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May 5, 2016

Kickstart UWP app creation with Windows App Studio’s open source UWP libraries and Samples App

Windows App Studio is all about making it as easy as possible to build apps for Windows.  The online tool helps you build apps with no coding required, so you can either start your project there and extend it in Visual Studio, or you can create and build the app completely in the tool.  Today, we want to talk about another way we’re helping to make it easier to develop for Windows 10: Our Windows App Studio UWP Samples app, which is powered by our open source UWP Controls and Data Sources libraries.  Open source libraries are incredibly useful in software development, but one of the tougher things for developers is to find good documentation and examples of code in those libraries without firing up an IDE.  The UWP Samples app aims to solve this problem and showcase the contents of the libraries beautifully and in an interactive way.


A bit of background. As we build out and add new features to Windows App Studio, we need to create controls and data sources that are standardized in a way that makes them work for the tool.  This standardization of the controls also makes it easy to package them in a library, so that’s exactly what we did.  There are two main libraries:

Each of these are open source with the MIT license and are available as NuGet packages and these are the libraries that power the UWP Samples app.  You are free to use anything in these libraries for any project and you don’t even need to assign attribution/credit.  Since they’re open source, you are enthusiastically invited to contribute new controls, data sources, and whatever else you think is great.

Windows App Studio UWP Samples app


The Windows App Studio UWP Samples app is now available in the Windows Store. What is unique about the app is that it lets you browse through all of the controls and data sources included in the libraries, without needing to write one line of code.  You can even adjust the attributes of the controls to mimic how they would look in your app before opening Visual Studio.  Furthermore, the app has the code and descriptions for each of the controls and data sources in the libraries, so you can even copy and paste directly from there.

Windows App Studio UWP Controls

As hinted before, this library is used in the Windows 10 apps generated with Windows App Studio.  The library implements common patterns used in UWP apps, and provides some user interface controls that help you create responsive apps that adapt to different form factors.  Examples of the controls are Variable Sized Grid, Pivorama, Carousel, Animation effect, and more.

Windows App Studio Data Providers

Within the Data Providers library is the code that enables apps generated by Windows App Studio to access data from different providers.  The library includes code to make easy integrations with the data sources used in the tool, such as WordPress and YouTube.  Since the library is open source, feel free to contribute back with a pull request and submit your own coded integrations to services.  Please note that some data sources will need you to sign up for keys in order for the APIs to work properly.

We hope these libraries and UWP Samples app will make it as easy as possible to develop for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).  Feedback is welcome, so please share your thoughts on the forums or User Voice. If you’re interested, visit the GitHub page and share your contributions to the library.  Feel free to fork the repository, submit pull requests, and contribute to the world of Windows development.