Companies that plan to migrate to Windows 8 may need to customize their business applications for the new operating system and for new form factors.
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That could involve rewriting applications themselves; outsourcing app development; or buying third-party tools from companies such as Kony Solutions Inc. or Telerik, which updated its DevCraft tool set for Windows 8 this week.
The latest update includes touch enhancements, cloud data synchronization, and cloud mobile back-end services for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone application development. The package integrates with Microsoft's Visual Studio, providing developers with additional capabilities and tools beyond what Visual Studio offers.
Although the new tool set will primarily be used as a mobile development platform for .NET developers, in-house developers also can use them to create applications for their own environment.
This time around, many corporate applications, such as sales and customer management systems, are on the desktop but will be migrated to a Windows 8 tablet, according to Atley Hunter, a Microsoft MVP developer for Windows 8 Phone and Windows 8 applications at Code Creators. His "forward-thinking" customers have hired the firm to deliver business desktop applications for the Windows 8 mobile environment, he said.
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Hunter has been using Telerik's software development tools for many years, and said he finds their development tools more robust, "polished and evolved," compared with other third party options.
Although many large organizations have yet to deploy Windows 8 in the near-term, the new tools should help IT and others within an organization to consider how their line-of-business applications will eventually work under the future Windows environment.
Meanwhile, the new second-quarter release of DevCraft provides a broad sweep of 10 new controls and more than 250 new features, including those focused on touch and mobility.
"All controls are written from the ground up to support touch," said Phil Japikse, Telerik's evangelist. More devices are being touch-enabled, and DevCraft enables developers to take existing code and apply themes to make it touch-friendly, he said.
The new update also provides enhanced support for Internet Explorer 10 and other mobile features, such as cloud data synchronization. This feature enables Windows Phone end users to store data locally, then sync the data to the cloud when the device connects.
The DevCraft update is also intended to reduce development time for mobile cloud back-end services, such as data and file storage and cloud code execution, so that developers can focus on user functionality and experience.
The list price for DevCraft ranges from $1,299 to $1,999.
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