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Windows 10 Devs Can Check Out Windows 10 Creators Update SDK

A not-ready-for-production preview, which contains updates and additions to the Windows namespace, is available for testing to Windows Insiders members.

There's a new software development kit that coincides with the most recent Window 10 Insider Preview. The Windows 10 Creators Update SDK Preview is a test-only version, that contains a slew of updates and additions to the Windows namespace as well as some extended debugging support.

The Windows 10 Insider Preview is a version of the Windows 10 OS that is meant to be run on a test machine; it's also made available only to those who become members of the Windows Insider program.

The most recent version, Build 15007, was made available to Windows Insider members last week and has a laundry list of UI improvements and Microsoft Edge enhancements (a blog covering those changes is here). The Creators SDK Preview allows those members to be able to test out new features based on that version, as well as older versions down to Build 15003. To run it, developers need to have Visual Studio 2017 RC installed.

The updates and additions to the Windows namespace in the SDK preview is a necessary change, as new features and APIs are updated and added to Windows 10. A full list of those API updates is contained in a blog post from Clint Rutkas, a Microsoft senior technical manager. The preview SDK also has a number of debug enhancements:

  • Use JavaScript to extend, script WinDbg
  • Kernel-mode iHandle extension moved to debugger data model
  • Debugger data model now contains PEB and TEB basic information
  • Added a .dtx command for displaying extended symbolic type information when using the debugger object model
  • Added a .excr command (used for displaying an exception's associated context record) to prevent developers from mistyping ".ecxr" (apparently, it can happen often)
  • When using the .sympath command, a chnage in the symbol path now triggers a "deferred (lazy) reload of the modules that are using exported symbols."
  • Breakpoint Lists now contain DML links

More details on the debug changes is in this blog post from October 2016.

That the SDK preview works with only the most recent VS 2017 RC should be indication enough that it should be used for testing purposes and installed on a test machine. Rutkas emphasizes in this post that "If you are working on an application that you need to submit to the [Windows Store], you should not install the preview."

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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