Jumpstart migrations to Universal Windows Platform with Mobilize Silverlight Bridge Technical Preview
by DeeDee Walsh, on Thu, Sep, 17, 2015 @ 10:09 AM
Windows Phone 8 developers have a new, free tool in their arsenal – Mobilize.Net’s Silverlight bridge which converts Windows Phone 8 Silverlight apps to Windows 10. The tool parses and analyzes the source code of Windows Phone 8 Silverlight applications, and translates forms, controls, properties, methods, events and other APIs to their closest analog on Windows 10. While the tool won’t convert 100% of the application, it will dramatically reduce the time and effort needed for developers to move portfolios of applications to Windows 10. Typical applications will see 80% or more of their code automatically migrate to the new platform. The new applications will run on the full range of supported Windows 10 devices including PCs, phones, and IoT devices. More detailed information can be found from Microsoft at http://aka.ms/silverlightbridge.
Accelerates Migration for Maximum Developer Productivity
Mobilize.Net’s Silverlight bridge is an add-in to Microsoft Visual Studio, available for free to all developers. It transforms C# source code originally written for Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1 into source code targeting the new Universal Windows Platform, enabling the new application to run on any Windows 10 device. Leveraging the automated code analysis and transformation technology in Mobilize.Net tools, the add-in accelerates migrations, dramatically reducing cost and eliminating project risk associated with manual rewrites. Developers can download, install and use the tool directly from within Visual Studio.
“The Universal Windows Platform provides huge benefits to developers by offering a consistent app platform on every device that runs Windows 10,” said Tom Button, CEO of Mobilize.Net. “The Mobilize.Net Silverlight Bridge gives Windows Phone 8 developers a significant productivity boost by performing a semantic translation of the Windows Phone 8 app to the Universal Windows Platform. The Silverlight bridge preserves comments, variable names, and structure, so the generated source code is readable, maintainable, and fully native to the new target platform, with no runtimes. As with all Mobilize.Net tools, our goal is to provide developers the efficiency of automation, with the code craftsmanship of a manual rewrite.”
“We’re pleased to work with Mobilize.Net to help developers reuse their existing Windows Phone 8 code to target the fast growing Windows 10 ecosystem,” said Patrick Stanton, Director Product Marketing at Microsoft. “Mobilize.Net’s Silverlight bridge tool will help developers save time and resources as they adapt existing apps to take advantage of the added reach and capabilities of the Universal Windows Platform.”
Open Source Extensibility
The add-in contains a rich extensibility model open to all developers, which enables third parties to add to the library of available mappings and transformations. Developers can convert Windows Phone 8 projects (.SLN solutions) to the new UWP Visual Studio format. This feature alone saves a huge amount of time and effort. Any developer can contribute to the Mobilize UWP Bridge project and the resulting mappings are also freely available. The open source project is hosted at GitHub at https://github.com/MobilizeNet/UWPConversionMappings.
Timing and Availability
The tool is available for download immediately and includes 700 mappings. More mappings are being developed and all 1200 mappings will be completed in early November. Developers can download the tool at http://www.mobilize.net/uwp-bridge.