Windows Phone Development Know your IDE

Having an overview of the IDE is necessary for the development in WP8. Knowing few basic if not all the features of the IDE will boost your development.

WP8 SDK Express Edition or WP8 integrated with Visual Studio 2012 can both serve as your IDE. One thing that may sometimes be a hindrance is if your machine does not support Hyper- V.This means the emulator will not work on your machine.So, testing your app will be a problem.For this using a real WP8 device is the best option.

When you go to the view tab, you will see lots of windows that we usually do not use. These windows are there for a reason.




The Toolbox displays icons for controls and other items that you can add to Visual Studio projects. To open the Toolbox, click Toolbox on the View menu. You can dock the Toolbox, and you can pin it open or set it to Auto Hide.

Items from the toolbox can be dragged and dropped on to the design view or pasted in the code editor. The toolbox only displays the items that the project supports. For Example, if you are working on WP8 project you will see the panorama item whereas you will not see it in a Windows Form project. If want to access items that are not in default, you can always access them by changing the project properties.

Document Outline

Document outline is a feature burrowed from Expression Blend. It is used to see the hierarchy of the items on the page. When you select an item on the design surface, the corresponding report item is selected in the Document Outline window and vice versa. It is particularly useful when grouping items and also while working with invisible items.



There are two basic themes in WP8. While designing the UI for WP8 app the design must work fine with both the themes. Device window lets you see how the UI looks in both the dark and light theme. Checking the UI in different page orientations and screen sizes has also been made really easy.


Solution Explorer

Solution Explorer provides you with an organized view of your projects and their files as well as ready access to the commands that pertain to them. It is a logical container for all the items in one or more projects.



This window is used to view and change the design-time properties and events of selected objects that are located in editors and designers. It consists of text boxes, dropdown list and check boxes that makes it easy to customize selected objects. Generating events of selected object is every easy through this interface.

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