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Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML (Microsoft Windows Development Series) [Paperback]

by Jeremy Likness
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 4, 2012 0321822161 978-0321822161 1

“Jeremy builds real apps for real customers. That’s why I can heartily recommend this book. Go out and write some great apps…and keep this book handy.”
—From the Foreword by Jeff Prosise

Build Exceptionally Immersive and Responsive Touch-Based Windows Store Apps for Windows 8 with C# and XAML

This is the first practical guide to building breakthrough applications for Windows 8 from project templates through publication to the new Windows Store. Microsoft “MVP of the Year” Jeremy Likness helps you combine your existing developer skills with new Visual Studio 2012 tools and best practices to create apps that are intuitive and innovative. His guidance and insight will help you dive into Windows 8 development—and gain a powerful competitive advantage for years to come.

Likness illuminates the entire apps lifecycle, from planning and Model-View-View Model (MVVM) based design through coding, testing, packaging, and deployment. He covers both business and consumer apps, showing how Windows 8/WinRT development builds upon and contrasts with older WPF and Silverlight approaches.

Using carefully crafted downloadable code examples and sample projects, Likness shows how to make the most of new platform features, including integrated social networking, search, contracts, charms, and tiles. Throughout, he addresses crucial development challenges that have only been discussed on MSDN, blog posts, and Twitter feeds—and never with this depth and clarity before.

Coverage includes
• Mastering real-world Windows 8 development for all devices and form factors • Understanding the new WinRT framework and the unique characteristics of Windows 8 apps
• Designing apps that are faster, more responsive, do more with less, and maximize battery life
• Creating exceptionally fluid interfaces with VS 2012 templates, built-in animations, and XAML
• Building apps that respond consistently to multiple forms of input, including complex touch manipulations
• Using contracts and charms to expose services or enable users to do so
• Providing information to users through Live Tiles even when your app isn’t running
• Connecting your app seamlessly to multiple data sources, including social networks and cloud storage
• Syndicating rich, network-based content
• Using Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM)
• Securing Windows 8 apps through authentication and authorization
• Efficiently testing, debugging, packaging, and deploying apps

Frequently Bought Together

Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML (Microsoft Windows Development Series) + Windows 8 Apps with XAML and C# Unleashed + Professional Windows 8 Programming: Application Development with C# and XAML
Price for all three: $87.12

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


About the Author

Jeremy Likness is a principal consultant at Wintellect, LLC. He has worked with enterprise applications for more than 20 years, 15 of those focused on web-based applications using the Microsoft stack. An early adopter of Silverlight 3.0, he worked on countless enterprise Silverlight solutions, including the back-end health monitoring system for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Microsoft’s own social network monitoring product called “Looking Glass.” He is both a consultant and project manager at Wintellect and works closely with Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft. He is a three-year Microsoft MVP and was declared MVP of the Year in 2010. He has also received Microsoft’s Community Contributor award for his work with Silverlight. Jeremy is the author of Designing Silverlight Business Applications: Best Practices for Using Silverlight Effectively in the Enterprise (Addison-Wesley). Jeremy regularly speaks, contributes articles, and blogs on topics of interest to the Microsoft developer community. His blog can be found at

Product Details

  • Series: Microsoft Windows Development Series
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (November 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321822161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321822161
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeremy Likness is a 4 year Microsoft MVP and was named MVP of the Year in 2010. He is a principal consultant for Wintellect and has spent the past 15 years building highly scalable web-based commercial solutions using the Microsoft technology stack. He has 20 years of experience developing enterprise applications across multiple verticals including insurance, health and wellness, financial, supply chain management, and mobility. He is the creator of the popular MVVM framework Jounce and an open source Silverlight Isolated Storage Database System called Sterling. Likness speaks and blogs frequently on Windows 8.1, AngularJS, MVC, JavaScript, and related Microsoft technologies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ok to start but not too deep January 23, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is more like an introduction to Windows 8 App. You will get a history lesson of Windows development through the years, the book started nicely with the Image Helper app in a tutorial like fashion. The example throws an error (if you type the example as it is in the book), but author provided updated code. I got excited reading this chapter because of this tutorial step by step example, and I thought the book will continue this way all the way to the end, but no, that is it. Then you get random examples, author tells you to open the code and explains a few areas, but not the whole picture, so you keep wondering how this or how that works.

You need to read the example code and try to understand how things are connected. Especially things like the Visual State Manager on a Windows 8 app (Filled, Snapped, FullScreen), it looks like the app magically changes the view, but you have repeated code for each state and then things get hidden or displayed (there are some mentions, and you can figure that out reading the full code), but only devoted like 2 pages to the VSM, something that is very important. Doesn't give examples about doing something like this from scratch or how to modify the built-in templates. XAML section was brief, I know there are other XAML books, but there are many changes and specifics to the Windows RT apps, that I believe required more explanation than the one given. He touches the topics briefly, and lets you know that the option is there, but it doesn't go deep into almost any topic.

Another thing is that with the downloaded code examples, they include many custom helper classes.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Review of Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML

During the holiday season, I received the Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML by Jeremy Likness. Holidays are the perfect time to read books! Before starting the book, I was curious to know if it would be useful to me, since I created my first Windows 8 app (Canadian Developer Connection) earlier this year where I included a lot of Windows 8 features. It turned out that I was very satisfied with the number of things I learned.

