Microsoft Killing Windows App Studio Low-Code Tool, Offers Open Source Replacement
Microsoft is closing its free wizard-based online tool for building Universal Windows Applications (UWAs) in favor of an open source replacement.
After a four-year period, Windows App Studio will close on December 1, after which the new open-source Windows Template Studio project – hosted on GitHub – will continue with an improved code generation engine and workflow wizard.
“Windows Template Studio is a Visual Studio 2017 extension that speeds up building new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications using a wizard-based experience,” the GitHub site says. âThe resulting UWP project is well-formed, readable code that incorporates the latest features of Windows 10 while implementing proven models and best practices. Throughout the generated code we have Docs, Stack Overflow, and Blogs links to provide useful information.
Thanks to its tight integration with the Visual Studio IDE, Windows App Studio (previously known as Windows Phone App Studio), allows Windows developers to create phones or other apps that can be published to the Windows Store. While leveraging a wizard-driven, GUI-based development experience that was typically used for web apps and simple content streaming apps, users could easily transition from Windows to App Studio projects. to Visual Studio for more advanced programming or code compilation and submission to Windows Dev Center.
Windows App Studio featured wizards for creating logos and images, for example, and easily linked to social media sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook to display their content using customizable theme templates.
As the name suggests, the new Windows Template Studio will continue to rely on templates, as its founding principles reveal:
- The generated models will remain simple.
- The models generated are a starting point, not a finished application.
- Models generated once generated must be able to be compiled and run.
- The generated models should work on all device families.
- Models should have comments to help developers. This includes links to registration pages for keys, MSDN, blogs, and how-tos. All advice provided must be validated by the creator of the framework / SDK / library.
- All features will be supported for the current two release cycles of the Windows SDK for Windows 10 or until another principle replaces it.
- Models released to production will attempt to adhere to the design language used in the current version of Windows 10.
- The code should follow the .NET Core encoding style.
The new tool offers a choice of project types including Basic, Navigation Pane, Pivot, and Tabs, as well as Frames, such as Code Behind, Basic MVVM, and Light MVVM. Once these choices are made, developers can choose to add a number of template-based “app pages” for common layouts such as master / detail view, tabbed, and web. Additionally, developers can choose which Windows 10 features to implement.
âYou specify the UWP capabilities you want to use in your app, and we’ll build the framework of features in your app, tagging the items ‘TODO’,â the project’s GitHub site says. âCurrently supported features cover the application lifecycle (store settings, suspend and resume), background tasks, and user interaction (app notifications, live tiles and Azure Notification Hub).
âOnce you’ve selected the attributes that you want your new UWP app to have, you can quickly extend the generated code. ”
According to the Windows Template Studio roadmap, a version 1.2 is slated for this month, followed by a version 1.3 next month. The first version 0.5 debuted in April and the project was officially presented in May.
âWindows Template Studio is the evolution of Windows App Studio,â Microsoft said in a blog post Friday. âWe’ve learned from the existing code generation engine and wizard to provide a solid foundation for our code generation and development experience in Windows Template Studio. Best of all, it’s open source at http: // aka.ms/wts.
The Windows App Studio shutdown process includes a July 15 deadline for new users to sign in and other shutdown measures. On September 1, the app editor will stop working and the data provided by the API will not be available for existing apps, with the full shutdown taking place on December 1.
David Ramel is editor and writer for Converge360.