From 0 to Windows Phone ‘Mango’ in 1 Day at DevTeach

 

Next week will be an awesome week in Montreal.  DevTeach, the premier level-300/400 developer conference in Canada is on from Tuesday 31st to Thursday June 2nd.  This includes a complete additional MobileTeach track around Android, iPhone & Windows Phone. 

Not only that, but I’ll be running the 1-day post-conference training session on Friday dedicated to Windows Phone

This week Microsoft announced news about the upcoming Windows Phone ‘Mango’ release that really seals the deal on possibly the greatest smartphone user experience to date and enhances arguably the best mobile developer experience even further.

In this comprehensive 1-day post-conference for the agile mind, I’ll start by showing attendees (familiar with .NET), how to create a Silverlight application from scratch using the MVVM pattern (including advanced features like a templated items control and a custom panel), making design decisions for the phone and how to get an application published.  We’ll then dive into the platform features, figure out data access, sensors, location and notifications, conquer storage and tombstoning and wrap up with other new major Mango features.  Attendees will get access to samples.

Introduction

From 0 to published WP7 MVVM Silverlight app including:

  • Development Tools
  • Silverlight Development
  • MVVM
  • Data Binding
  • Timers
  • ItemsControl
  • Custom Layout Panel
  • DataTemplates
  • Phone UI Design
  • Marketplace policies

Accessing device features including:

  • Input
  • Shell Integration
  • Sensors
  • Location

Getting data and notifications from the cloud including:

  • Data Access
  • Building Phone-compatible Services
  • Notification Services

Application Lifecycle & Tomb-stoning

Local Data Storage (including isolated storage, 3rd party and Mango options)

Other new major ‘Mango’ features

You can add on that extra bumper day to the 3-day main conference price at a discount or purchase direct 1-day access for $399.

As if that’s not enough, I’ll also be doing a demo in the conference keynote and a session on Silverlight 5 features in the conference Silverlight track (which I also lead).

Hope to see you there!

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Built on Silverlight & Azure: A Solution to Plan, Deploy & Track Your Workforce

During a trip to Redmond this year, I got to meet the Gu.  If you don’t know who that is, then never mind, but keep reading.  Anyway, another guy from Canada got to present alongside Scott (still don’t know who I’m talking about?) last November during the keynote for the Silverlight Firestarter event (when Silverlight 5 features were first publically announced).  That guy was David Ossip, CEO of Dayforce, demonstrating their latest Dayforce Workforce Management solution.

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I’d seen the Firestarter demo, but I recently learnt about another aspect of this solution.  It would be reason enough to mention Dayforce because they use Silverlight for a rich client-powered experience.  Another reason to mention it, is that it also uses Windows Azure, a technology for which I have created and delivered training at Microsoft’s request.  The Windows Azure Platform is both an awesome platform and service for high availability and scalability and easy provisioning in the cloud or in a hybrid combination with on-premise system.

Dayforce epitomizes the kind of offering that is well suited to the platform.  They wanted to provide solutions that demanded zero IT maintenance for their customers and a scalable path as their customer base grew – they now have around 40 customers with some 150,000+ users.  Using Azure, adding more customers or users now involves merely deploying more Windows Azure instances with a few mouse clicks, rather than buying/licensing, racking/provisioning and adminstering servers.  Hosting the application on Windows Azure hosted services means running the services in an IIS environment that is great for hosting WCF-based services to which their rich Silverlight client can connect.  It’s a SaaS solution with a rich-client plus! 

This kind of Silverlight-Azure combo is the kind of thing I expect to see in droves with other successful offerings in the future.  Since Scott Guthrie is moving over to be a VP for the Azure platform, this awesome-sauce (hi John!) combination will no doubt get even better.

 

Want to know more about Dayforce?

About Dayforce – Dayforce offers a complete workforce management solution with functionality that includes time and attendance, labor scheduling, labor forecasting, labor budgeting, task management and employee self-service. The company has made waves in workforce management with a vastly superior user experience, a much faster application, and significantly greater business value.
In addition to being named one of Deloitte’s Companies-to-Watch, Dayforce has been named the winner of the Top HR Product of the Year by Human Resource Executive® magazine, the winner of the Microsoft BlueSky Award for Innovation Excellence, and one of the CIX Top 20 Innovative Companies. For more information, please visit www.dayforce.com.

What’s Coming for WP7 developers in Mango

Blogged from the Microsoft Mix 11 Day 2 Keynote in Las Vegas

On day 2 of Microsoft’s Mix 11 conference, they explain how they will (in May) be “Delivering happiness” to Windows Phone developers. New Windows Phone end-user features will be announced at a later date.

