Learn about two powerful open source tools you can use to build your UWP apps—UWP Community Toolkit and Telerik UI for UWP.
As a UWP developer, you have many options to help build your application quickly and reliably. In fact, there are so many options that you may feel like you can choose only one. Luckily, that’s not the case, and many toolkits complement each other in various ways.
Today, we’ll talk about two open source toolkits:
Both are open source, but each has different strengths. These two particular toolkits can bring tools and controls for a variety of application scenarios. Let’s start by introducing the toolkits and how they can help.
The UWP Community Toolkit is the ultimate collaboration between Microsoft and the UWP developer community. With dozens of features such as helper functions, custom UI components, animations and app services, the UWP Community toolkit is a great time saver and can bring your application to the next level.
The toolkit has had 12 releases so far and is currently on v 1.4 (released on April 3, 2017). It has more than 80 contributors, with thousands of commits, and the community is constantly working on improvements. Conveniently, it’s broken up into several nuget packages so you can pick and choose exactly what you need.
Examples of this toolkit’s power can be found in the Services namespace, where you can easily interact with social media services with as little as two lines of code.
Here’s an example of getting a Twitter user’s timeline:
TwitterService.Instance.Initialize("consumer-key", "consumer-secret", "callback-uri");
ListView.ItemsSource = await TwitterService.Instance.GetUserTimeLineAsync("user-screenname", 50);
You can find a full demo application here in the source code or here in the Windows Store. Go here to see a full list of the available features (controls, helpers, etc.) and go here to find the documentation.
Telerik UI for UWP, from Progress Software, is a recently open sourced toolkit that contains an amazing set of Line of Business (LOB) controls with which you can create native, business-focused, UWP applications. With controls such as DataGrid and RadListView, the Telerik UI provides the powerful sorting, grouping and editing experiences you might expect from a desktop application, as well as rich data visualization experiences with controls such as Charts, Gauges and BulletGraphs.
We recommend you check out the Customer Database Example application here on GitHub to see the DataGrid in action, as well as the SDK Examples app here. You can see a full list of available controls here and find the documentation here (if you’re looking for a little extra help, Progress Software also offers professional support in the premium package).
An example of this toolkit’s power is the RadDataGrid. With one line of code you get a bunch of out-of-the-box features like grouping, sorting and filtering.
You can install UI for UWP in your application using the nuget package or build from the source directly. If you would like to read more about why Progress Software open sourced Telerik UI for UWP, we recommend you check out this great article.
If you’re a developer who likes contributing to GitHub repos and giving back to the community, or if you have ideas to make things better for other developers, both toolkits accept pull requests and each has its own contribution guidelines (here for UWP community toolkit and here for Telerik UI for UWP).
Both toolkits complement each other. You can use them side by side in your application to bring the user a delightful, yet powerful, experience in your UWP application. With dozens of UI controls, helpers, services and more, you can get your UWP app to market faster and with more confidence than ever. We look forward to seeing your UWP Community Toolkit and UI for UWP powered applications in the Windows Store!
Clint works at Microsoft on Windows helping developers / Community champ. Before that, @ch9 and at 343 Industries on Halo.