Templates to Develop Windows Store Apps


In my last article, we saw the navigation patterns to develop a Windows Store app. In this article, we will see that a template is provided by Visual Studio for each navigation pattern. As a developer, we all are familiar with templates which are the starting point of application development. If you are familiar with the creation of an ASP.NET website then you are quite familiar with templates provided by Visual Studio 2010 for ASP.NET empty websites, an ASP.NET website with a pre-developed ASP.Net application. Once you are done by selecting your navigation pattern for your Windows Store application then it is very easy to select which template is best suited with the selected navigation pattern.
The Template selection depends on your application requirements. For example, if you are using a Grid navigation pattern then Visual Studio provides the "Grid App" Template for you. So in this article, we will see those application templates and item templates provided by Visual Studio. So let's get started with the templates.

1. Application Templates

The templates are available on the application level, in other words when you use a template to create a new application then it is called an application template. For example "Blank App", "Split App" etc.
The following image will clarify what the application templates for Windows Store apps in Visual Studio 2012 are:
When you create a new Windows Store app then Visual Studio has pre-defined application templates for you like Blank App, Grid App, and Split App. We will see those templates with their respective navigation patterns.

Blank App

If you read my previous article about navigation pattern then you may have a bit of an idea of what a Flat navigation pattern is. This Blank App template is the best suited to design Flat navigation systems. This application template creates a blank Windows Store application for you with some pre-defined items templates in it (we will talk about Item Templates later in this article).

Grid App

If you want the hierarchical design for your Windows Store application then the Grid App template is best suited to do it. As we discussed in my navigation pattern about Hierarchical navigation this template provides Hub pages then section pages and then details pages in the hierarchy.

Split App

As the name indicates, this is the template with split navigation where we have a master list on one side and the details of the selected item on another side. A Split application splits your application view into two parts, one master list view, and another details view.

2. Item Templates

From the above description, I hope you are clear about application-level templates provided by Visual Studio. In this section, we will discuss the Item templates. Item Template means the Item is in the application. For example, in your ASP.Net website, you add new Webpages or HTML pages that are nothing but the item templates for the ASP.Net website. In the Windows Store, we have various item templates available. When we select the add new item function in Visual Studio it opens the item templates available to add in your project. See the following image to know what the items available for Windows Store apps are.


Once you are familiar with Application templates and item templates then you can start working on Windows Store applications. Here I'm stopping this discussion. In the next article in this series, we will see how to create your first Windows Store application.

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