Opportunity

Ecosystem

· Nokia will be bringing mobile billing expertise

Countries

· 16 more languages

· Developers in 38 (up from 30) countries can register to publish applications

· Phone users in 35 (up from 16) countries will be able to purchase apps

Discoverability

· New Program list – has the ‘long list’ initial letter jump buttons, a search button (inc. access to marketplace search in the results)

· Marketplace – Separates Apps, music, & Podcasts (US this fall)) and shows more details in list with publisher/price/rating

· Marketplace App page has a pivot: details, reviews, screenshots, related

· One-click install for free apps

· Auto-nav to apps list after install

· Search Extras – A Bing Search result can have extras deep linking into an app

Capability

Browser

· Browser uses same IE9 code-base for HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3

· Address bar at the bottom

· Background audio for HTML5 in browser (use phone controls too)

· H.264 video in video tag in full screen with controls

Phone integration

· Sockets

· SQL CE Database with ORM and Linq to SQL

· More launchers & choosers (inc. deep link to directions)

· Better access to contacts and calendar

· Pin to start of application deep links

· Raw camera access

· Access to compass

· Access to gyro (new optional hardware coming this year)

· Motion Sensor API (for ease of using compass and gyro)

· Ringtone API

Multi-tasking:

· Fast app switching – apps are suspending, and only terminated if necessary

· Background audio from apps (leveraging the standard phone media controls)

· Background downloads

· Setup alarms

· Live tile updating including animations

· “Live agents” occasionally run by a battery friendly scheduler (with user control of which ones can run this way) – gets events and can get location

Dev Experience:

New emulator features for Accelerometer (with 3D model of position) and location (with Bing maps input)

Performance improvement (for list)

· Scrolling and input

· Image decode

· Garbage collector (no pausing)

· Memory usage

Built on Silverlight 4 including RichTextBox

Local Database using SQL CE with ORM and LINQ to SQL

Can compose UI with Silverlight and XNA

Profiler (still free)

Get Free training With Great WP7, Silverlight & Azure Sessions at Microsoft Mix11

 

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This year’s Microsoft Mix 11 conference is taking place from April 12th to 14th in Las Vegas.

I have 4 sessions proposals that have been selected for voting by the Mix panel, and with your help, I can present them at the conference for you to see in person or for free on-demand shortly afterwards.

As well as from commercial projects and published articles/shows, these sessions are based on my expertise as a Microsoft MVP for Silveright, a workshop trainer for Microsoft on the Windows Azure Platform & the developer of the first WP7 training bootcamp delivered across North America.

To vote for sessions by Feb 4th…

For each of the web links below, click on each one and then vote by first clicking on all of the animal pictures of the indicated type (usually cats awww) and then clicking “vote for this session”.  Repeat for each of the 4 links.  The picture clicking thing is to make sure you are human and not a cheating robot of course.  If you select the wrong animation by mistake, you can click it again to unselect it.

Thank you for your interest and support!

 

0 to Phone App in 60 Minutes (based on a popular TechDays session)

Windows Phone 7 devices are out there. Will you have an application in the marketplace this year? The tools are free to download but it helps to get a jump-start to get moving. Do you understand the MVVM design pattern and how it applies to Windows Phone? Would you like to see how it’s done from scratch? Come along and see Microsoft MVP for Silverlight and leading WP7 trainer, Colin Melia, show you how to build an application step-by-step and answer questions along the way.

 

Getting to grips with MVVM on Windows Phone

You’ve downloaded the phone tools and created your first project. Now you’re venturing into the other project templates and have found all kinds of extra xaml files, bindings and classes. You’re in the world of MVVM architecture and you feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit whole. The MVVM patterns in the templates are there to leveraged, but you need to know how to work with it. In this session Microsoft MVP for Silverlight and leading WP7 trainer, Colin Melia, will cover the MVVM concepts, the templates and go beyond viewing data to using commands and explaining key choices.

 

Windows Azure Platform as the backend for Windows Phone experiences

The launch of Windows Phone has been a source of much interest and developer enthusiam. There are 1,000s of appplications in the Windows Phone Marketplace. However, not many of those applications interact with a service created by the same developer. In this session, Microsoft MVP for Silverlight and leading WP7 trainer, Colin Melia, will show you how the Windows Azure Platform is a natural backend for Windows Phone experiences and how to use the various components.

 

On-Premise Data to Cloud to Phone – Connecting with Odata

You have corporate data to disseminate into the field, or service records that need to be updated in the field. How can you quickly make that data accessible from your on-premise system to Windows Phone users? Come take a look at OData with Microsoft MVP for Silverlight and leading WP7 trainer, Colin Melia, and see how you can expose data and services into the cloud and quickly connect to it from the phone, from scratch

 

These are 4 of just 14 sessions by Canadian-based developers highlighted by Microsoft Canada.  You can vote for all to 10 in total.

