Windows Vista (and Windows 7) Bridge for managed developers

To quote the Windows SDK Team

“Many of you don’t know about the Vista Bridge sample library, what can it do or even where you can find it.

Let’s start with the basics; i.e. definitions. Vista Bridge is a sample library that contains managed wrappers for a number of Windows Vista APIs that are not exposed in the .NET Framework. The wrappers include common Open and Save file dialogs and new Vista advanced task dialogs.”

This SDK is very late ( by at least a couple of years) and contains a lot of features managed developers have moaned and moaned about being missing.

Finally, now, in version 1.4, we are nearing something that developers can use in their applications. The new Windows 7 taskbar – in fact all of the Windows 7 API’s – will be included in future versions of the Vista Bridge. If you are looking to develop your managed application targeting the new Windows 7 API’s, then the code is available here.

The great thing is that you can use both Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation, though the samples are mostly WPF.


Note: There is a CHM with information on how to use the controls in Windows Forms, and hopefully a fully documented Visual Basic CHM as well. Here are a few screenshots of the controls

Aero Wizard


Breadcrumb Control


Vista and Windows 7 Interop


From the Interop samples above you have


Customised Open File Dialog


So, all-in-all there are some very useful controls that I hope will be fully released in the Windows 7/Visual Studio 2010 time frame, and will be incorporated into Visual Studio 2010.

If you develop smart client applications that will be targeting Windows 7, then I really do urge you get to know and use the Windows 7 Taskbar API’s. The Windows team have dramatically changed the way that the taskbar is used, with reduced repetition, jump lists and so forth, with the common file dialog being an axis that the Windows 7 Taskbar is built upon.

One thought on “Windows Vista (and Windows 7) Bridge for managed developers

  1. Pingback: Windows API Code Pack for the .NET Library « Ira Lukhezo’s blog

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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