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WinRT app to Universal app, how hard is it?

    Question

  • I've been spending much effort and sweat building an engineering software. It started out as a personal endeavor. Then it became an LOB app. Now, after demonstrating to several engineering groups, I'm thinking of expanding this app further to make it commercial viable.

    I'm a structure engineer.  Everything I know about programming (not that much anyway) is self-taught.  I just saw the news about universal app. 

    My question is I've been building my app in the 8.1 platform.  Will my app be obsolete soon?  How hard is it to retarget to universal app?

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 2:36 AM

Answers

  • From a Windows store app to an universal app is essentially the same code. There are no major API changes for Windows store apps. The big changes are for Windows phone apps which now use more of the Windows runtime rather than Silverlight.
    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 6:32 AM
    Owner
  • There are a few things that you might need to know about.

    A universal app could mean a couple of different things. It could be a solution containing three (or four if you target XBox) projects - one each for Windows Phone and Windows (RT) specific code and a third 'main' project that shares code between the others. The other possibility is to simply have separate apps (i.e. your current 8.1 app and a Windows Phone version).

    You can make your app universal by simply having two versions, linked via their store identities. This would require absolutely NO changes to your current app. The downside of this is that your phone version would be a different app, and wouldn't take advantage of the benefits of the universal app template.

    Or you could simply re-structure your code into a universal app, which may require a bit of work (to separate out the code that can be shared and the specific stuff).

    If you have no plans to make a phone version you don't have to worry about this at all and can just publish what you have. You can later link it with a phone version or create a universal version if required.

    I am about to embark on turning an app from separate Windows and phone versions into a universal app, but I don't know how much work this will involve at this stage. You can probably just plonk the two projects into a universal solution and not share any code as a starting point. 


    I'm a self-taught noob amateur. Please take this into account when responding to my posts or when taking advice from me.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 7:26 AM

All replies

  • From a Windows store app to an universal app is essentially the same code. There are no major API changes for Windows store apps. The big changes are for Windows phone apps which now use more of the Windows runtime rather than Silverlight.
    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 6:32 AM
    Owner
  • Thank you for your answer.

    How do I retarget my winrt app to universal app?  I did a search on the internet and found nothing.  I can't find any option in VS.

    I've updated to 2 RC.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 3:06 AM
  • There are a few things that you might need to know about.

    A universal app could mean a couple of different things. It could be a solution containing three (or four if you target XBox) projects - one each for Windows Phone and Windows (RT) specific code and a third 'main' project that shares code between the others. The other possibility is to simply have separate apps (i.e. your current 8.1 app and a Windows Phone version).

    You can make your app universal by simply having two versions, linked via their store identities. This would require absolutely NO changes to your current app. The downside of this is that your phone version would be a different app, and wouldn't take advantage of the benefits of the universal app template.

    Or you could simply re-structure your code into a universal app, which may require a bit of work (to separate out the code that can be shared and the specific stuff).

    If you have no plans to make a phone version you don't have to worry about this at all and can just publish what you have. You can later link it with a phone version or create a universal version if required.

    I am about to embark on turning an app from separate Windows and phone versions into a universal app, but I don't know how much work this will involve at this stage. You can probably just plonk the two projects into a universal solution and not share any code as a starting point. 


    I'm a self-taught noob amateur. Please take this into account when responding to my posts or when taking advice from me.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 7:26 AM
  • Microsoft still hasn't put out a Universal App template for VB.NET (only for C#, even though they claim there will be one for VB.NET at some point), but I recently found a good couple pages on creating universal apps using VB.NET:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vbteam/archive/2014/06/15/vb-universal-app-part-1-getting-started.aspx

    I am still hoping that the Universal App template for VB.NET becomes available soon, since I've been waiting for it since Visual Studio Update 2, but until then I will probably use this page as a guide for doing it manually so I can start separating the common code from the platform specific code.


    Nathan Sokalski njsokalski@hotmail.com http://www.nathansokalski.com/

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014 3:58 PM