Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Recap - Building Windows Apps with JavaScript is even easier

I had the privilege of representing SPR Consulting at Microsoft Ignite yesterday. It was my first experience attending a really big industry conference, which was cool in and of itself. Along with that came the opportunity to catch a session by Michael Palermo IV titled "Building Windows Apps with JavaScript is even easier". I thought it was a good high-level overview of some new app development features that are coming down the pipe with Windows 10, and wanted to share my notes on a few of Michael's topics that were of particular interest to me:

Hosted Web Apps

As Michael explained it, this is a web application that runs within the context of an app. Have an existing web site you want to have a corresponding app for? Just start a new Universal Windows app project, edit the config file to reference your site, and Build the Project.

Boom, it's an app.

This demo really impressed me. Not only does this mean you can create an app from an existing web application without many changes, but any changes you make on the web are instantly available within the mobile app without the need to redeploy. As Michael mentioned though, this is really only going to work well for web applications that utilize responsive design.

Lastly, and almost as cool, you will also be able to access Windows APIs from this app. This means the website you just turned into an app can also access device features like Notifications, Camera, Calendar - even Cortana!


"Create hosted apps across platforms and devices". Basically, you point this tool at an existing website, and it will read the meta-data of the site and generate a Hosted Web App for you! You can run the utility either through the Manifest.js site, or locally after installing the corresponding node.js module. Besides Windows, this tool can also generate Hosted Web Apps for iOS and Android (using Apache Cordova).

Essentially, it's going to become much easier to take an existing web application and package it up as a Universal Windows Store app. I've recently been dabbling with building Windows apps using JavaScript in pursuit of an MCP certification, so anything Apps + JS is of particular interest for me right now. I'm looking forward to trying out these tools & techniques in the coming months once Windows 10 is released.

NOTE: Building Universal Windows apps requires Windows 10 configured for development + Visual Studio 2015.

1 comment:

  1. JAVA in used to be a vital tool in the field of development. Due to new techniques creating the windows app in much easier with the help of javascript which is good for developers...
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