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Creating Your First Windows 8 Application

Summary

This chapter described how to create a Windows 8 application by using Visual Studio and the Visual Basic programming language. The process is very straightforward conceptually. First, you create a user interface on an application page by using controls from the XAML Toolbox. The XAML Toolbox offers numerous controls for user interface features that have been optimized for use in Windows 8. The Designer window allows you to place and resize the controls on the application page so that they look good and take on the design of the Windows 8 user interface. Once a Toolbox control is placed on a page, it is referred to as an object.

The next step is adjusting the property settings for one or more objects by using the Properties window. Before you can adjust the properties for an object, you must select the object in the Designer window. Once an object is selected, its property settings fill the Properties window, and you can adjust them by clicking, typing, and selecting values from list boxes. In the Web List project you created in this chapter, you adjusted property settings for the text box, button, and web view objects.

The third step is creating event handlers for the objects in your program that are manipulated in some way by the user. Event handlers are written in the Code Editor with Visual Basic program code. This Visual Basic code, sometimes referred to as a Visual Basic code-behind file, follows the syntax rules of the Visual Basic programming language and connects the developer to the power and functionality of the Windows operating system. Event handlers and other Visual Basic routines are considered the core of a Visual Studio program; they process information, calculate values, set object properties, and use object methods. In the My Web List project, you created the Button_Click_1 event handler, which opens a webpage and adds the current web site to a text box when the user clicks the Visit Web Site button.

After the user interface and code-behind file for a project are complete, the application is ready to be tested against a variety of operating conditions. When you are finished testing your project, you can deploy it locally or remotely, which involves compiling the project into an executable file and registering it with the operating system. Finally, you can package your finished application and upload it to the Windows Store for global sales and distribution, a process that will be discussed more fully in Chapter 12.