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    Windows Azure Mobile services help students build professional apps

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    IC613644Ever wanted to develop a Windows 8 or Windows Phone app which reads and writes data from a database? It just got a lot easier.

    You want to build an app, a really good app. Depending on the type of app you want to build, you may need your app to access a database.

    Normally, when you want to create an app to read and update data, you create a WCF “Windows Communication Foundation” web service. This web service usually connects to a SQL server database hosted on your server or on SQL Azure. In your web service you create methods to read records, delete records, add records and update records in the database.

    There are lots of apps built with this model. But chances are  your school never taught you how to build a web service, so there is a learning curve. If your priority is to add this functionality as quickly as possible with the confidence that you have a good architecture, check out Windows Azure Mobile Services. Windows Azure Mobile services provides an API that you can use to call methods to add, update, or delete records and you don’t have to publish your own web service. How do you get it? Sign up for Windows Azure, create a new Mobile service and then add a reference to the Windows Azure Mobile service API and start using it!

    How to get started

    For more details on how to get started with Windows Azure Mobile Services, check out this video.

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    We’re giving away 8 Kinects and a laptop!

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    imageSign up to be part of Microsoft’s technical student network and you’ll be first to know and maybe first to win!

    During the year we organize some big events and some cool promotions. Whether it’s the Imagine Cup which challenges you to do amazing things with code or the Developer Movement which rewarded students who built apps. We want to make sure we can let you know about our big announcements.

    Sign up to be part of Microsoft’s technical student network and you’ll be first to know and just for fun we’ve got a grand prize of a cool new laptop and 2 winners per week for a Kinect for Xbox 360. Contest closes October 25, 2012.

    Sign up today!

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    Want to get hands-on with the cloud?

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    TWindows Azurehere are some online workshops coming up on Azure to give you some hands-on experience

    The cloud is here to stay, that’s not changing. It’s one thing to read about it, but nothing replaces actually trying it out for yourself.

    There will be a series of Online workshops you can attend to learn how to leverage Azure. There are so many aspects of Azure you might find of interesting.

    • Need a place to host a website? (psst…Azure websites)
    • Building mobile apps and looking for pre-created services to speed that up? (psst..Mobile services)
    • Need to store data somewhere our there on the internet? (psst…SQLAzure  
    • Have a virtual machine you want to put out there in the cloud?  (psst…Virtual Machines)
    • Want to create your own web service in the cloud? (psst… Cloud services)
    • Starting your own business but don’t want to spend money and time buying and maintaining your own servers?

    Learn more about how to make Azure work for you, register for these hands-on online workshops listed below!

    Here's a few resources to help you get rolling with Azure as well

    Event

    Description

    Date & Time

     

    Windows Azure Virtual DevCamp

    Through instruction, demonstration, and hands-on labs, you will get an understanding of the ins and outs of the platform and how to best leverage its services to build your new applications in the Cloud or migrate existing applications to the Cloud.

    October 3rd, 2012

    REGISTER

    Windows Azure Virtual Workshop #1: Cloud Variations

    In this workshop, you will explore Windows Azure’s infrastructure options – Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, and Websites. Through comparing and contrasting the options, you will walk away from the workshop better equipped to choose the right option for different solutions.

    October 15th, 2012

    REGISTER

    Windows Azure Virtual Workshop #2: Building Connected Applications with Windows Azure

    In this workshop, you will discover how the various Windows Azure services can be integrated into apps  to extend their functionality. You will also learn how to address common needs such as computing capabilities, storage, authentication, and more. To demonstrate concepts, this workshop focuses on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, though concepts can be applied to any platform including Android and iOS.

    October 22nd, 2012

    REGISTER

    Windows Azure Virtual Workshop #3: Migrating Applications to Windows Azure

    In this workshop, you will explore approaches to migrating applications, walk through concerns and considerations to take into account while planning a migration, and learn how to implement a migration plan to move applications from on-premises (or traditional hosting) to Windows Azure.

