At Rio Hondo today, I gave my first Imagine Cup talk with Alice Pang (make sure to visit her blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/alicerp ).  Alice gave her talk on Web Matrix, which might seem kind of base if I had a focus on Windows Phone 7, but really it isn’t.

We often think of the phone separate from the web, oh sure we use the web from the phone, but doesn’t it at times seem disconnected from the “apps”.  If we think of the apps though, we get phone apps through the internet and how do we research what the apps do.  We could use the reviews in the marketplace, but wouldn’t it be better to use a web site?  What a web site that is specially tuned to our phone application?

  • What kinds of things can we do with our WP7 applications that connect them to the web?
  • Advertise our app, without marketing the app your sales will be lower
  • Leaderboards, for example for games leaderboards help players show off and build community
  • For business purposes you may need to use web services to drive data into your application

So how do you connect your Windows Phone 7 Application (Game or Productivity) to a web site or web service.  Normally you might think that the Razor syntax (if you are familiar with Razor) would be used to render the web service, but that is not the case Razor is used for client side.  In this case you might be able to do this with JSON (Javascript Object Notation), and the article I am examining for this blog is the following:

http://www.mikesdotnetting.com/Article/160/WebMatrix-Working-With-The-JSON-Helper

Now what is a Web Service, basically it is a way for the server to transmit data in a structured way to consuming websites and programs elsewhere on the internet.  What is an example of this? NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the general site is http://www.noaa.gov, but the site also has web services that you could consume in your Web Matrix site and on the phone.  One of the types of web services is SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) based:

  • Soap: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/xml/,
  • Here are the instructions for how to set up your web service on how to consume data directly from the NOAA website

In a game like Angry Dolphins, you could use live wind data for the location the game is being played at, how?  Come on, that would mean I would have to do some real work instead of blathering.

So now I have to follow up on this article.  But for now, got to go!