Windows Store App Project Templates in Visual Studio 2012

Visual Studio 2012 comes with several built-in Windows Store app project templates. Depending on the programming language you choose, you may see different number and types of templates. For example, if you select Visual C# or Visual Basic, you will see six (6) project templates Blank App, Grid App, Split App, Class Library, Windows Runtime Component, and Unit Test Library. See Figure 1

Figure 1

If you select JavaScript as your programming language, you will see Blank App, Grid App, Split App, Fixed Layout App, and Navigation App project templates. See Figure 2

Figure 2
In my articles, I will be focusing on Visual C# and XAML project templates only.

Each project template has a different purpose. Before you create a Windows Store app, you must understand the purpose of these project templates and carefully choose the best project template that suits your needs.

Blank App

A blank app project is a single page project and has no predefined controls or layout. You must add all pages and controls to a blank project. This project template is recommended for experienced developers who understands and knows what kind of pages, controls and layouts they want in their applications.

Grid App

A Grid app project has three predefined layout templates (pages). The project also supports the navigation between pages. The first page is a Grid view with tiles display. Each tile represents a group of items. Click on a tile takes you to that group details page. The second page is a group details page with group items listing. The third and the last page is the item details page and it displays the items details.

Figure 3

An example of a Grid template is blogging website that has multiple authors. The home page of the website is a set of authors with their bios. Click on an author will user to the Author details page with his list of blog items. Click on a blog item will take user to the blog details page.

Split App

A Split app project has two predefined layout templates (pages). The project also supports the navigation between pages. The first page is a Grid view with tiles display. Each tile represents a group of items. The second page is the group items listing in the left side bar and click on the left side item loads the item details in the right side column.

Figure 4

An example of a Split template is C# Corner where home page displays the category (WPF, Windows 8, ASP.NET etc.). Click on a category loads the second page with list of all items in that category and click on the article loads the article details in the right side bar.

Class Library

A class library is a set of functionality defined in an assembly. A Windows Store Class Library project creates a class library that can be used in any Windows Store apps.

Windows Runtime Component

A Windows Runtime component can be used in any Windows Store app regardless if what language the app has written in. You can think of a Windows Runtime component as a user control

Unit Test Library

A Unit Test Library project template can be used when you need to write test cases and test Windows Store app, Windows Runtime components or class libraries for Windows Store apps.


In this article, we discussed various Windows Store Apps project type templates supported by Visual Studio 2012 using Visual C#. In my next article, I will discuss how to create a Windows Store app using the Blank app template. Stay tuned!


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