamed "Project Siena,' the "Metro app that creates apps" (as the folks at dubbed it) is available in the Windows Store as a free download.

According to the description, Siena's main target audience is "business experts, business analysts, consultants and other app imagineers."

Examples of the kinds of Metro-Style/Windows Store/modern apps that can be built using Siena include apps for navigating "media-rich product catalogs," apps for resolving customer-service issues, and apps that make use of photos, videos, pen and voice notes, tied back in to an "asset database."

"Siena works well with corporate and web data and media content: SharePoint lists, Excel and Azure tables, RSS feeds and the gamut of RESTful services," Microsoft's app-description notes.


Microsoft Project Siena (Beta)


Learn More

With Project Siena, you can create powerful, highly interactive, device-first, and cloud-connected apps in minutes or hours—as easily as editing a document.

Help Topics

New to Project Siena? No problem. Learn how to connect to your data, work with visuals, and author expressions.

Sample Apps

View and download sample apps, learn best practices, and see how other app builders are using Project Siena to build visually stunning interactive apps today.


Get the latest from the Project Siena team, including inside tips and tricks, sample patterns, and videos.

Microsoft "Project Siena" (Windows Store)


Microsoft Project Siena (code name) is the beta release of a new technology for business experts, business analysts, consultants and other app imagineers. Now, without any programming, you can create powerful apps for the device-first and cloud-connected world, with the potential to transform today’s business processes.

Apps to explore media-rich product catalogs and create ensembles that together serve a customer’s needs

  • Apps used on the spot to resolve customer service bottlenecks and logistics exceptions, with the custom intelligence to help the user make local trade-offs
  • Apps for auditing and inspecting a manufacturing facility through photos, videos and pen and voice notes, all tied to an asset database

Siena apps are as easy as editing a document. You place some visuals on a canvas. You hook them up to your data. You customize how your app looks and works. Then, if you need special logic and intelligence, you write some Excel-like expressions. You can use your app immediately, or share it with colleagues or the world.

With Siena, you can conceptualize, validate and build your app ideas almost as fast as you can come up with them. And if your needs change tomorrow, updating your app is no problem. Open it. Change it. Share it again, and you’re off to do business.

Siena works well with corporate and web data and media content: SharePoint lists, Excel and Azure tables, RSS feeds and the gamut of RESTful services.

Siena apps are just HTML5 and JavaScript and are deployed and managed like any other Windows 8.x app. In fact, developers can open them up, see what’s there and, if needed, extend them in their favorite programming tools.

Install Siena, watch one of the how-to videos at, and then build the app that you’ve been imagining... in under an hour.


  • Conceptualize, validate and build your app ideas as easily as editing a document
  • Connect to corporate and web data
  • Compose rich interactive visuals to create custom, unique apps
  • Add business logic and intelligence using the power of Excel-like expressions
  • Use the app yourself, share with colleagues or with the world


Looks like something fun to play with over the holiday's... I wonder if I can convince my wife to build an app? Now THAT would be a true test... (err... um... not of my patience... no... never that... ;)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bing Code Snippets - C#, JavaScript, HTML and XML code snippets for Bing dev's

Visual Studio Gallery - Bing Code Snippets

A collection of C#, JavaScript, HTML and XML code snippets for Bing developers.


The Bing Code Snippets package uses the Code Snippets technology of Visual Studio to provide blocks of code that you can insert into your C# or JavaScript Windows Store applications. These snippets support the following Bing technologies:

  • Translator control
  • Translator API
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) control
  • Speech Recognition control
  • Speech Synthesis (Text to Speech)


The Bing Code Snippets package requires Visual Studio 2013 on Windows 8.1. In addition, working with Bing Translator, OCR, and Speech Recognition technologies require that you download the relevant controls and acquire credentials from the Windows Azure Data Marketplace.


If you're doing, or thinking of doing bing dev, I think these snippets might come in real handy...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Besides tearing your hair out, how you debug why your Windows 8 Modern app isn't starting?

SupportingWindows - What to do if your Windows 8 Modern App fails to start

Good morning AskPerf!  David Alessi here from the Windows 8 client team.  One of the biggest support issues we’ve seen is with Windows 8 Store (formerly Metro/Modern) Apps failing to start.  This post is going to cover some of the most common issues that users run into, and how to troubleshoot them.

When troubleshooting Windows 8 Apps, first establish whether or not the App is starting at all.  When a Windows 8 App is first clicked the first thing that appears is the splash screen for that particular App.  For example:


The splash screen is a solid color page typically with the App’s logo on it.  When the App is first clicked, Windows is responsible for running the splash screen while the App gets ready to run.  If the splash screen is briefly displayed and then closes, this means that Windows is opening the splash screen but the App is not starting.

