LinkedIn principal author Doug Winnie describes the tools that are used to build Universal Windows Apps. Tools that you will use include Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition, Blend for Visual Studio, a Microsoft developer account, and registration using your Microsoft Account. Optional, but helpful tools, include Adobe Creative Cloud to create graphics, icons and other visual assets for your project, and physical hardware that you can deploy your app to test your finished project.
- [Voiceover] Throughout the development of a Universal Windows Platform app, you will use several tools and technologies to create it. The main tool you'll use is Visual Studio. Visual Studio is an IDE, or integrated development environment. According to Wikipedia, an integrated development environment is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, build automation tools, and a debugger. Most modern IDEs have an intelligent code completion.
Visual Studio includes all of these. The term "build" refers to the compiler that is used to covert the solution to the application that runs on Windows 10. There are multiple versions of Visual Studio to choose from. Some are very simple and others are very complex. You can think of Visual Studio and the products within it as a spectrum. On one end, you have Visual Studio Express. This is the simplest of the versions and each edition of Visual Studio Express can do one thing. For example, Visual Studio Express for Windows can create Universal Windows apps for Windows 10.
It can't create web apps or older desktop applications. It does one thing, but it is completely free for anyone to download, create an app, post to the Windows Store for people to download. On the other end of the spectrum is Visual Studio Enterprise. This IDE can handle any project you throw at it. You can use it to build applications of any size for Microsoft technologies or others. Visual Studio Enterprise, however, costs as much as $6,000 per developer, so it's not cheap.
But for projects that power multibillion dollar companies, it gives them everything they need. So, that take us to the tools that we are going to use. We're going to use Visual Studio Community edition. This is a completely free tool that allows you to create applications for the Universal Windows Platform for desktop, tablet, mobile, Xbox One, IoT devices, and HoloLens. It can support tons of other application types as well, for web, Cloud, Office, and more. It doesn't support advanced features for larger products and for enterprises, but for you, as an individual developer, it gives you pretty much all you need.
The other thing you need is a Windows Developer account. This is how you register with Microsoft as a developer, to distribute your app to the Windows Store. It allows you to charge for your app and give Microsoft a way for you to get money from the sales of your app. Using these two things, you can create apps. Another software product that is helpful is Adobe Creative Cloud. Programs like Photoshop or Illustrator are important to create things like app icons, graphics, and other design assets that we will use in our app. While you don't need Photoshop or Illustrator specifically, you will need to have some design software to create these types of components for your app.
The visual assets that I usually create are created in Adobe Illustrator CC. While you don't have to have devices, they can help you test your app instead of using the emulators that are part of Visual Studio. An emulator runs a virtual version of Windows 10 for the various devices you will support. Emulators are great ways to test basic functions, but having actual hardware can be helpful if you go further with your Windows development skills. That's about it. Visual Studio and your Developer account are the essential tools you'll need to make your first Universal Windows app.
Finally, you'll experiment with your app to learn more about how Windows apps work, and then find out where to go next.
- Installing Visual Studio Community edition
- Working with C#, XAML, and the Windows SDK
- Getting a head start with starter templates
- Testing apps with device emulators
- Creating your first app
- Building interactions, game logic, and scoring
- Adding custom components
- Modifying design parameters in XAML
- Experimenting and updating the final app