Some of you might remember that I blogged about the Windows 7 managed code API’s accessible via the Windows API Code Pack a little while ago, well I just would like to clarify that point and say the Windows API Code Pack is not just for Windows 7 developers and provides many exciting features never easily been available through a managed API before!
Check this out:
The Windows® API Code Pack for Microsoft® .NET Framework provides a source code library that can be used to access some new Windows 7 features (and some existing features of older versions of Windows operating system) from managed code. These Windows features are not available to developers today in the .NET Framework.
The individual features supported in this version (v1.0) of the library are:
- Windows 7 Taskbar Jump Lists, Icon Overlay, Progress Bar, Tabbed Thumbnails, and Thumbnail Toolbars.
- Windows 7 Libraries, Known Folders, non-file system containers.
- Windows Shell Search API support, a hierarchy of Shell Namespace entities, and Drag and Drop functionality for Shell Objects.
- Explorer Browser Control.
- Shell property system.
- Windows Vista and Windows 7 Common File Dialogs, including custom controls.
- Windows Vista and Windows 7 Task Dialogs.
- Direct3D 11.0, Direct3D 10.1/10.0, DXGI 1.0/1.1, Direct2D 1.0, DirectWrite, Windows Imaging Component (WIC) APIs. (DirectWrite and WIC have partial support)
- Sensor Platform APIs
- Extended Linguistic Services APIs
- Power Management APIs
- Application Restart and Recovery APIs
- Network List Manager APIs
- Command Link control and System defined Shell icons.
As well as all the cool stuff there, the key point being there that this does not apply just to Windows 7 developers and users, which is existing and existing features from older versions of the operating system are now available where they haven’t been before also!
One feature I would be particularly interested in is the new access to the task dialog controls built-in to this managed API; you might recall I blogged about the “PSTaskDialog” back in January to achieve the same thing – the new slick looking task dialogs you see in Windows Vista and Windows 7 today, but it was a third-party managed API to an unmanaged codebase lacking features.
Finally an answer from Microsoft which bridges the gap and all the great stuff our fellow C++ developers have always taken for granted.
PS. Rudi Grobler has an exciting use of the Sensor Platform API where he changes a WPF theme based on real-life ambient light!