• Go DevMENTAL

    App Template of the week: Club/Team Windows 8 Template

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    Windows 8 app template

    The following Windows 8 template makes it easy to get started on an app with a blog reader, twitter feed, list of events, members, and photos.

    If you missed any other templates of the week, you can find them here.

    This week’s template was created to make it easy for a club, team, or organization to share information about their activities, announcements, and members.

    Platform

    • Windows 8

    Functionality

    • Display Twitter feed
    • Display RSS feed
    • Display list of members from an .xml file
    • Display list of events from an .xml file
    • Display photos from a skydrive account

    Windows 8 features

    • Share on blogs and events
    • Search on Events

    Documentation

    • Word document that describes how you can customize the template and an explanation of how you can add additional data to the template using the same structure

    Where can I find it?

    I have posted the .zip file on a Skydrive folder here. The zip files contains the code and the documentation for the template.

    A quick disclaimer

    These templates are not Microsoft templates, they are open source and should be treated as such. They may contain bugs and code quality will vary. Nonetheless can be a useful tool when you are trying to learn how to build an app, and they can be a useful starting point for more complicated apps that follow a similar structure or require similar functionality.

  • Go DevMENTAL

    Top 10 reasons to say hi to Microsoft at CUSEC 2013!

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    Hockeygeekgirl Find out what’s happening at the Microsoft booth at CUSEC 2013 and meet the Microsoft Canada Student team and recruiters.

    Tonight, I hop on a train and head to Montreal to return to CUSEC. I can’t wait to talk to you about what’s going on this year around Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Azure, and more. We’ve got so much happening I wanted to give you the top 10 reasons you should stop by the Microsoft booth at this year’s CUSEC conference.

    10. Challenge a Microsoft employee or friend to a showdown on Kinect Dance Central

    9. Enter to win an Xbox (by signing up for our communications)

    8. Compliment @HockeyGeekGirl on her choice of hockey jersey for her Windows 8 presentation Thursday morning

    7. Find out how to become a Microsoft Student Partner (did you know student partners get a free one year MSDN subscription)

    6. Find out how students get free Windows Store and free Windows Phone Store accounts!

    5. Find out how you could win a trip to St Petersburg Russia by entering the Imagine Cup

    4. Find out how to get free stuff through Developer Movement (from Star Wars USB sticks to laptops!)

    3. Find out how someone at CUSEC will get a Microsoft Surface.

    2. Talk to a Microsoft recruiter

    1. Register for the Microsoft sponsored CUSEC hackathon (and get a free t-shirt while supplies last)

    As mentioned above, our GoDevMental team at Microsoft is sponsoring the CUSEC hackathon. The exact rules will be revealed tomorrow morning at the kick-off, but I can tell you it will involve developing for Windows 8, so you can get ready ahead of time by installing Windows 8 and installing the SDK before you arrive. To register for the hackathon, just stop by our booth to sign up!

    Can’t wait to see everyone tomorrow!

    Cheers,

    Susan (aka HockeyGeekGirl) …now what jerseys will I pack…

  • Go DevMENTAL

    Tips and gotchas for Windows 8 apps: Ankita’s Wordpress app

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    Windows 8 wordpress appThis series features interviews with student Windows 8 app developers who share the lessons they learned building windows 8 applications.

    This week’s interview features Ankita Kulkarni a student from University of Fraser Valley, BC who built an application called Ankita Kulkarni Wordpress Blog

    Could you briefly describe your application/game?

    My app synchronizes automatically with my personal Wordpress Blog grabbing all data and posts from the blog. The app has all the cool features of Windows 8 of Sharing posts with your friends, Bookmark any favorite post, Commenting on the blog, Snapped View etc. The main purpose of this app is to help others learn about the technology I know or common programming issues or even some adventure stuff I do (I love adventure)

    Did you use .NET and Silverlight, HTML and Java, or DirectX and C++

    I chose Html5 as its pretty simple. Any user who know basic programming and has knowledge of HTML can develop app considering the simple platform Microsoft has built for developers.

    What was your banging your head against a wall moment?

    I was trying to add “Pin Post” to my app. I have added similar feature in another app I am working on and it worked perfectly fine. But I found it time consuming and there were unexpected errors. I will release another version of the App and will add that feature. In fact, after I pushed my app to the store, I solved that error.

    Did you ever solve that issue?

    It was just a silly error. Since I was using Wordpress and Json Api for extracting my blog data but I was connecting to a json file which was on my local system instead of connecting to the Api and I did not realize it until I published my app.

