Monday, October 03, 2016

Trying out the new Windows App Development Virtual Machines #UWPLunch

All this month, I'm taking some time each day to explore (and document) things that are related to UWP development that I haven't fully investigated or used before. While doing it over lunch each day I'm calling it #UWPLunch.

At the end of last week, Microsoft (Hi Clint) announced the release of some updated virtual machine images for doing Windows App Development. While I always like having real hardware to run on (it's just faster) I appreciate the need for having a consistent development machine image and it's always good to have a backup. Recently, while preparing to move house and with all other machines packed in boxes my dev machine had a disk failure and I needed to get another dev environment set up quick to create a new release build of an app for a client who needed it ASAP. Using these VMs then might have saved me a lot of faffing around and unpacking.

Knowing these are available is great, but how easy are they to actually use?
Follow along as I see.

I started by going to the Azure portal and searching for a virtual machine that included "Windows SDK".

There's a few there so I selected the first on the list and hit create.

Then it was a case of specifying some details and selecting a machine size and specifying some network settings (which I left as all default values).

Then I just pressed OK and a VM was created for me.

Deployment took a few minutes (8 minutes and 40 seconds to be precise) and then I was able to remotely connect to it via RDP by clicking on the 'connect' link at the top of the screen.

I then entered the credential specified when creating the machine and trusted the certificate when prompted.
And then I had a virtual machine up and running and capable of use as a development environment.

All my favourite project templates are there

and I can create and run new UWP apps.


Based on this experience I'll definitely keep a VM around and fully set up for my next UWP project. I never know when I won't have a dev machine handy but need to make a change.I'll also keep an eye out for how updates to the installed tools are handled.


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