This is not the first time I've written about the Windows API Code Pack, and probably will not be the last time. However, this time I am reaching out to all Windows Developers who create Windows applications using the .NET framework--this blog post is for you
. We want your feedback about the Windows API Code Pack in preparation for a future release. And to all those who wonder whether the API Code Pack is still alive, fear not--it is alive and kicking! Some Background
You may think of the Windows API Code Pack as the closest thing to an “official” managed API for Windows on top of the .NET Framework. The Windows API Code Pack is a free, managed source code library provided by Microsoft as-is. You should consider this library as if you wrote that code. It is a great starting point and provides a really solid solution for managed code developers who create Windows application and looking to light up their applications. It covers a lot of the new Windows 7 features as well as some more fundamental core features from the Windows Vista timeframe.
The Windows API Code Pack's former name was Windows Vista Bridge, or simply “The Bridge”. We began developing the Windows Vista Bridge after Windows Vista and the .NET Framework 3.0 were released. Realizing that .NET Framework 3.0 was missing some Windows Shell and other Win32 APIs, which made it harder for managed code developers to use the full power of Windows. The team set out to create a “bridge” that would help developers to cross this gap and allow managed code developers to access some of the more useful features of Windows, such as Search, Restart and Recovery, Glass, and Power Management. The outcome of this process was the Windows Vista Bridge Sample Library
In the process of updating Windows Vista Bridge, we realized that the old name doesn't fit the new Library. Because this library is no longer tied to a specific Windows release, we decided to change the name to the rather unwieldy but descriptive Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework
. Unlike Vista Bridge that shipped after
Vista was released, the Alpha version (version 0.8) of the Windows API Code Pack was released on April 20, 2009, six months before
Windows 7 shipped. Releasing an early version allowed us to solicit developers’ feedback, update our feature list, and discover more bugs. It also allowed us to actually tell a managed code stories for Windows 7, since back then the .NET Framework (3.5) didn’t support any Windows 7 features.