Side Loading Windows 8 Apps

At the Columbia Windows 8 DevCamp this weekend, the topic of side-loading apps came up in a few different scenarios, but it was particularly appropriate during the app showcase.  We had a number of developers working in the lab room, all competing to come up with the coolest app at the end of the day.  During the showcase where developers pitch their apps to the audience, it works best to have all the apps on the same machine.  Here’s the best way to do it without having to copy source code/s... [More]

Dark Skies for Windows 8 Updated

I’m happy to finally have the next update to Dark Skies in the Windows 8 store!  In the initial release, I used Bing Maps to display light pollution data.  In this version, I allow users to display and share favorite viewing spots, and spruced up the live tile with some cool info. The main page can display information about a pin on the map: Admittedly, there aren’t too many pins just yet, but it will grow over time.   It’s not just favorite viewing locations – astronomy shops, user ... [More]

Microsoft DevRadio: How to Integrate TFS Projects with Windows Azure Web Sites

Never too late to post!  Here’s an episode of DevRadio Peter and I did on TFS Projects in Azure!   Abstract: Peter Laudati and Brian Hitney are back for today’s show as they show us how we can integrate TFS (Team Foundation Server) projects with Windows Azure Web Sites. They also discuss Windows Azure’s latest price reduction for Storage as well as tee up new features in Windows Azure Mobile Services. After watching this video, follow these next steps:   Step #1 – Try Win... [More]

Dealing with Expired Channels in Windows Azure Mobile Services

What’s this?  Another Windows Azure Mobile Services (WAMS) post?!  In the next version of my app, I keep a record of the user’s Channel in order to send down notifications.  The built in todo list example does this or something very similar.  My table in WAMS looks like: Not shown are a couple of fields, but of particular interest is the device Id.  I realized that one user might have multiple devices, so the channel then is tied to the device Id.  I still haven’t found a ... [More]

Upcoming Events

Lots of great events coming up in the Carolinas: 1/18/2013  Charlotte, NC:  We’re hosting a Windows 8 “Office Hours” at the Microsoft Office.  More info here.  Essentially, if you’re looking for time to hack on a Windows 8 solution, work on ideas, test some stuff out, enlist some testers – we’re there for you.  1/19/2013  Columbia, SC:  Windows 8 DevCamp.   This event is really shaping up to be great!   Interesting sessions, and hands-on time in the ... [More]

Scrubbing UserId in Windows Azure Mobile Services

First, many thanks to Chris Risner for the assistance on this solution!   Chris is part of the corp DPE team and has does an extensive amount of work with Windows Azure Mobile Services (WAMS) – including this session at //build, which was a great resource for getting started. If you go through the demo of getting started with WAMS building a TodoList, the idea is that the data in the todo list is locked down to each user.   One of the nice things about WAMS is that it’s easy to enforce ... [More]

Calling Stored Procedures from Windows Azure Mobile Services

I was surprised, yet delighted, that Windows Azure Mobile Services uses a SQL database.   Schema-less table storage has its place and is the right solution at times, but for most data driven applications, I’d argue otherwise. In my last post, I wrote about sending notifications by writing the payload explicitly from a Windows Azure Mobile Service.   In short, this allows us to include multiple tiles in the payload, accommodating users of both wide and square tiles.   In my a... [More]

Best Practice for Sending Windows 8 Tiles from Mobile Services

Those that know me know I am not a fan of javascript, in pretty much all of its forms (including node.js), however, I’m really digging Windows Azure Mobile Services (WAMS).  WAMS allows you to easily provide a back end to applications for storing data, authenticating users, and supporting notifications on not just Windows and Windows Phone, but also iOS with future plans of supporting Android soon. Now, I mention javascript because WAMS provides a slick node-like powered data service that makes it rea... [More]

Rock, Paper, Azure Re-launch!

I’m a little late getting this out (pesky vacations and all) but we re-launched Rock, Paper, Azure (RPA) a few weeks back with weekly competitions! What is Rock, Paper, Azure?  In short, it’s a game, primarily for developers.  It’s also a fun way to learn programming, as the concept is simple however winning is not.  You write code that plays a modified Rock, Paper, Scissors like game and tries to beat everyone else doing the same.   The code that you download has everything re... [More]

My Apps

Dark Skies Astrophotography Journal Vol 1 Explore The Moon
Mars Explorer Moons of Jupiter Messier Object Explorer
Brew Finder Earthquake Explorer Venus Explorer  

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