How to Build a Windows App: A Guide to Setting Up a Well-Managed Development Process

How to Make a Windows App - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft has over 32 years of experience in professional desktop app development.

The essence of Windows application development

Windows application development usually implies the from-scratch creation of software, intended to function on Windows OS-powered PCs or other devices. More and more projects also focus on modernization of existing apps that targeted older Windows versions (XP, Vista, 7, 8) with the goal of making these apps compatible with Windows 10.

Key steps of Windows application development

While the duration of each step in the development process varies from project to project, highly depending on the app’s complexity, the steps and their essence are usually the same. Below are all six of them, with key deliverables and organizational tips.

1

Discovery

2

Project planning

3

Windows app design and development planning

4

UX and UI design

5

Development and QA

6

Launch and evolution

Talents generally required for the Windows application development project

Business analyst

Analyzes business needs, describes the Windows app’s functional scope, drafts high-level requirements and takes part in further planning documentation.

Project manager

Composes a project management plan, creates deliverables at the software design and planning stage, controls the development progress, manages the project team.

Software architect

Advises a PM in creating the documentation at the Windows app design and planning phase, plans the architecture of a Windows application, takes part in controlling the compliance of the app with the requirements.

UX designer

Performs UX research, creates UX wireframes and an interactive prototype, adjusts the prototype during usability testing.

UI designer

Reshapes UX wireframes into full GUI, creates interface control documentation.

DevOps engineer

Establishes CI/CD processes and oversees project automation throughout the project.

Software developer

Delivers code of the Windows app, fixes issues on QA’s notices to make Windows application code consistent with the SRS.

QA specialist

Plans test cases based on software requirements, verifies the Windows app’s compatibility with the quality standards defined in the QA plan, logs testing results.

Windows app development sourcing models

All in-house

You have control over everything from project management to a Windows app’s production but risk experiencing a project delay as you may need 6-8 months to form a skilled team.

Team augmentation

If you are confident in the development talents you have onboard but want to expedite the app’s release date, you can hire additional talents to temporarily expand your team.

Partial outsourcing

You outsource development and business analysis but remain responsible for project management. Unless you are planning more projects in the future, consider the temporary role of a PM for your company.

Full outsourcing

You outsource the entire project but need to have a solid vendor management strategy to stay in control.

Platforms ScienceSoft recommends for building Windows apps

Universal Windows Platform (UWP)

Description

  • Newest cross-platform tool for developing Windows 10 apps for PCs, tablets, Microsoft Mixed Reality hardware, etc.
  • Deep integration with the Visual Studio toolbox, resulting in faster UI development and higher app security.
  • Built-in support of Fluent Design System to create apps with touch, ink, and gamepad input.
  • Microsoft Store publication.
  • C#, Visual Basic, and C++ programming languages.

Best for

Windows apps that target multiple Microsoft devices; IoT apps.

Pricing

Free.

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

Description

  • Mature framework first released in 2006, which supports the development of desktop apps for Windows 7, 8, and 10.
  • A subset of .NET Framework (open-source tool with 60,000 developers and 3,700 companies contributing to its growth).
  • Deep integration with the Visual Studio toolbox, resulting in faster UI development and higher app security.
  • C#, Visual Basic, and C++ programming languages.

BEST FOR

All desktop Windows apps.

Pricing

Free.

Win32

Description

  • Development platform, dating back to 1993.
  • Helps to easily create self-contained executable apps that don’t require installation.
  • Targets all existing Windows versions, making it possible to create apps that will work even on old, industrially used computers.
  • C and C++ programming languages.

BEST FOR

Windows apps that require highest performance and direct access to hardware.

Pricing

Free.

Costs of Windows application development

While a basic Windows app will cost just around $40,000 to develop, the price of developing an application of average complexity will reach the $200,000 margin and go beyond $400,000 for extremely a complex application.

As you see, the costs of Windows application development are highly variable, still there are the main factors that influence the project costs:

General cost drivers

  • Number and complexity of Windows application features.
  • Number of Windows versions supported or Microsoft devices targeted.
  • Location and structure of the project team.
  • Vendor’s pricing model (in case of cooperation with a vendor).

Additional costs

  • UX and UI design and testing efforts.
  • Windows app deployment/distribution costs.
  • Windows app maintenance costs.

Consider ScienceSoft’s professional services for Windows application development

With over 31 years of experience in building desktop software, ScienceSoft offers professional consulting and development services for Windows applications.

Consulting on Windows app development

  • Defining a functional scope of a Windows app.
  • Project’s individual success metrics for stakeholders.
  • Long-term Windows app evolution plan.
  • Elaborated risk management plan.
  • Help with defining a technology stack and choosing a development methodology.

Windows app development services

  • Eliciting business requirements and formulating the Windows app scope.
  • Defining functional software requirements.
  • Windows app architecture design.
  • UX and UI design and usability testing.
  • Windows app development and QA.
  • Support and evolution.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global software development and IT consulting company based in McKinney, Texas, US. We are ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified and ensure professional management of software quality and data security. As part of our desktop app development services, we create all types of Windows apps and provide comprehensive guidance on organizing and overseeing such development projects.