The reader should have extreme confidence in the content of the book, given the author's solid experience and background.

The book starts with a simple app that is more than just a "Hello World" app. After the first app, a beginner would be happy to read and learn more.

The author took the time to explain some "under the cover" mechanisms of the new Windows 8 Store app world. Yes, the Registry is still present more than ever. This information is very much appreciated.

Reading about the controls, the application lifecycle, the way to save data, the charms, the packaging, the deploying and more, the reader will get a complete picture of how to take advantage of Windows 8 features.

One of the most important aspects about programming is testing. Even though this aspect is not only related to Windows 8 development, the author dedicates a whole chapter to testing and the high importance of doing unit tests. The experiences that he wrote about proved that even more. For all levels of developers, this chapter is a good reminder of one of the aspects we tend to push aside.

Throughout the book, there is code that is available open-source. The book is a great companion to the provided code and some of the code can even be used in your own apps.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for WinRT insight February 26, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a blog follower of Jeremy, I've always been impressed with his writing. This book does not disappoint. Can't go wrong with his work in this book. Thanks Jeremy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book gets straight to the point January 6, 2014
I have a number of books on this subject. I Like the approach taken and found the book to be very helpful
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don;t get his style of writing/teaching September 26, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the book primarily because I thought it was a tutorial of building Windows 8 apps. It turns out the author is just explaining the code he has written. He talks too much about extension methods and classes rather than talking about the framework itself and what a developer can do just using the WinRT API. Maybe its because I do not understand his technique, but I found it really difficult following along as his explanations mostly started with "I started by...". Most tutorial or API books will focus on the API. For example, Instead talking about the Notification API as part of the runtime, he was talking about extension classes that have been written or that Microsoft provided as part of the SDK. I would have loved to see him talk about how I can use the API, rather than how he or Microsoft may have used it. For instance, during the talk on Tiles, I expected to see a discussion on classes like the TileUpdateManager, BadgeUpdateManager, etc. Instead he was discussing a wrapper class that came with the API.

If you already know the WinRT API, this book is perfect for you, but I cannot recommend it if you are beginning the API.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is the perfect size and the perfect depth for getting up to speed quickly with building Windows 8 Store Applications.

The book starts by introducing WinRT. This introduction includes a really nice history of how Microsoft got to where they are now. It starts with a look back at MS-DOS, MS-DOS Executive, the Win32 API, COM, and.NET. The introduction leads us up to NUI (Natural User Interface) and the Windows Store Application Design Principles.

The first chapter ends with a look at the Windows 8 tool that are available to developers and designers. They include, Blend for Visual Studio, C++ and XAML, HTML5 and JavaScript, and VB/C# and XAML.

I have listed all the chapters below.

1. The New Windows Runtime
2. Getting Started
3. Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML)
4. Windows 8 Applications
5. Application Lifecycle
6. Data
7. Tiles and Toasts
8. Giving Your Application Charm
9. MVVM and Testing
10. Packaging and Deploying

The Getting Started chapter covers setting up your environment, which includes Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, and expression blend for Visual Studio. It also covers the details of all the available project templates that come in the Windows Store category of Visual Studio's project templates.

The book then continues on with a nice overview of XAML. The author does a good job of covering a lot of topics as well as going in-depth enough to give you a thorough understanding of the topics that he chose to cover. XAML is a big topic, but the author did a great job of covering the essentials needed to get started.

Chapter 4, Windows 8 Applications, starts out with a nice overview of the Windows 8 simulator that comes with the development environment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written
Not sure if he was in a rush or didn't really care a lot, but this book was written with little time for review. I emailed him several months ago, no response. Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. Bess
2.0 out of 5 stars no depth or structure for me
Subjects are not treated in-depth, nor introduced in a structured manner. Not a useful book for me. 350 pages of big print. Read more
Published 6 months ago by depelover
1.0 out of 5 stars don't buy it!
I expected to learn a lot from this book, and was looking forward to doing so. Unfortunately there are very many errors in source code of the second chapter of this book (at least... Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. Elzen
2.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy code examples
I've only gone through the first example (the ImageHelper app), and it is not leaving a good first impression. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Christian Allred
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
A great book! It is entertaining and informative. It doesn't read like a text book. It has real life examples and covers the subject beautifully
Published 13 months ago by Mark D. Baumbach
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book
This is a good book.
Not only does the writer describe Win8 development but he also explains the techniques you come in contact with while developing.
Published 13 months ago by Thomas C
2.0 out of 5 stars First book out
So not much more than what Microsoft released as doc sometime later. An introduction for Silverlight people. XAML updates mostly.
Published 13 months ago by Glenn R.
2.0 out of 5 stars too much filler
- too much filler: books goes on and on about windows history and other random topics
- does not spend enough time explaining the samples. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Osama Mazahir
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit incoherent...
This book lacks proper organization of topics, provides sub-par hands-on examples/opportunities, and the author is incoherent with his thoughts. Read more
Published 15 months ago by V. Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book gives the examples and instructions needed to make the development learning process easier. I would recommend this book to other developers.
Published 15 months ago by Jeffrey McGuffee
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