Migration of existing Application to Win 8/8.1 RT Platform


How many times we have thought what could be the best possible ways of migrating our existing applications to support Win 8/8.1 RT platform. We stepped back thinking that migration estimate will be huge and it will not go easy for us to derive a better conclusion on this aspect. Today I would like to share some of my thoughts on this migration aspect which I hope might help my fellow developers and architects to draw a better picture for this activity.

Let us divide this migration activity into three important aspects: User Experience,Architectural Design Areas and last but not least Integration and Security aspect. Lets have a detailed understanding how we are going to touch base each of these aspects.

User Experience

  1. Thought process should start of providing Fast and Fluid Responsive UI design for Windows 8 Style App.
  2. Enhance of Touch experience is pretty important to make user in control of across multiple form factors like mobile, tablet, desktop or laptop
  3. Provide Contracts and Notifications to User to share data between multiple applications and getting live details in one place
  4. Integration of Live Tile to get real-time data involved
  5. Consider support of multiple device integration aspect

Architectural Design

  1. Presentation layer to be developed using XAML with C#/VB.NET, HTML5 and CSS3 with JavaScript, Plus Direct with native C++, XAML with C++. This means we need to emphasize on restructuring the ASP.NET UI to take advantage of Win 8 Style UI capabilities
  2. For existing ASP.NET application migrate from (ASP.NET (MVP), HTML/JavaScript and AJAX) to (XAML with WinRT or HTML5 with CSS3 and WinJS)
  3. For existing Silverlight/WPF application migrate from XAML to (XAML with WinRT or HTML5 with CSS3 and WinJS)
  4. For existing Winform application migrate from (VB.NET and VB 6.0) to (XAML with WinRT or HTML5 with CSS3 and WinJS)
  5. Redeveloping the Business layer using Portable Class library and extend services to Cloud with WCF/RESTful wrapper
  6. We need to emphasize on moving ASP.NET API calls from code-behind files to corresponding WinRT APIs.
  7. We have to remove Flash Player, Silverlight Components and ActiveX Components since they are not supported by WinRT.
  8. Consider migration of all Synchronous code written in code-behind to Asynchronous code.
  9. Emphasize on exposing DAL logic through WCF Services since WinRT doesn’t support direct connection to SQL Server.
  10. Provide updated Content with Live Titles and Notifications which utilizeWindows Push Notification Service
  11. Emphasize on considering migrating of Services to WCF v4.5 to take advantage of Asynchronous API.
  12. Synchronization of App, data, etc., across all devices like sync content back to Tablet/PC having native connectivity of data with Cloud based Storages
  13. Connecting Apps, Files, PCs and Devices to the cloud using SkyDrive having the facility for uploading documents to SkyDrive.

Integration and Security Concepts

  1. Leverage SkyDrive storage to store files and data reducing the redundancy of data on user system
  2. Implementing SSO (Single Sign On) as part of Live SDK Integration
  3. Using Azure Toolkit to store data in cloud and Push Notification Service
  4. Using a new logon methods like Four digit PIN/Picture password
  5. Promoting new booting mechanism, Unified Extensible firmware interface to offer a better security, faster start up times and avoid unauthorized firmware
  6. Packaging manifest containing deployment instructions, intervention for device resources.
  7. Considering Trust Based Security like using SAML Token, STS Provider, 2-Way Certificates, etc., for migration
  8. Consider Integration Patters like App-to-App, App-to-Cloud or Enterprise-to-Cloud

As I have covered the major work areas that we need to consider as part of this migration aspect, we should also emphasize on the deployment perspective for the migrated application. We should be looking out for deploying our application toWindows 8 Marketplace (Apps Store) where Tablet, Mobile and PC users can make use of this application.

I hope this article will provide my fellow developers a generic idea how to start and come up with the migration platform.


  1. This is a great article, it would be really nice to have a more general procedure. How about legacy VB6 to C#, or other legacy applications (i.e. ASP) to Win 8 / 10 / Azure? Legacy application modernization on Windows is somewhat of a neglected corner of the IT world. It’s great to see articles like this that fill the gap. Thanks for the good work Joydeep!


    1. Thank you Ami. I totally agree with your thoughts that most of the applications we have with large customer base is legacy product developed with Classic ASP, VB 6.0, highly dependent on COM+ Components and still we lack a good way to migrate these legacy applications to support Win 8/10 or Azure or even multiple device adaptability. I hope we find some good way to work on these legacy products from migration aspect.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.