Understanding UAP and Building Universal Apps With Blend 2015

This article will be dedicated to development of Universal Apps, leveraging the Universal App Platform and VS 2015 Blend.

Universal App Platform


Figure 1: Universal App Platform

This is a collection of Contracts and Versions that are a set of low-level APIs exactly against that a developer will be writing their apps. Everytime one has Windows 10 installed, they can go ahead and check out this file that will provide them an idea of what UAP versions are supported.

Windows as a Service

This is exactly where the fun begins. The APIs in UAP are a converged set that will be the same irrespective of the platform of Windows or the Version of Windows the developer is trying to deploy. The APIs are nothing but the superset of the same that we used in Windows 8.1 . Now, since “Windows as a service” will have regular updates the developers will not have an issue to migrate their solution everytime. They can simply build it against the UAP that will fit correctly with all the upgrades.

Layout of Apps



Figure 2: Layout of Applications

The fundamental of laying the application has not changed. Although there are a few new tags but the Package.appxmanifest remains unchanged. There is just one single HEAD project because since in Windows 10 we will target multiple platforms against one single Windows Core. There is no family-specific binary for each of them. But yes, developers can choose to have multiple Heads that can easily go the shared project style. This can be completely done by them.

Laying out the Interface

The XAML-based UI remains exactly what it used to be. There has been major focus on:

  1. Reusibility
  2. Quality
  3. Value
  4. Scalable
  5. Accessible

Let's start by making a sample application using Blend and making the full use of the UAP.



Figure 3: Choosing the UAP and Changing the Name



Figure 4: The XAML file



Figure 5: Choosing any device where I will love to run the App



Figure 6: Adding a Sample Data Source to the App



Figure 7: Dragging it to the design where it can run on the runtime



Figure 8: The sample data source has been added and is ready for building and deployment



Figure 9: App running on a Simulator



Figure 10: App running successfully

Exploring Blend and Merits of UAP

  1. Blend now uses the same Visual Studio shell that enables the developers to have the same capabilities in terms of IntelliSense, auto complete inside and much more.
  2. Blend has Data Management and Resource Management that are a few unique things that Blend must do itself that has been brought forward to Visual Studio 2015.
  3. UAP has made it possible to have one single binary across all the platforms of Windows.