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Crosslight for Windows 8/WinRT (further called "Crosslight WinRT") is built upon Windows 8 with the native XAML and .NET Framework subset for Windows Store. Although Windows Store platform leverages XAML which provides built-in data binding support, the Windows Store SDK doesn’t come with robust framework that facilitates MVVM pattern development.

Crosslight WinRT provides comprehensive components, frameworks and application infrastructure that make Windows Store apps development even better and easier. And best of all, once you build the user interaction logic and application layer with Crosslight, you can completely reuse them in other platforms such as iOS and Android.

Core Services Support

Crosslight WinRT provides comprehensive implementation to all core services required in Crosslight Foundation such as platform and view services for managing actions in both UI and background thread. In addition, Crosslight WinRT conforms to the interface and specification sets in the Foundation such as the application service and life cycle management, as well as navigation services, presenter services and mobile services. All pre-built services are implemented according to the platform’s best practices which results in rock-solid reliability and unparalleled performance.

MVVM-enabled Activities and Fragments

Crosslight WinRT ships with a comprehensive set of specialized page classes that support MVVM pattern development such as layout aware page and split page. It also includes robust components with full MVVM support which were lacking in the native Windows Store SDK such as navigation service with command support, application state service and data persistence automation.

The standard page classes from native Windows Store SDK typically contains only basic features and lack of functionality to support rapid MVVM development. The MVVM-enabled pages that shipped in Crosslight WinRT provide comprehensive time-saving features that automate the connection between the page and the ViewModel. This lets you quickly create pages and views for your apps in very minimal code that typically require a simple constructor and a few property sets.

Navigation Drawer Template

Crosslight 2 adds stunning navigation drawer interface for three platforms: iOS, Android and Windows Phone. In this release, Crosslight 3.0 adds a new navigation drawer template to Windows Store apps to complete the collection, allowing developers to leverage consistent navigation experience throughout Crosslight apps that spans across multiple platforms. Learn more

Semi-modal Dialog Interface

Crosslight WinRT adds essential UI components that were missing in the native SDK such as a semi-modal dialog interface designed with Windows modern look and feel. The modal dialog is particularly useful when you want to present subtle information or capture user input that should be completed without changing the current view context. The modal dialog is fully integrated to the navigation service and conforms to the Crosslight’s universal navigation API such as the navigation, result callback and the close actions. As the results, the navigation capabilities in Windows Store platform becomes on-par with other platforms such as iOS and Android.

Supercharged Navigation Framework

Optimized for key business scenarios, Crosslight WinRT provides navigation-aware support to the existing data controls – such as GridView and ListView – which allow you to easily implement master-detail navigation with a simple XAML declaration. Crosslight automates the navigation and data flow communication behind the scene, eliminating hundreds line of repetitive code.

Better yet, the page navigation is automatic and seamless – thanks to the advanced navigation service in Crosslight WinRT that conforms to the Foundation’s universal navigation interface. It also supports advanced features such as command support for Back and Forward actions, modal navigation and nested navigation support which makes it on-par with navigation in other supported platforms. These features enable streamlined WinRT apps development that purely build on the MVVM design pattern – without leaving a piece of user interaction logic in the code-behind layer.

In essence, you write code in the ViewModel that calls the method to perform navigation, it’ll just work without writing a code in the WinRT layer. That’s made possible because Crosslight has taken care everything – from passing selected data to running navigation life cycle and capturing user input.

Advanced View Framework

Crosslight WinRT includes advanced version of layout-aware and split page with full MVVM support baked right in – such as command support that integrates to the navigation service and bindable properties that react to view state changes. It allows you to rapidly build pages and views that conform to Windows Store design guidelines with data binding declaration in the XAML markup which results in maximum code reuse. This greatly saves your development time while at the same time delivering high quality apps that are highly testable, extensible, scalable and maintainable.

Automatic State Persistence on Suspend/Resume

Windows Store platform encourages creation of apps that focus on user experiences in which launched apps should restore the last state when they were suspended. This includes persisting the complete navigation stacks and the data context that were used to in each navigation stack. Unfortunately, the native Windows SDK did not provide a reusable framework to streamline the persistence operation.

Crosslight WinRT fills the gaps and ships with a versatile framework that automates the view state persistence when the apps are suspended and resumed. Integrated to Crosslight’s advanced navigation service, the data context passed in each navigation stack which conforms to the persistence interface will be automatically persisted – saving you hundreds of development hours just to make it work right.

Advanced Project Templates

To help you quickly jump start with the next WinRT projects, Crosslight sports three project templates that you can choose from – blank project, navigation project, master-detail project and the unique tabbed project. Unlike the standard project templates, Crosslight WinRT project templates are based on pure MVVM design pattern for maximum code reuse. As the results, the shared application layer can be entirely reused in other Crosslight platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows Store.

Highly Customizable and Extensible Architecture

Crosslight WinRT is designed with extensible architecture right from the start. Every implementation conforms to specific service providers or interfaces defined in the Foundation. You can easily replace any built-in implementation by either extending the existing services or creating your own services, then register it with a single line-of-code. In addition to the pre-built services, you can also create your own interfaces and services by using the guidance provided by the Crosslight Foundation.

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