    October 29th, 2012

    REGISTER

    Find out about these and other events happening for students in Canada on our Facebook MicrosoftCanadaStudents/Events page

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    GameSalad announces Windows 8 support

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    Good news for gamers trying to support multiple platforms, GameSalad is adding support for Windows 8

    GameSalad has announced they are going to bring Windows 8 app store publishing to GameSalad creator.

    So what is GameSalad? It’s a tool that allows you to build games and will generate code from your design for multiple platforms such as Windows 8, iPhone, and Android. If you are curious, it’s powered by HTML5. A lot of the game design is done with drag and drop. Define your actors, scenes, and actions. You can check out some of the games others have built with GameSalad here 

    There will be a webinar on Friday September 28th at 1:00 PM CST for any developers interested in publishing to the Windows 8 store. You can register here.

    Of course it’s possible to create games from scratch, but for some developers a tool can make it easier. You can download the basic version of GameSalad here and explore. Nice option for game developers trying to target multiple platforms who don’t necessarily have the knowledge to build native apps on their own for the different platforms.

    Don’t forget to keep checking our Windows 8 resources page for suggestions on where to find resources for new and experienced app developers. As we find new resources to help you we’ll keep adding them there!

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    How to get your free student Windows Phone store account

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    Windows Phone appsStudent can publish their apps to the Windows Phone store at no charge through the DreamSpark program. Here’s how.

    There are perks to being a student, in this case it’s not having to pay to register and publish in the Windows Phone or Windows 8 stores. In this blog post you’ll see how to get your complimentary Windows Phone store account. If you haven’t created your free Windows 8 store account yet, there is a blog on how to do that here.

    The basic instructions on how to create your Windows phone account can be found on the DreamSpark site here, the rest of this blog provides more detailed instructions on how to create your Windows Phone Store account. The steps for registering in the Windows Phone store are similar to those required to create an account in the Windows 8 store. If you plan to publish Windows 8 and Windows phone apps you need to create accounts in both stores. You can tie the same publisher name to both stores or you can choose to use different publisher names in each.

    To create a Windows Phone Store account for a student, you must

    1. Verify you are a student
    2. Map a Microsoft account to your DreamSpark account
    3. Register at the Windows Store
    4. Get Coding!

    1. Verify you are a student

    Already got a DreamSpark account?

    Then you can go ahead to step two and map a Microsoft account to your DreamSpark account.

    Don’t have a DreamSpark account?

    You can create a DreamSpark account and verify your student status through one of the following 3 methods.

    • With your school domain, i.e. look up your school in the appropriate drop-down box and then provide your school email address
    • With an access code provided by a Microsoft representative or obtained by mailing DreamSpark Student support and providing proof of your student status (ID and school transcript or reenrollment form)
    • With your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) number if you have one

    2. Map a Microsoft account to your DreamSpark account

    DreamSpark does not require you to have a Microsoft account, but the Windows Phone store does.

    If you don’t have a Microsoft account? You can go ahead and create a Microsoft Account now.

    • If your DreamSpark account is not tied to a Microsoft account, you will need to map your account.
    • If you DreamSpark account is already tied to a Microsoft account, you can continue to step three.

    3. Register at the Windows Phone Store

    Go to the Windows Phone Store to register, enter the Microsoft account that is tied to your DreamSpark account. Select Account type individual or student.

    Creating Windows Phone Store Account

    You will be asked to enter your name, email address, phone number and so on.

    You will also be asked to specify a Publisher Name.  This is the name that will appear in the Windows Phone store.

    Windows Phone Store publisher name

    When you get to the Payment screen, choose the option “I’m a student” since you have already tied the account you used to for the store account to your DreamSpark account, your account will be verified as a student account and you will not be charged.

    Windows Phone Store Payment options

    4. Get Coding!

    The store is waiting for your app! There are lots of great resources out there to help you get started.

    Don’t forget to check out some of the tips and tricks shared by other Canadian students who built Windows Phone apps, if you publish an app and want to share your tips & tricks, let us know!

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