  • When the splash screen is displayed and then closes, we could be looking a permissions problem, group policy setting, or something configured in the Windows Firewall service - all of which could cause the start screen to not display Apps that should be there
  • When an App starts properly and cannot access local resources,  NTFS file permissions should be checked
  • If the App starts properly but cannot access network resources, then a likely cause is the Windows 8 App’s inability to work with authenticated proxies
  • If the splash screen is never shown, it’s possible that there’s an Application control setting/tool in place.  For example, a Microsoft Software restriction and/or Applocker.  Both of these Microsoft technologies are deployed with group policy.
  • Apps missing from the start screen can be caused by any of the issues covered in this article, just step through the causes one at a time

Now that I’ve laid out some common causes I’ll go over how to fix each of issues above.


There's a great deal of advice that I bet I'd never be able to find in this post... From magic log locations, Group Policy, permissions, registry locations and more, if you're writing Windows 8 Modern App's, you need to keep this post bookmarked (okay, bookmarks are so 90's... whatever you do, keep this post handy).

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

"Windows Store Apps Succinctly" 185 page ebook from, guess who?

Syncfusion eBooks - Windows Store Apps Succinctly


Windows Store apps present a radical shift in Windows development. They place content and interaction above all else to provide users with immersive, intuitive application experiences. With Windows Store Apps Succinctly by John Garland, you'll be guided through obtaining a developer license, to managing your application's life cycle and storage, all the way to submitting your app to the Windows Store.

Table of Contents

  1. Core Concepts
  2. XAML, Controls, and Pages
  3. Application Life Cycle and Storage
  4. Contracts and Extensions
  5. Tiles, Toasts, and Notifications
  6. Hardware and Sensors
  7. Deployment


185 pages, PDF and Kindle versions available for free (with name and email address)...


(via Around and About .NET World - Windows Store apps Succinctly: development made easy with Syncfusion)


Related Past Post XRef:
TypeScript Succinctly - Free [Name/email-ware] eBook
Getting sharp with F# with the free "F# Succinctly" eBook [reg-ware]
Syncfusion helps shed a little succinct light on LightSwitch with "LightSwitch Succinctly" (Reg-ware)
"JavaScript Succinctly" - Another free (reg-ware) eBook from Syncfusion
Get into sync with HTTP with the new free (reg-ware) Syncfusion Succinctly eBook, "HTTP Succinctly"
Spelunk the technical details of the PDF format with "PDF Succinctly" from Syncfusion (Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
"Git Succinctly" Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
jQuery Succinctly - Free eBook (reg-ware, PDF and/or Mobi)

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

"What platform should I use when creating a WinStore app" Flow Chart

John's Blog - Flowchart of App Writing

So, you want to write apps for Windows 8, but you don't know where to begin? Not a problem.

Here's my opinion on the best ways to get started, so cut out this handy chart and pin it to your wall!


Nice to see third-party platforms mentioned...

Now that's an Idea [Book]! Windows 8 App Store Idea Books (some with source too...)

Windows App Builder Blog - Idea books for commercial and enterprise app design—with sample code!


While many of the idea books examine app scenarios and show great design patterns, a common question is, “Can you show me the code that you used to create that?” So, by popular demand, we’ve published several idea books with sample code so you can see the exact code used to create the sample app highlighted in the idea book. Here’s the current list of idea books that have an accompanying code example.


Windows Dev Center - Windows Store apps - Enterprise Administration App



You don't have to invent the App Wheel, there's a ton of guidance, information, tips, tricks and even code for you to get started with...

Friday, August 02, 2013

Windows 8 Roaming Monitor Visual Studio 2012 Extension (Think "Sync Now + Monitor, View, and Manipulate State of Modern App's roaming settings" Extension)

kraig brockschmidt - Roaming monitor tool for Visual Studio

This is a fun thing–a few months ago the VS team put out the Roaming Monitor Tool in the Visual Studio Gallery. It's intended to assist developers in creating and troubleshooting your use of roaming appdata, providing status of current sync state along with a Sync Now button to force a sync rather than waiting for the system to get around to it. It also allows browsing and editing of roaming state.

This works with both the Express and Ultimate editions of VS 2012 (but not the 2013 preview for Windows 8.1 at present).


Visual Studio Gallery - Windows 8 Roaming Monitor

The Windows 8 Roaming Monitor allows application developers to monitor, view, and manipulate the state of their Modern App's roaming settings from the comfort of the Visual Studio 2012 IDE. The Roaming Monitor also allows developers to "sync now" in order to test end-to-end roaming scenarios quickly and efficiently, rather than having to wait for the normal sync interval.

