Many of you have seen the New York Times reader application – it was featured as part of the portfolio I’ve been building up of Great WPF Applications. As I mentioned at the time, the New York Times reader is based on an SDK that we built to allow newspapers and content publishers to create rich, "occasionally-connected" experiences based on the flow layout capabilities in WPF. We’ve had a private beta program running for a while now, and over the intervening months there have been a number of other newspapers that have gone live with applications using this toolkit.
Now we’re delighted to announce the public release of the reader toolkit on windowsclient.net. We’ve made a number of improvements to the kit to broaden its usage; the reader toolkit is now known by the rather more accurate but slightly less memorable name: the Syndicated Client Experiences Starter Kit. This reflects its potential to go beyond a news reading scenario and handle other kinds of data synchronization and display needs. For example, you could use this as the basis of a client for financial data analysis, where the application downloaded stock prices and other financial information and presented it in a rich client experience (Lab49, are you listening?!)
The great thing about the starter kit is that the source code is available, so you can customize it to your heart’s content: changing templates and styles, modifying the way it handles data, adding new features, and so on. We’ve also created a sample MSDN Magazine reader application built with the starter kit, which is of course also provided with full source code. Even if you’re not interested in the reader toolkit itself, you’ll find this a really useful application in its own right.
Have fun with this – I’m looking forward to seeing the applications people build with this toolkit…