A Delphi UWP App on Windows 10 Store
Using the Windows Desktop Bridge (aka Project Centennial), I've been able to publish a Delphi-based UWP application on the Windows Store, for Windows 10 Anniversary Update desktop user. This is great news as it proves in practice a long anticipated opportunity Microsoft is giving to developers with Win32/Win64 code bases. The desktop bridge, in fact, allows developers to take existing applications based on the Windows API and package them as UWP applications (or appx packages) to be distributed directly to Windows users or to be distributed (and sold) via the Microsoft store.
The specific app in question is a Win64 FireMonkey app, the Windows version of my (and my son) My Minifigures app that is fairly popular on Android (with over a quarter million downloads). The Windows version hasn't been clean up and optimized much, so it feels a bit odd -- hope to have time in the next few days to make it work better on Windows.
You can find the app here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/my-minifigures/9nblggh42ct8
The point I want to make, of course, is not about the app itself but the fact that this is becoming a very interesting way to distribute applications built with RAD Studio. I showed the install process in the Berlin Update 2 Webinar we did yesterday (replays will become available) and we also explained in that same webinar how RAD Studio will make it extremely simple to create appx packages with IDE integrated support -- in a very similar way of creating mobile and macOS packages with the IDE. This is going to be another first, as (for what I know) Visual Studio still lacks integrated IDE support for the Windows Desktop Bridge.
As soon as we'll release Update 2 I'll follow up with a lot more technical details. If you want to get started, though, there are two steps you should do. The first is submit you Desktop Bridge app request to Microsoft at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/projects/campaigns/desktop-bridge. The second is to actually register yourself as an app developer with Microsoft, at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/store/register. There is a one time only fee of 19 USD/EUR or 99 USD/EUR for individuals or companies.
I'll follow up soon with the steps needed for store deployment, compared to what it is needed to create an appx package for direct use, something I already covered in this blog a few months ago.
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Do you know where I can find info re adding files to the UWP LocalFolder when creating the appx package using Desktop Bridge and how to access that folder from my Delphi app?