Windows App Studio Closing
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 06 July 2017

Microsoft is closing down Windows App Studio in favor of Windows Template Studio, a Visual Studio extension.

Windows App Studio is a service that let users create Windows applications without needing to write code. The service (which was only ever available as a beta) started life as Windows Phone App Studio.

Once it was made more general than Windows Phone App, you could use it to create Windows 8.1 universal apps. One Windows 10 was released, it could also be used to create Windows 10 apps, and the plan was to include Xamarin so it could be used to create full cross-platform applications.

Apps created using the wizard-based service could be installed locally or published to the Windows Store.App Studio used wizards for all elements of app creation, including creating logos and images. It was also easy to access data from social media sources such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Flickr to display content from them using the templates provided.

The App Studio did make the full source code available as a Visual Studio project, so it could also be used as a starting point for more normal app development. 

The news that the service is closing wasn't particularly surprising given the last time it was updated was last July. It's still possible to sign up for App Studio, though after July 15 no new users will be able to register. Existing users will be able to sign in and work on apps, but you won't be able to add any new dynamic collections data sources. The application editor will be closed down in September, and the whole studio will close at the start of December. 

The alternative route to code free applications, according to Microsoft, is Windows Template Studio. This is free, and available for use with the Visual Studio 2017 Community Edition. This, like App Studio, is wizard and template based, and gives you a choice of project types and frameworks that you use to create Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps.



According to the Readme on GitHub:

"The resulting UWP project is well-formed, readable code that incorporates the latest Windows 10 features while implementing proven patterns and best practices."

You work by selecting one option from each of four attribute sets:

  • Project type:currently basic, navigation pane, and pivot and tabs
  • App framework: Three patterns are currently supported: code behind, basic MVVM, and MVVM Light
  • App pages: This is where most of the choice lies, as you select from app page templates. Current choices range from blank page through common layouts such as master/detail, tabbed, and web view, to pages that implement common patterns such as app settings and map control. Using the wizard, you can add as many of the pages as you need.
  • Windows 10 features: Lastly, you specify which UWP capabilities you want to use in your app, and the tool builds out the framework for the features into your app, tagging 'TODO' items. Currently supported features cover application lifecycle (settings storage, suspend and resume), background tasks, and user interaction (app notifications, Live tiles, and Azure Notification Hub).

Whether this latest venture into helping developers avoid code lasts any longer than past Microsoft projects - remember LightSwitch -remains to be seen.



More Information

 Windows App Studio Home

Windows Template Studio On GitHub 

Related Articles 

Windows Phone App Studio

Windows App Studio Does Universal Apps

PowerApps Launch

Microsoft Launches Siena

Microsoft Turns LightSwitch Off

Visual Studio 2017 Released 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 July 2017 )