Excited about Windows 8 app development but not sure where to start?  There are a number of cool templates you can use on CodePlex, Microsoft’s free open source project hosting site.  Here’s how to get started:

First, go to http://codeplex.com and search all projects for “win8template” at the top right.

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Browse through the templates and find one with which you want to work.  Since I really like food, I’m going to check out the cookbook template.

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After I click on the template and download…

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It’s never a bad idea to check out the readme file in the documentation to learn what this template is all about:

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I can open and build the solution in the directory in which I unzipped the template.

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Notice that this particular template uses dosas (images and recipes) as initial sample data.

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Going back to the project in Visual Studio, I can figure out how to work this template into my own cookbook.  One thing I definitely want to change is the default splash screens and logos in the Assets folder.  Also, notice that DosaListPageDataSource.cs is being used in the DataModel folder.  (I used the C# version, but there is also a JavaScript version that will look the same when the app is running.)

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Explore the different templates on CodePlex and keep checking back for new additions and updates.  This is a great way to get started with a beautiful Windows Store app.