The most recent release of WPF is the July CTP - released on the 18th of July 2006. This CTP is a little different to previous WPF CTPs in that the extensions for Visual Studio 2005 to build WPF projects with the CTP have not been released. We'll suggest some work-arounds for this below, but if you're new to WPF and not so concerned with using the latest release you might be better suited to the June CTP. The details for getting started with the June CTP can be found here.
To begin developing WPF applications for Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP SP2 you need to download the July CTP release of the .NET Framework 3.0 run-time components (WPF is a part of a larger package of new components for windows called .NET 3.0). The .NET 3.0 runtime components are already installed with Windows Vista, but because WPF is more closely integrated into the operating system in Vista than in XP or Windows Server 2003 you need to make sure you have the right version for WPF for your version of Vista. The July CTP of .NET 3.0 will work with Vista build 5472.5. If you want to develop WPF applications for Vista Beta 2 you should use the beta 2 release of WPF. Tom Archer has a compatability matrix here which explains which WPF builds should be used with which Vista builds.
The run-time components can be installed in two ways, either by downloading a small startup program (around 2.5 MB) that then downloads what is required for your install. You can download the setup program WinFx run-time components from here. You can also download the whole thing for x86 or x64 (both are around 45 MB). The installers for the .NET Framework 3.0 run-time components can be found here.
The next thing you need to install when developing WPF applications is the Windows Vista SDK, which is about 1.1 GB in size. The Windows Vista SDK can be downloaded from here.
As mentioned above there will not be a release of visual studio extensions for .NET 3.0 for the July 2006 CTP. There are a number of ways to potentially work around this problem:
- Use this as an opportunity to get familliar with the Expression Interactive Designer. There is an expression interactive designer release for the .NET 3.0 July 2006 CTP which can be downloaded from here.
- Craig McMurtry from the WCF team suggests you can manually edit your project file, using an example from the SDK as a starting point.
- You can install the Visual Studio Extensions for the June 2006 CTP (a totally unsupported configuration), using the following command-line as described here. msiexec /i vsextwfx.msi WRC_INSTALLED_OVERRIDE=1 This allows you to open existing WPF projects in Visual Studio, and edit Xaml in VS with intellisense. The "Cider" designer does not work, and renders as a black screen.
You may also want to install the Expression Graphic Designer for the July CTP (formerly known as Acrylic), which allows you to create images and export them as Xaml for inclusion in your WPF applications.