In part 1 of this post, I showed how to create a SQL database in Windows Azure, create a schema for adding leaderboard functionality to a game, create an Entity Framework model for the database, and then create and test a WCF Data Service on top of the model that provides a rich REST-style interaction model with great query support via OData. If you have not yet read part 1, you should do so before continuing.
It’s been longer than I planned, but this post is a follow-up to my overview post, “Building Data and Services for Windows 8 Apps”. In that post, I outlined a couple of different ways that you can build out data storage and services to provide a back-end for your Windows 8 app (and of course, these services can be shared with other apps as well).
If you’ve spent any time at all browsing the Windows Store, you may have noticed that there are more than a few apps that show up with the default store logo, which is a simple box with an X through it. The default logo included with the Visual Studio project templates is intended to look unfinished, so that developers will hopefully replace this logo with one that’s appropriately branded for their app. Here’s what one of these apps looks like (I’ve obscured the name of the app to avoid embarrassing the developer):
Notice that the app doesn’t have a great rating. Not necessarily a direct result of not having a nice store logo, but it doesn’t leave a great impression with potential customers.
In this installment of Windows 8: What I’ve learned, I’ll discuss a bug in my app that came from a poor understanding of the underlying template I’d built on.
Getting Started with a Template
Just a quick post to see how well Word 2013 RT (included with the Surface RT I picked up at the Microsoft Store in Tyson’s Corner, VA last week) works as a blogging client. So far, the only major app that I use regularly that I really miss on my Surface is Windows Live Writer, which is simply an excellent tool for creating and managing blog posts.
In the final part of our Using Blend for Windows 8 apps series, Andrew Duthie and Kirupa Chinnathambi take a look at the Interactive Mode for Blend and demo for us how to style a template using CSS, data binding and more.
In Part 2 of our Using Blend for Windows 8 apps series, Andrew Duthie and Kirupa Chinnathambi take a deep dive into how you can use Blend to easily design your Windows 8 apps for various devices. In this episode they’ll show you how to use the device panel and how to react to views and view states.
I’m a big fan of reuse wherever possible, so in this 6th installment of my Windows 8: What I’ve Learned series, I’m going to share a tip on how you can essentially get some great features for your app, with very little effort, by leveraging an app that ships with every copy of Windows 8.
The Maps app
Windows 8 machines will ship with several handy apps included, such as the Mail app, the People app and a few others. One of the more useful apps is the Maps app. It can, with the user’s permission, use location features built into the machine (GPS, or network-based location services) to find your current location, integrated search for finding a desired address or point of interest, and built in support for directions, traffic, etc. You can see a screenshot of the maps app below:
Andrew Duthie and Program Manager Kirupa Chinnathambi from the Microsoft Expression Blend team join us for part one of this series as we take an inside look at how Blend can help developers design their Windows 8 apps. Tune in as they build a basic “hello world” application, add HTML assets and style it using CSS.