How To Create A Windows 8 App For SharePoint Part 1 – The Planning Stage

September 15, 2012

The Planning Stage

There’s a big buzz going on around Windows 8 app development, In my earlier post “Create a Metro Live Tile using MetroJS, JsRender and the new REST API” I showed how to create a metro live tile using html and JavaScript and today we continue exploring this subject area and create Windows 8 app that interacts with SharePoint.

We will focus on Windows 8 HTML5 app, There are 4 main reasons why I chose to use HTML5 development in this example.

A) SharePoint developers will feel much more comfortable around JavaScript and HTML rather then in XAML development.
B) Leverage your existing skills, Win 8 App uses Internet Explorer 10 engine that has extensive support for web standards like HTML5 and CSS3 that we can use in our App development to create rich native apps as described in this article .
C) Create a *cross-platform application that can easily become a mobile app or even a SharePoint app.
D) HTML5 is the future so it’s best to always be up to date.

*When talking about Win8 HTML5 app and cross-platform it’s a bit tricky,why you ask?,Well Windows 8 introduced a new term called Windows Runtime or WinRT , basically WinRT architecture gives us the ability to talk directly to window’s COM-based API, a privilege that only C++ programmers had. Of course C# and VB.NET programmers could use P/Invoke to call the native API but it wasn’t an easy task and a significant overhead. Microsoft decided No more discrimination, C# and VB.NET, as well as JavaScript programmers now have the same power. With that said let’s get back to our cross-platform issue, it’s important to remember that you can use WinRT functionality only on Microsoft’s products like Windows 8 or Windows Phone so when you’re planning a cross-platform application maybe you should think using a cross-platform JavaScript libraries like Jquery, KnockoutJS etc. but keep in mind that it always more preferable to use the native API.

windows-8-apps

In our example we plan to use WinJS  or “Microsoft Window Library for JavaScript SDK”. WinJS library offers us a similar development experience we get from Jquery and KnockoutJS ,It provides a set of controls, a templating engine, a binding engine, Promises to handle the asynchronous calls etc..

Part 2 is the development stage and we plan to create a working Windows 8 HTML5 app so see u next time.

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