Become a Windows Azure Administrator in Just 15 minutes

Got a few minutes to kill, and want to get to grips with Microsoft’s Windows Azure Platform? Let’s do it in the best possible way – by actually trying it. I’m about to show you just how easy that is and also explain how valuable that knowledge can be.

If you do this in Canada by Dec 31st 2010 and tell Microsoft Canada about it (see below), Microsoft will give CDN$25 to your nominated user group AND send you a $25 gift card too!! Smile

Let’s get a few questions out of the way first…

Continue reading

Silverlight 5 Feature Announcements During Live Firestarter Event

The following features have just been announced live by Scott Guthrie during the Silverlight Firestarter event.

Media features

  • Video hardware decode – better performance; better on low-power-cpu devices that have a GPU
  • Trickplay – watch video at faster speed while preserving pitch
  • Power management – hold-off screensaver when full screen (until paused)
  • Remote control – for 10ft experience

Also, IIS Media Service 4 was recently shipped (and is free) – live and on-demand smooth streaming to desktop, Windows Phone 7 and iPhone (via live trans-muxing) – enhancements to Expression Media Encoder to support on-demand/live streaming to devices – also now announced is support on Windows Azure

New application features

  • Data binding – breakpoints and inspection in XAML bindings (!!); custom markup extensions (from WPF, great for MVVM); implicit DataTemplates; Ancestor RelativeSource (from WPF); binding and style setters (great for dynamic theme changes); DataContextChanged event
  • Inter-layout Transitions for list change animations
  • Networking – WS-Trust support; low-latency networking; MVVM-friendly data source, end-to-end support for complex types, Windows Azure support
  • Text – clarity; multi-column text; character tracking and leading; full OpenType support; vector PostScript printing.
  • Pivot add-on for SL4 will be part of SL5 – dynamic pivot is awesome
  • 3D Graphics (!!!!) – Immediate-mode graphics API; fluid layout transitions; hardware 3D acceleration of models & textures
  • model
  • more layers
  • Multiple Windows Support – with child windows
  • P/Invoke – can now call Win32 APIs
  • Enterprise Group Policy Support – get full trust out-of-browser features, but in the browser
  • Automated UI Testing – record UI, generate code, re-test – awesome!
  • Improved Profiling – memory, CPU, thread connection
  • Improved startup time
  • Hardware acceleration in IE 9
  • 64-bit version

Release Schedule!!!

Silverlight 5 Beta – Spring 2011

Release – by end of 2011

Get more details from Microsoft:

Scott Guthrie’s blog – http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2010/12/02/announcing-silverlight-5.aspx

Tim Heuer’s blog – http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2010/12/02/silverlight-5-revealed-at-firestarter.aspx

As a Microsoft MVP for Silverlight, I’m delighted to see the future of Silverlight 5 unfolding quite nicely (and stunningly in the case of 3D hardware acceleration) as well as an emphasis on what great applications can be built today with the existing Silverlight 4 technologies.

Note that there are no preview/beta bits available to download at this time.

Upcoming Ottawa Windows 7, Windows Phone 7 & Silverlight Events

Tue Nov 30th 2010 at 5:00pm

Windows Phone 7 Developer Briefing

Thu Dec 2nd 2010 at 11:45am

Silverlight Firestarter (with roadmap announcement)

Thu Dec 2nd 2010 at 8:30am or 5:00pm

Building Awesome Apps for Windows 7! Community Tour

You can stay for the Windows 7 and Silverlight events on Dec 2nd at the same venue!!

Details below…

Tue Nov 30th 2010 – Windows Phone 7 Developer Briefing

Get Your App in Gear – Register today and join us at the Windows Phone 7 Developer Briefing

Join us for an informative Windows Phone 7 Briefing to learn more about developing on Microsoft’s latest mobile platform. The briefing will cover the two application frameworks available for Windows Phone 7, where to find developer resources, how to submit apps into Marketplace, and much more!

Register here:

Ottawa, On – November 30, 2010 at 5pm

AGENDA
Registration
5:00pm

Start
6:00pm

Introduction
Apps with Silverlight
Break/Q&A
Games with XNA
Next Steps/Q&A

End

9:00pm

Apps with Silverlight
Silverlight provides standard user controls and an event-driven model suited to building apps that bring information to the user. In this session, you’ll see an app or two built right in front of you, and learn about many aspects of Silverlight development for Windows Phone, including controls, laying them out, the model-view-viewmodel pattern, resources, themes, data binding and data templates, making asynchronous web requests, LINQ to XML and more.

