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: Windows 8 to 8.1 App Considerations: Screen Size

    One of the most frequent questions/concerns I’m seeing in community is:  what application changes do I need to consider for Windows 8.1 development?   Is there anything I should be doing today in my Win8 apps to make it easy to move to 8.1 in the future? There’s a ton of great info that...
  • 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 Part 2

    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 .  In the first part , we created a Windows Azure Mobile...
  • 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: Windows 8 “Elev8” App Challenge

    We’re coming up on the annual Code Camp here in Charlotte, and this year, we thought it would fun to hold a hackathon leading up to the code camp, rather than simply run an all day event at the code camp.  Here’s your chance to develop a great app for Windows 8, elev8 your skillset, and potentially...
  • 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: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 4) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps – Azure Mobile Services

    Abstract: In Part 4 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 build the same game leaderboard service on top of Windows Azure Mobile Services. Tune in as Andrew demos for us how to get started...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 3) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps – ASP.NET Web API

    Abstract: Back for part 3 in their series for “Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 apps”, Peter Laudati , Brian Hitney and Andrew Duthie show us how easy it is to host services built with the ASP.NET Web API using the new Windows Azure Web Sites feature. Check out the full article...
  • 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: Microsoft DevRadio: (Part 1) Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps

    Abstract: Peter Laudati and Brian Hitney welcome fellow Developer Evangelist, Andrew Duthie to the show as they kick off their series on how to build back-end services for their Windows 8 apps using Windows Azure. Tune in for part 1 as Andrew gives an overview of the series and introduces some potential...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: Windows 8 DevCamp: Raleigh

    Microsoft RD Jim Duffy and I are hosting a series of events, kicking off with a Windows 8 DevCamp in Raleigh on Sept 25th!  I’m the brains, Jim is the talent, so don’t miss it.  Sign up here!  (Just kidding about Jim being the talent ) http://takenotewin8.eventbrite.com/ The DevCamp is...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8: Cannot Connect to Printer

    I have a Canon MP830 USB printer hooked up to my always on workstation at home, and this is shared so that anyone in the house can use it to print. I haven’t had any issues until trying to add the printer in Windows 8. When I tried to add the network printer: It looks like the printer is...
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