Windows Application SDK (‘Project Reunion’) reaches version 1.0 – Visual Studio Magazine


Windows Application SDK (‘Project Reunion’) reaches version 1.0

The stable version of Microsoft’s Windows Application SDK 1.0 is live, unifying Windows API access for Windows 10/11 desktop applications in a new scheme that was previously called “Project Reunion”.

The “reunion” seeks to unify two API approaches to Windows application development resulting from the early days of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which comes with different APIs than the older Win32 platform, used for what is often referred to as “classic Windows desktop development.” This was the original C / C ++ platform for native Windows applications, delivering near-metal performance with direct access to system hardware.

UWP, a “modern” approach to Windows development, provides a common type system, app template, and APIs for all Windows 10 devices. UWP efficiently containerizes those apps with lower privilege levels and a bundled package identity. via an MSIX installer. The Windows Application SDK unifies these disparate sets of APIs by essentially decoupling them from the operating system and serving them through NuGet, because Microsoft ultimately decided that “Windows development is difficult” with the forked API scheme. .

Meeting Project
[Click on image for larger view.] Meeting Project (source: Microsoft).

“The Windows Application SDK does not replace the Windows SDK or existing desktop Windows application types such as .NET (including Windows Forms and WPF) and Win32 desktop with C ++”, Microsoft said. “Instead, the Windows Application SDK complements these existing tools and types of applications with a common set of APIs that developers can rely on on these platforms.”

Updated November 16 Documentation (after milestone v1.0), the company announced plans to invest in the Windows App SDK to remove more distinctions between disparate app models, noting that the SDK will include both WinRT APIs and Native C APIs.

Microsoft released a second preview of the Windows Application SDK last month, listing these components:

  • WinUI: This is the native user interface layer for Windows that embodies Fluent Design and delivers modern, high-performance, and refined user experiences to Win32 and UWP applications. This component is part of the Windows App SDK family of features, building on the transparent identity + packaging + deployment ideas that Windows App SDK also supports for applications.
  • C ++ / WinRT, Rust / WinRT and C # / WinRT: These provide native language projections of Windows, Windows App SDK, and custom types defined in metadata. Developers can use the Windows Kit APIs, produce them for use by other supported projections, and create new language projections.
  • MSIX-Core: This allows developers to package an application for distribution to Windows Desktop computers through the store or individual delivery pipelines. MSIX-Core allows developers to reuse parts of MSIX packaging history on older versions of Windows.

The updated documentation shows that the project currently sports these features;

Windows Application SDK Features
[Click on image for larger view.] Windows Application SDK Features (source: Microsoft).

Although the company has marked the progress of Windows App SDK in developer blog posts, the milestone v1.0 was announced yesterday (November 16) with a simple Tweeter from Microsoft’s Kevin Galloway:

The announcement
[Click on image for larger view.] The announcement (source: Microsoft).

Comments on the tweet noted that the SDK officially supports the new .NET 6, but is still incomplete in some areas, including multi-window support:

Support for multiple windows
[Click on image for larger view.] Support for multiple windows (source: Microsoft).

Indeed, the new roadmap shows multiple window support slated for v1.1 in Q2 2022, along with high (admin) support, push notifications for non-store apps, local toast notifications and more :

The new roadmap
[Click on image for larger view.] The new roadmap (source: Microsoft).

The project’s GitHub repository shows essentially the same things in the old roadmap style:

The GitHub roadmap
[Click on image for larger view.] The GitHub roadmap (source: Microsoft).

“The Windows Application SDK provides a wide range of Windows APIs with implementations decoupled from the operating system and made available to developers through NuGet packages,” Microsoft said. “The Windows App SDK is not intended to replace the Windows SDK. The Windows SDK will continue to function as is, and many core components of Windows will continue to evolve through the APIs provided through the OS and Windows SDK versions. Developers are encouraged to adopt the Windows Application SDK at their own pace. ”

About the Author

David Ramel is editor and writer for Converge360.

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