Brian Hitney

developing on the microsoft stack

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  • Blog Post: APIMASH Quakes & Astronomy

    A bit overdue, but I just realized I never really announced the APIMASH project we’ve been working on.  It’s up on github .   The purpose of the project is to illustrate how to go about constructing a mashup application from a variety of data sources.  We’re adding to the project...
  • Blog Post: Building for Cost Part 2

    In the last post , we looked at ways to separate content using different pieces of Windows Azure for the benefit of creating a more cost-effective solution using Windows Azure Web Sites (WAWS) and Windows Azure Storage for storing images and other binary/static files.   Although we’re looking...
  • Blog Post: Building for Cost using Windows Azure

    One of the great advantages of having a green field cloud-based infrastructure is being able tailor the app using specific features of the platform.  Sometimes, cost isn’t an issue.  But, many times – particularly for indie devs – it is.  Scale isn’t the foremost concern here, and often...
  • Blog Post: Creating a Great Mashup Part 3

    This post details features used by Earthquake Explorer , a Windows 8 app that displays earthquake information on Bing maps. Earthquake Explorer was based off of the Earthquakes mashup starter kit on github . Read part 1 here . Read part 2 here . We left off Part 2 talking about creating a compelling...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 2) APIMASH – Earthquake and Messier Sky Object API Starter Kit for Windows Store Apps

    My latest DevRadio episode has been published – here are the details! Abstract: In today’s episode Brian Hitney demos for us the Messier Sky Object Explorer and Earthquake Starter Kits for your Windows 8 apps. Tune in as he walks us through both APIs and show us how easy it is get started building for...
  • Blog Post: Creating a Great Mashup using Windows Azure

    This post details features used by Earthquake Explorer , a Windows 8 app that displays earthquake information on Bing maps. Earthquake Explorer was based off of the Earthquakes mashup starter kit on github . Creating a mashup is pretty easy in Windows 8 – creating a great one requires a bit more work...
  • Blog Post: APIMASH and Intro to Game Dev Raleigh

    I’m really excited to be hosting a few events in the Microsoft Raleigh office focused on Windows 8 development.  The first on revolves around our APIMASH starter kits – a great way to get started building mashup style applications in Windows 8, with templates and examples in both C# and HTML/JS...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 5) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps – Adding Push Notifications

    Abstract: In Part 5 of of their “Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 apps” series Peter Laudati , Brian Hitney and Andrew Duthie   show us how to quickly add the ability to implement push notifications for his GameLeader Service using Azure Mobile Services. Check out the...
  • Blog Post: Bing Maps Mashup in Dark Skies

    I’ve gotten a few requests about how to do a mashup in Dark Skies … so, thought I’d do a blog post on how it was put together. First, what’s a mashup? A mashup is an application that combines data from multiple sources into what is, hopefully, a more useful or interesting way to view the data. They are...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 2) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps

    Abstract: Peter Laudati , Brian Hitney and Andrew Duthie are back for part 2 of their series and in today’s episode Andrew shows us how to deploy the OData Service for his Windows 8 app to Windows Azure as well as outlines the advantages and disadvantages to building back-end services via this approach...
  • Blog Post: WinRT RoamingSettings and Serialization

    Recently, a colleague of mine, Adam Hoffman, posted a great tip on serializing a generic List<t> to a Windows 8 App’s RoamingSettings. As Adam points out, taking advantage of roaming storage is so easy to do, it’s criminal not to take advantage of it. There are three basic types of data: local...
  • Blog Post: Win8 Apps: Check for Network Connectivity

    A lot of apps require internet connectivity to function – like my app, Dark Skies .   One thing I overlooked when first releasing Dark Skies was a graceful check for network connectivity.  If the app launches and there is no connectivity, it should fail gracefully and notify the user. ...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 Pop Up (and Under), Setting up Family PC Settings

    The worst best part about being the Microsoft guru when a new OS ships is configuring PCs for family members.   In Windows 8, it’s a big relief that the new start screen makes things inherently more secure and less worrisome, but in desktop mode and since I have family members who haven’t upgraded...
  • Blog Post: Azure this Week!

    Lots of things going on in Windows Azure this week!  First up, I’ll be presenting at the TRINUG on Windows Azure on Wednesday, Nov. 14th 2012 .   If you’re in the area, stop by! This Wednesday, the corp team is also holding a Windows Azure conference appropriately named Windows Azure Conf...
  • Blog Post: A Windows 8 Feature You Won’t See or Talk About, but Everyone Loves

    I’m going to talk about one of my favorite Windows 8 features – it’s one that everyone will love, but no one really knows much about.  In fact, it’s one that is so good, you’d think it’s a problem.  (Like, if you hit the power button and your machine _instantly_ slept, you’d think there is...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 2) Windows Azure Web Sites Explained

    Peter Laudati , Brian Hitney and Windows Azure Technical Evangelist Brady Gaster conclude their Windows Azure Web Sites intro series by going over the differences between Azure and shared hosting, pricing, scaling, cpu consumption, the reserved vs. shared model, custom DNS, and much, much more. Watch...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 1) What is Windows Azure Web Sites?

    Peter Laudati and Brian Hitney welcome Windows Azure Technical Evangelist Brady Gaster to the show as they discuss Windows Azure Web Sites . In part one of this series, tune in as they chat about what it is, what its key benefits are for web developers and agencies, how the Azure Web Sites infrastructure...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevRadio: How to Get Started with Windows Azure

    Peter Laudati and I kick off our new Windows Azure series by giving us a tour of what’s new in Azure with Windows Azure Web sites, Virtual Machines and Mobile Services. Tune in as we provide a brief overview of Azure’s many services and features as well as how to get started with a free 90 day trial...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 DevCamp Charlotte 10/12!

    Don’t forget – we have our weekly Windows 8 DevCamp in Charlotte tomorrow, 10/12! In this week's DevCamp, we'll dive into Sharing, Settings, and Roaming. We will also cover some tips and tricks for developing Windows 8 applications using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Finally, we'll also spend a few hours...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 Event Resources

    Here are some resources for the Windows 8 Events we’re doing today in Raleigh: Slides and Cookbook App:  https://bthtemp.blob.core.windows.net/misc/Win8-devcamp.zip Contoso Labs: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34619
  • Blog Post: Coding for Kids #3. Bugs!

    In the first post , we introduced the problem.  We’re writing a program that solves the problem of finding 100 point words, where each letter in the word corresponds to its position in the alphabet (A=1, B=2, Z=26).  In the second post , we coded the basic solution that allows the user to enter...
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