• Marc A. Brown

Developing for Metro

Can this old dog learn new tricks?

I've started learning about developing apps for the Windows 8 Metro UI. I'm a rank beginner in the area of XAML, so I'm having to discover my way around that also. The templates included with Visual Studio 11 Express give you a pretty impressive start -- a working app, including sample data. Figuring out how the stuff works evaded me for a while, but I've begun to break through the block. I'm not at the point where I could build a multi-page app from scratch, but I feel confident about my ability to work with the split and grid application templates.

In looking through the API documentation for Metro, I discovered that there's no provision for direct database access. I think I understand the reasoning -- the push for everything in the cloud, the desire for small, fast, responsive apps. But it makes no sense for a completely local app to need a separate service to allow data storage. Why not allow SQL Server CE access, for instance? I see that you can serialize objects to XML, but I haven't attempted it yet, so I don't know how efficient it is, nor what pitfalls there are in doing so as a form of data storage.

My plan is to write more articles on this subject as I work my way through my first "real" app, discussing the speed bumps I hit along the way, the "gee whiz wow" things I find, and so forth.

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