Design and Build User Interfaces With Blend

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Design and Build User Interfaces With Blend

The edition of Blend in Visual Studio 2012 includes two project types, both for Windows Store. One is HTML and the other is XAML. The HTML type is limited to the JavaScript language, whereas XAML allows you to code in C#, Visual Basic or Microsoft's Managed C++.

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Building a Windows 8 App With Blend

This is an example of Blend showing a Windows 8 grid application. In the middle is the HTML layout, which the programmer can design visually. At the bottom is the source for the HTML and CSS, with style rules and DOM information on the left.

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Quickly Change Color Schemes to Your Liking

If you're not happy with the boring dark theme, you can switch to a lighter theme, which some people may well find equally boring.

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Visual Basic Provides More Project Options

Although Blend is included, Visual Studio can also be used to create the same Windows 8 applications that Blend can. With Visual Studio, you have more project options. Although here we see JavaScript, you can also use Visual Basic, C# and Visual C++.

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Create Silverlight, HTML5 Apps With LightSwitch

LightSwitch also comes with Visual Studio. When you install the latest updates, you can use it to create not only Silverlight-based applications, but HTML5 applications as well, using either Visual Basic or C#.

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Using Open Data Protocol With LightSwitch

LightSwitch lets you use Microsoft's Open Data Protocol to easily connect to remote databases. Here we're connecting to a free read-only version of Northwind that Microsoft has made available.

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LightSwitch Lets You Work With Multiple Data Entities

After connecting to the remote database, LightSwitch lets you choose the entities you wish to model in your application. The entities include tables and views.

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HTML5 Lets LightSwitch Application Work With Any Browser

The running LightSwitch application uses HTML5 and can therefore be run in any modern browser.

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Designing a Windows 8 Application

When creating a XAML-based Windows 8 application in Visual Studio, you can use the designer to lay out your screens visually.

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Creating Solution Explorer Windows

Visual Studio lets you create additional Solution Explorer windows. These are actual separate windows that can be moved to additional monitors.

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Moving Document Files to Separate Screens

Another new feature of Visual Studio 2012 is that now you can move your document files to another screen and combine them into a single tabbed window. This works hand-in-hand with a second Solution Explorer window.

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IDE Search Feature

Visual Studio 2012 includes a new IDE Search feature that behaves much like the Windows Start Menu search. You can type in a feature name, and a clickable menu will fill with features matching that name.

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