Games with XNA
XNA is a game loop-based framework that makes it easier to build 2-D and 3-D games where gameplay, graphics and sound are key. You’ll watch the construction of a 2-D game and in the process learn about XNA’s game loop, resources, screen management, sprites, getting input from the accelerometer and touchscreen, collision detection, making use of game code libraries and other aspects of game development with XNA.

Next Steps
You’ve now had a taste of developing for Windows Phone with both Silverlight and XNA. What now? At this session we’ll cover where to get the tools and hardware, where to find additional developer resources such as tutorials, books and communities, how to register with the App Hub, how to submit an app to Marketplace and even talk about ideas for new apps.

Thu Dec 2nd 2010 at 12pm – Silverlight Firestarter (with roadmap announcement)

Come to the Microsoft Ottawa office on Dec 2nd 2010 @ 11:45 am ET sharp to watch the future of Silverlight unfold. 

On Dec 2nd 2010, Microsoft is running the all-day Firestarter event about Silverlight.  It opens with a keynote from Scott Guthrie (Corporate VP of the Developer Division) on the Future of Silverlight and features various sessions from renowned speakers.   It’s like another day of PDC just for Silverlight. 

We’ll be watching and discussing the morning portion of the live event as a group.  Colin Melia (Microsoft MVP for Silverlight), will be there along with Microsoft’s Christian Beauclair to discuss the event and answer questions.

Silverlight is THE developer platform for rapidly building and deploying UI- and media-rich data-connected business and consumer applications for the web, the desktop and the phone.  It’s available today.  Microsoft has invested and will continue to invest in Silverlight, and in products that use it including LightSwitch, Lync, Windows InTune, the new Azure Portal, etc.

No registration is required.

100 Queen Street (the World Exchange Plaza – with underground parking)

Suite 500 (5th floor)

Ottawa, ON

K1P 1J9

AGENDA
Welcome
11:45am

Live Broadcast start
12:00pm

End – continue watching at home

4:45pm

What is the Silverlight Firestarter?

· An Event. A one day, global, live streamed and on demand event keynoted by Scott Guthrie.

· Training. New self-paced labs and walk through videos.

· Interactive. Watch live and ask the Silverlight product team and local experts questions during the event.

· Why Silverlight? Silverlight is a powerful development platform for creating engaging, interactive user experiences for Web, desktop, and mobile applications when online or offline.

Full streaming event details – http://www.silverlight.net/news/events/firestarter/

Thu Dec 2nd 2010 – Building Awesome Apps for Windows 7! Community Tour

Windows® 7 represents an amazing opportunity for application developers. Since shipping just one year ago, more than 240 million licenses of Windows 7 have been sold. (That’s roughly seven copies of Windows 7 sold every second!). Windows 7 is also an amazing platform. Through integrated capabilities through the Windows Taskbar, sensors, text, and speech, it blends the best technology, innovation, and creativity to empower developers to create awesome apps.

Join Kate Gregory or Richard Campbell in five cities in Canada for the Building Awesome Apps for Windows 7 tour. Come hear how you can start taking advantage of the capabilities of Windows 7 in your new/existing applications TODAY. (Registration is free).

Register here:

Ottawa, On – Dec 2nd 2010 at 8:30am.

Ottawa, On – Dec 2nd 2010 at 5:00pm.

AGENDA
Registration *
8:30am/5:00pm

Start
9:00am/5:30pm

A Lap Around the Windows® API Code Pack

Building Touch-First Applications with Windows® 7

Q&A

End

11:30am/8:00pm

A Lap around the Windows® API Code Pack

The Windows API Code Pack for the .NET Framework is a managed library for building applications that light up on Windows 7. It provides access to new user interface features (taskbar jump lists, libraries, sensor platform and more) as well as "behind the scenes" features that make your applications more aware and responsive (restart and recovery, power management and more). This is a must-have library for developers targeting Windows 7 with managed code. In this session, you’ll learn how to quickly incorporate the Windows API Code Pack into your applications to take advantage of features in Windows 7.

Building Touch-First Applications for Windows® 7

In Windows 7, innovative touch and gesture support enable a rich and natural interaction with applications. Are your applications ready to support this new wave of PC form factors? Are they finger-friendly to support interactions and gestures on Windows 7? This session highlights the new multi-touch gesture APIs and explains how you can leverage them in your applications.

Got questions about this event? Email John Bristowe (Sr. Developer Evangelist, Microsoft Canada) – john.bristowe@microsoft.com / @jbristowe / blogs.msdn.com/cdndevs

*Light refreshments and snacks will be available