Early adopters that have already started building projects for Windows 8 involving drivers must already know that the latest release of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) evolved consistently compared to its predecessor.Along with the Windows Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3), Microsoft also offered testers a Developer Preview of WDK, designed to play nice with Visual Studio 11, also a Developer Preview.
Essentially, the Windows 8 WDK Developer Preview installs the Windows Debuggers Extensions add-in for Visual Studio 11.
Microsoft is offering extensive guidance to streamline the development, testing and deployment of drivers on Windows 8.
“By installing this add-in, you can integrate the driver development and debugging environments into Microsoft Visual Studio. With the add-in installed, most of the tools you need for coding, building, packaging, deploying, debugging and testing a driver are available in the Visual Studio user interface,” Microsoft reveals.
“This is a departure from previous releases of the WDK where the various stages of the driver life cycle were performed as separate tasks with stand-alone tools.”
Templates can be leveraged by devs using VS 11 in order to put together new drivers as well as information files.
The software giant stresses that developers now have the options of ensuring the driver packages are automatically created and signed by setting up the build process accordingly.
“The Windows Developer Preview WDK uses MsBuild.exe, which is a different build utility from the one used in previous releases of the WDK. Previous releases used Build.exe, which was available in a command-line environment,” the Redmond company added.
“MsBuild is available both in the Visual Studio user interface and as a command-line tool. Drivers projects created with previous releases of the WDK used Sources (and possibly Dirs) files to describe a project or group of projects. Drivers created with the Visual Studio environment use Project and Solution files instead of Sources and Dirs files. The Visual Studio environment provides a tool for converting Sources and Dirs files to Project and Solution files.”
Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview is available for download here.
Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.