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At //build 2014, we introduced features of Windows 8.1 Update that help enterprise developers move apps to modern, touch-enabled, mobile devices while leveraging their long-term investments in existing business logic code. Brokered Windows Runtime Components make this possible by allowing side-loaded Windows Store apps to interoperate with desktop processes outside of the app container. Full details are given in the whitepaper Brokered Windows Runtime Components for side-loaded Windows Store apps along with Harry Pierson’s talk from //build, Respecting Your Investments: How to Leverage Your Existing Code in a New Windows Runtime LOB App.
Great as this technology is, we recognize that the instructions in the whitepaper involve many manual customizations on Visual Studio project files and build scripts to make it all work. To simplify these customizations and automate the build process, we’ve developed Brokered WinRT Component Project Templates that you can download from the Visual Studio extensions gallery. You can also install them from Visual Studio by selecting Tools > Extensions and Updates and searching for “Brokered WinRT Component.” (They’re listed under Online > Visual Studio Gallery > Templates > Visual C++ > Visual Studio Extensions.)
Details on how to use the project templates are found in the description of the extension download page.
That's sweet, now when will we get a template for universal class libraries? :)
We really need more instructions on how we can use this in everyday scenarios, especially when we deploy our LOB apps via Intune. For example, how do we populate [Path to location of Brokered Components and ProxyStub]? Can we reference the apps installed directory to link to included winmd files? Or do we have to manually deploy these on the device ourselves?
Awesome. Now please remove the remaining hurdles that prevent side loading of B2B apps. Making it harder to deploy modern apps than to deploy desktop apps continues to keep us locked to the desktop in spite of the awesome interop and migration scenarios that brokered components enable.