Microsoft recently launched Universal Windows Apps, which offers the prospect of developing apps for Windows and Windows Phone from one code base. They also offered a prize entry for all apps listed before start of June 2014. Well, that was enough for me to try my hand at one, but I failed to hit the prize entry deadline, but have just launched the first part of my Universal App – eXplore Visio for Windows 8.1. This app was supposed to be a simple listing of the contents of the various editions of Visio 2013, but it became slightly more…
I created a little c# program to create an image from every master shape in every stencil in Visio, and one to create a unique folder image for each stencil and template category. Finally, I uploaded all the images to Windows Azure Storage and provided global read-only access.
Now, I have a few years experience with XAML (Silverlight & WPF), so I created my Universal App with C#/XAML, and I chose to start with the Windows App first. I like to use MVVM Light, so I created all of the data and model views in the Shared project, set about adding Windows Advertising SDK and created a series of XAML pages in my Windows App project.
This is an example screenshot, which shows that there is a top and bottom app bar … which some people miss
The app allows you to search for Microsoft supplied master shapes using partial names or keywords … you can then see which stencil they can be found on.
It also lists the various Addons that come with Visio … some of them look like legacy code though.
Of course, there are spaces for adverts (I guess that these spaces will be occupied once enough advertisers have campaigns running), and I have listed various of my and Microsoft’s Visio references.
Next step is to complete the Windows Phone part of the Universal App!
eXplore Visio: http://www.bvisual.net/Products/eXploreVisio.aspx
Microsoft Universal Windows Apps : http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/buildingapps/archive/2014/04/02/extending-platform-commonality-through-universal-windows-apps.aspx
Windows Azure : http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/
Building universal Windows apps for all Windows devices : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn642498.aspx