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[UWP]Seeking best approach go upgrade XP kiosk application RRS feed

  • Question

  • It is time to modernize a old XP/Win 7 kiosk application to a UWP.  The are some unique requirements of the application so the question is how exactly should the new version be developed is up for debate.

    Old Application:

    1. the kiosk is driven by a web server
    2. the kiosk is a wrapper around IE
    3. the web server serves up a Silverlight 5 application
    4. the whole system is designed to run on a Intranet that is disconnected from the Internet
    5. customer's kiosks are rarely, if ever connected to the Internet
    6. when updating the system, 90% of the time only the server needs to be updated

    There are two key features here, #6 & #3.  #6 is really the most important because the system is designed for those that are not computer savvy and everything to simplify their livies goes a long long way to success.  #3 is important as to give the richest, most modern look as possible while keeping the core of the application on the server in form of both Silverlight and the web services.  I am looking for a way to maintain this model without moving to a HTML application.

    1. Can the existing Silverlight5 application simply be modernized to run as a kiosk application in a UWP mode?  My understanding is Silverlight's days are numbered, so I am better off moving away from it.
    2. Is there a way to develop a UWP whos core content lives on the web server?  I am thinking of the old 1-click concept where the link is on the kiosk system and it simply gets the guts of the system from the server when it starts up.
    3. Is there some way to deploy a UWP from the server to the kiosk without having the kiosk always have to connect to the Store via the Internet each and every time there is an update?

    Since the server is in the customers hands, HTML simply is not an option, it is too easy for the few computer savvy customers to hack the system (been there, experienced that!)  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to implement a new system that will run on Windows 8.1, Windows 10 on both tablets and desktops that meat the requirements?


    Monday, January 4, 2016 4:50 AM

Answers

    1. You cannot host Silverlight code in a UWP app. UWP Xaml code is similar to (but not quite the same as) web hosted Silverlight code.
    2. Yes. Take a look at hosted web applications: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/dn705792.aspx . This will be an HTML solution targeting Windows 10.
    3. Yes. This is a system configuration question rather than a development question, so check with the folks on in the Windows 10 IT Pro forums about MDM solutions. The update polices for side-loaded apps are internal to the enterprise's intranet and don't require connecting to the Windows Store.

    If you don't want an HTML solution then you'll really need to write a client app containing the parts you previously had in Silverlight. If you need Windows 8.1 then you won't be able to use the Universal Windows Platform (since it requires Windows 10), but a Windows 8.1 app will also run on Windows 10. You can write a client app / server app pair so that a Windows 8.1 (or UWP) client provides a UI to a server app and use your MDM solution to push the client out to the enterprise.


    Monday, January 4, 2016 5:24 AM