    If you had to build this same app again from scratch, what would you do differently?

    I would change the name of my app. I would have named it something better so when people search something techie stuff then my app would appear in the search result. I would also like to use better graphical interface and add “pages” as categories in my app. Many suggestions I got was to make the app paid partially but according to me, knowledge is to be given free and not paid hence the app is free.

    Any nice surprises?

    The Json Api was pretty easy to use. I also used Blend for designing the app, it helped me a lot in design.

    Did you have a favourite Windows 8 feature?
    The favorite one is Snapped View, tiles and Share as in snapped view, you can do 2 things at 1 time. Tiles are very cool and look really nice especially the live tiles feature. The share contract helps you share what you’re doing with others so it creates more awareness.

    What is one thing you think you did really well in this application?

    I had to re-format my blog so that the app can look good. I like the way I did that. Also, I am proud of how quickly I passed the certification as I failed the certification around 12pm one day. I seen what I did wrong, corrected that and re-submitted the app by 1pm. I came to know in the eve that my app is already in the store.

    Are you publishing your application/game?

    The application is already published in the store. You can find it here.

    Did you fail certification? If so what caused you to fail, and how did you fix it?

    Oh yes. I did fail certification because my app had functionality which did not work like “View the Blog in browser”. It did not work when I was trying and I forgot to remove that functionality from my app. This was 1 reason. I fixed it by removing that functionality. 1 suggestion to everyone that make sure your app does not have any feature which is not working.

    Another reason was description of the app. Whatever you describe, make sure your app has that. I described that “Please feel free to comment in the Wordpress blog via the App”. I assumed that since the person is a tester, he might know what Wordpress is but unfortunately he got confused and my app failed. There is 1 section “Note to Testers”. Even though the person is a Tester, consider that the Tester knows nothing. So, anyone who is publishing their app to the store, please make sure to give as much information possible to the tester even though it is obvious.

    One more suggestion which I would like to add in my tips for passing the certification that if your app failed in any of the stages. For example, mine failed in the Content Compliance (where a actual tester tests the app) because I did not meet "requirement 1.2." You will see why your app failed in "Common reasons why apps fail this requirement:" This lists all the reasons why your app may have failed. This does not mean that your app failed because of all the reasons but it can help you figure out why your app failed. More information why your app failed can be given in: 1) Note from Testers 2) Download the attachment and you will find a lot of information there.

    Where can I learn more about your app?

    I do not have a website or a video. But definitely would add something to my website for the next app.

    clip_image002

    I developed the application. I made the app in the last week of the year. I got a template from Metropress Wordpress which I used to further develop my app. I am Ankita Kulkarni studying Computer Science in University of Fraser Valley, BC. I developed this app so that my blog gets promoted more and people learn from my experiences. I give straight forward instructions and it is easy to follow. I am currently an Intern in IBM as a Software Developer and I do lot of Software/Web Development when I am free. I am a Microsoft Student Partner too so I love to talk about technology. Other than that I am a very adventurous person, love to meet new people, talkative, web development etc. Microsoft is my dream company where I want to get full-time as well so I would try my best to develop apps and help people do so through which I can help to achieve the vision of Microsoft. So, anyone who needs help or advice, please feel free to ask me. I would be really glad to help.

  • Go DevMENTAL

    Video of the week: Helping web developers build apps with appMobi

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    This video shows you how a web developer can use appMobi to build cross-platform apps with HTML and JavaScript

    There are many videos out there, we wanted to dig through and share some of the best, we hope you enjoy this new series.

    In this video, Microsoft evangelist Dave Ibitski invites appMobi developer evangelist Andrew Smith to explain how the tool appMobi helps web developers build mobile apps quickly and easily. appMobi supports Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS, Android, and OpenWeb.

    appMobi is free for hobby developers, they hope that you will love their tools so much that you buy a subscription to get their cloud services or to publish paid apps.

    If you’re an HTML5 or JavaScript developer looking to get apps into multiple platforms, sign up for a FREE appMobi account here.

    I found this video on Microsoft’s Channel 9.

    Related Blogs and articles

  • Go DevMENTAL

    Free courseware for professors and instructors from Microsoft

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    Did you know Microsoft provides free courseware for professors and instructors?

    The Faculty Connection is a website that provides free courseware and resources for instructors of all levels.

    Here are some of the most popular recent downloads

    You can get free software too!

    Anyone can browse the content on the faculty connection website, but to download the content you must register and provide proof that you are an instructor, teacher, or professor. You can also reach out to your local technical evangelist to get a promotion code to simplify registration.

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