I had the opportunity to attend the MVP Summit and some other events that were also running up in Redmond, WA for Windows 8 and ASP.NET this past week and if there’s one thing I learned it’s that Microsoft’s developers definitely aren’t sitting around idly twiddling their thumbs. A slew of new technologies are on their way which adds to the fun if you’re someone who enjoys learning, being challenged, and having access to technologies that can help you be more productive. For me personally, that’s the fun of being in the development world. Change is part of the game and embracing it is key to being successful as a developer - at least in my opinion. While it’s true that not every new technology deserves attention (and I’d agree that some technologies seem to move too fast), there were several I saw that have some great potential. The good news is that they’re available to start using or experimenting with now if you’re interested.
Web Development Technologies
For Web developers, there are several technologies that I think are worthy of taking a closer look:
- ASP.NET Web API (new server-side API for serving different data formats to a variety of applications)
- Knockout (client-side databinding, templating, and more)
- Upshot (client-side data sources, tracking client-side insert/update/delete changes, accessing server APIs using Ajax)
Here’s a description of the course:
Desktop (or Web) Development Technologies
Microsoft just released the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 and I’ll admit I’m really excited about it – especially the opportunity that the App Store presents. I have it running on both my laptop and desktop machines at this point. Check out Scott Hanselman’s post on setting up a bootable VHD if you’re interested in getting it going without messing up your existing OS. See my previous post titled Why I’m Excited about Windows 8 for additional details on why I’m looking forward to the new OS.
From a development standpoint, you have two options for building Windows 8 Metro style Apps that will be deployed in the upcoming Windows App Store:
- Build XAML applications with C#, C++, VB, etc.
If you’re already building WPF or Silverlight applications then the move to XAML-based Metro Apps will be relatively painless. Sure, you’ll have to learn the new WinRT namespaces, classes, and overall API, but things map up pretty nicely with the stuff you’re already used to. I’m a big fan of XAML based on my experience with Silverlight and WPF so it’s exciting to see that the skills I already have in that area can be leveraged to build Metro Apps.
Developers building Windows Forms, WPF, or Silverlight apps can also target the desktop mode of Windows 8 (non-Metro Apps) and existing applications are supposed to port over nicely to Windows 8 (I haven’t had a chance to validate this claim yet but everything I’ve tried over the past few days has worked perfectly). That means that various types of desktop applications can still be used just as they are on Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7.
John Papa and I put together a course on getting started building Windows 8 Metro Apps if you’re interested in jumping into that arena that can also be found on Pluralsight.
Here’s a description of the course:
There’s a lot of new technology coming our way in the near future. Some of it may change how we write existing applications and some of it may go the way of the Dodo and be extinct in a few years. It’s always hard to know what technologies to tackle but I’m betting on many of the technologies I discussed here sticking around for quite awhile. While it’s not all roses, I definitely feel excited about the future of Web and Desktop development and like the overall direction that Microsoft is going.