If you're building Modern/WinStore App's and using roaming settings, this sounds like a must have tool...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Await no more, Amazon Web Services .Net SDK v2 preview out - WinStore, WinPhone and async/await

Amazon Web Services Blog - AWS SDK Support for Windows Phone and Windows Store Applications

Over the last few months, we have released a number of enhancements to help customers and partners build their Microsoft Windows centric workloads on AWS.  Just last week, we announced guidance for running Exchange Server in the AWS Cloud which builds on our guidance for SQL Server and SharePoint.  When it comes to .NET developers, we have provided tools such as our AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio and the AWS SDK for .NET.  In fact, we recently started a .NET Development blog so Windows developers can get tips and tricks on how to best program .NET applications using AWS. 

Our Microsoft tooling doesn't stop there.  If PowerShell is what you use to automate Windows, we have the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell.  We recently enhanced our PowerShell tools with automatic paging for large result sets and improved support for piping the output of a one cmdlet to another cmdlet.

Today, I’m happy to announce the Developer Preview of the next version of our AWS SDK for .NET.  This release of the SDK adds two major enhancements for .NET developers.

The first is support for the Microsoft Windows Store and Windows Phone applications.  With the new SDK, you can connect your Windows Phone or Windows Store apps to AWS services and you can build a cross-targeted application that's backed by AWS.  With this release, we add Windows Phone support to our growing SDK support for different mobile operating systems including our SDK for iOS and SDK for Android

The other big enhancement is our support for the task-based asynchronous pattern.  This pattern uses the async and await keywords and makes programming asynchronous operations against AWS easy.  For example, you can now upload files to S3 asynchronously like this:


.NET Development - AWS SDK for .NET Version 2.0 Preview

Today, we are excited to announce a preview of our upcoming version 2 of the AWS SDK for .NET, which you can download here.

One of the most exciting new features of version 2 is the ability to have Windows Store and Windows Phone 8 Apps use our SDK. Like other SDKs for these new platforms, all method calls that make requests to AWS are asynchronous methods.

Another big improvement we made to the SDK for asynchronous programming is that when you target Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, or .NET 4.5 the SDK uses the new Task-based pattern for asynchronous programming instead of the old style using pairs of Begin and End methods. Version 2 of the SDK also consists of a version compiled for .NET 3.5 Framework that contains the Begin and End methods for applications that aren't yet ready to move to .NET 4.5.

For a deeper dive into the differences in version 2, check out our migration guide.


Good to see Amazon provide this kind of support. It sure will help make building AWS WinStore/WinPhone app's much easier!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Win8Templates now at 71 - 71 Windows 8 App Design Reference Templates and counting...

CodePlex  - win8templates


Here's the current list...

Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Baby Journal
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Basic Game
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Block Style Color
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Block Style Picture
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Blocks
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Brick Style
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Cook Book
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Drawing
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: E-Commerce Electronics
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: E-Commerce Fashion
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: ECommerce Jewellery
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Education Dark Banner
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Education Guide
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Finance
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Financial Adviser
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Fitness
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Food
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Food and Dining
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Food Light
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Food Variable
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Forum
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Health & Fitness
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Health Management
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Invitation
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Language Convertor
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Lifestyle
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Lifestyle Light
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Magazine
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Matching
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Measurement
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Music
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Music and video
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Music Zone
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: News
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: News and Weather
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: News Big Image
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: News Dark
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: News Grey
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: News Light Theme
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: News Variable Tile
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Notes
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Photo Browser
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Photo Viewer
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Pillar Block
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Planning Diary
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Product
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Recipe
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Restaurant
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Shoe Store
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Shopping
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Simple Grid
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Solution
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Standard Square
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Text Keyboard
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Tracking
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Translator
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Travel and Tourism
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Travel Dark Theme
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Travel Light Theme
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Travel Picture
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Trekking Planner
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Tutor
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Tutor Advanced
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Unit Convertor
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Variable Grid Style A
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Variable Grid Style B
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Variable Grid Style C
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Variable Grid Style D
Windows 8 App Design Reference Template: Weather Clock
Windows 8 App Desing Reference Template: Education Big Picture
Winodws 8 App Design Reference Template: Social Feed

Should be enough to get you started doing about any kind of app? If not, keep watching as looks like more are added all the time...


Related Past Post XRef:
55+ Windows 8 App Templates... 55 "Getting Your Win8AppDev Started Kits" now on CodePlex