PDC 2009 Day 2: Developing with the Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework

November 19, 2009

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Yochay, a good friend and co-author of “Introducing Windows 7 for Developers” and of the “Windows 7 Taskbar APIs” MSDN Magazine article, is delivering a presentation on the Windows API Code Pack. (Which is a library of managed APIs to interact with Vista and Windows 7 features that are otherwise accessible only from native code through COM and Win32 APIs.)

This library replaces many of the sample managed integration libraries that our team at Sela developed for the Windows 7 Metro Training, such as the Taskbar integration library, the Sensor and Location integration library, and many others. It’s great to see these technologies converging into an almost-supported library, and especially great to see some of them emerge in .NET 4.0 (Location, taskbar, multitouch and other features).

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Yochay announced the latest version of the Windows API Code Pack – version 1.0.1, which mainly offers bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as many new demos.

Next, he demonstrated an application called Fishbowl which is the WPF version of the Facebook Silverlight application featured in Scott Guthrie’s keynote earlier today. It’s a full client application, so it can take advantage of the new Windows 7 features. It has a jump list with the latest notifications when the app is open or some launch tasks when the app is closed, and a thumbnail toolbar. Another example of an application taking advantage of Windows 7 is the Amazon Kindle for PC and it has a smart jump list with recent books and some tasks, as well as proper multitouch support.

Then, Yochay shows the XP to Windows 7 reference application called “PhotoView” which we at Sela developed. It’s an application that demos all the features of Vista and Windows 7 and still supports Windows XP with a smart plugin architecture. Yochay showed sensor integration in the app, which responds to ambient light changes by changing the color intensity of the picture displayed.

Throughout the session, Yochay proceeds to show us lots of code from the Windows API Code Pack itself as well as various demos that ship with it or that were built during the past few months.

If you’re not writing Windows 7 applications today, you should start thinking about giving yourself a competitive advantage. If you’re not using the Windows API Code Pack, go ahead and download it today, and use the Windows 7 Training Kit to bring yourself up to par with all its features.

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