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Simplifying Win8 Line of Business App Migration

, 22 Oct 2012
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An application suitable for most businesses adopting Win8

Please note

This article is an entry in our AppInnovation Contest. Articles in this sub-section are not required to be full articles so care should be taken when voting.

Introduction

I'd like to enter the App Innovation Contest however I cannot provide many concrete details as the application is I believe unique and as such I do not wish to give away many details in public. I hope that does not preclude me from entering the contest, I am more than happy to send specific details directly to a representative from Intel. This is for the Windows Store competition rather than a desktop app.

Background

One of the barriers to successfully adopting a new O/S such as Windows 8 is the huge learning curve that exists when creating Windows Store applications. My idea is to simplify the process of transitioning to App development on Windows 8 for Store based line of business applications.

I've worked over the years with many large companies in the UK that have tens if not hundreds of in-house applications that get updated infrequently and pose major hurdles to moving to a new platform. Often these are fairly simple applications that perform data access and display with a little data entry throw in - the sort of thing you might use Microsoft Access to produce.

Windows 8 and Store Applications heralds a new wave of application innovation where in-house developers of line of business applications have a lot to learn just to get started - and this area is one in which I believe I can assist, having dealt with some of the application migration issues that typical corporate developers face.

I have been working on the application for a couple of months now, it's not yet feature complete but I believe that I will be able to produce a suitable first version by the December deadline.

Audience

The application isn't specifically directed at home users, my target market is primarily Business Analysts, (software) Architects, Developers and any other stakeholders that may be involved from the envisioning of a line of business application to its eventual release.

At present it's generally a slow process to construct a new application for in-house use, and there's little tooling to make this any easier. There is often a huge disconnect between the desires of a Business Analyst (in the specification of a new or replacement application) to what is eventually delivered by the development team. It's not always easy to track versions, comments and other assets captured during the course of application development in a manner that allows any stakeholder to view progress.

I aim to simplify this process by providing a tool that can capture the assets generated during application design and utilise these assets in a way that will make life easier for all members of the product team.

Ultrabook Features

The primary capabilities of the app in regard to utilisation of Ultrabook features are as follows...

Touch : Members of the product team will be able to collaborate on the design of an app, using gestures on the UI to move assets around on screen.

WebCam : Users will be able to collaborate on the design remotely, utilising webcam for meetings/interactive design sessions

Sensors: Orientation sensors used to rotate, inclination sensors used for panning around a large design, NFC "Tap to Share" used on devices that support it.

The Goal

With this app I want to simplify the process of writing line of business apps on Win8, to lower the barrier to entry to corporate developers, thereby ensuring that more applications are available to end-users.

About Me

I have been working on Microsoft focussed development for many years, and spent 9.5 years working at Microsoft UK as an Application Development Consultant, concentrating on ASP.NET, C#, Workflow, WPF and Silverlight. I left in June 2011 to start my own company and have been successfully working ever since with several customers on bespoke systems.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Morgan Skinner
Founder MS Application Development Consulting Ltd
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I started work in 1989 for LabSystems, based in Altrincham. I had originally expected to stay for six months, but the job was so good I stayed for 12.5 years.
 
In December 2001 I joined Microsoft as an Application Development Consultant, where I spent lots of time assisting customers with their use of Microsoft technologies.
 
I left in June 2011 to start my own business, and I do contract development, knowledge sharing and bespoke application development.

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