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Detail and resources on building apps and games for Windows Phone

Key Resources for Windows Phone Developers

Key Resources for Windows Phone Developers

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OK its time to pick up the blog again! For those following along at home, I'm Larry A. Lieberman, a Product Manager working on the Windows Phone Application Platform. My job is focused on trying to coordinate all of the developer "content" that Microsoft publishes for developers around writing apps and games for Windows Phone. I use the "" around "content" simply to reflect the abstract nature of 'stuff' we put on the Internet.

Microsoft is, as we often say, a developer focused company, and has been since the start, (March 1975). Our first product was a BASIC compiler for the Altair 8800 microcomputer... and the rest, as they say, is history!

Anyhow, my point is that creating a rich ecosystem in which our developers can thrive is something with which we have a bit of experience. A key part to this is ensuring that developers have the content they need.

We publish a LOT of developer content. We publish 'official documentation'. We publish 'how to' training usually in the form of videos. We publish conversational 'shows' on Channel 9. We publish 'hands on lab' training kits. We developer content which gets delivered at big conferences, globally. We create video training targeting very specific scenarios, (like 'getting to Mango'). If anything we publish too much content.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Of course, we have a lot of different teams working on developer technologies, and each one has a few people dedicated to publishing content. We also have really large field organizations that are trying create their own content for their specific local developer audiences. We do occasionally, thus, end up 're-inventing the wheel'.

My job is about trying to rationalize all this activity. We want to maximize our impact, and minimize duplication.

In that vein, herein you will find my 'blog' post where I will give you a quick introduction to the Windows Phone online content landscape. The goal is to give you a very quick survey of what's available, in case you are simply sampling the platform.

CONTENT ON APP HUB

App Hub, (itself). This is where you go register for marketplace, submit, and manage your app publication process for Windows Phone. We also attempt to create a rational mapping of the content landscape, but we have some limitations on what we can do here, and it often ends up not being as clear as we'd like. This means that App Hub ends up 'mostly' being targeted at the actual 'program' associated with registering and submitting your application. http://create.msdn.com

Getting Started on App Hub. http://wpdev.ms/startwpdev

Downloads. This is where you get the latest developer tools for Windows Phone, (always free as in beer). http://wpdev.ms/wpdowns.

Registration Walkthrough. Explains how you register for an account. http://wpdev.ms/regwalk

Submission Walkthrough. Explains how you submit an application for certification. http://wpdev.ms/subwalk

Certification Requirements. These actually aren't on App Hub anymore, but because they are so fundamental to the App Hub 'program,' i'm listing them here. http://wpdev.ms/certreq

App Hub FAQ (Full). http://wpdev.ms/apphubfaq

App Hub Forums. Go here for help from fellow developers. http://wpdev.ms/ahforum

WP Silverlight Application Development 'Quickstarts'. These are super cool, quick tutorials that provide you very concise instructions, (with in line demonstrations), around key developer scenarios on Windows Phone. Recommended! http://wpdev.ms/xamlquick

Game Developer Resource Page. This isn't just about WP games, but all game development based on XNA Framework. http://wpdev.ms/xnaquick

App Hub Developer Support. http://wpdev.ms/devsupport

CONTENT ON MSDN

Primary Windows Phone node in the MSDN Library. This is our 'official' documentation. Note, not _all_ of the official documentation lives under this node. Since Windows Phone's application platform is predominantly based on Silverlight and XNA, you also need to be aware of the key nodes for those specific technologies as well. (supra.). http://wpdev.ms/wponmsdn

MSDN Library, primary node for XNA Game Studio 4.0. This includes developing Windows Phone games using the XNA Framework, in depth. http://wpdev.ms/xnaonmsdn

MSDN Library, primary node for Silverlight for Windows Phone, (WP7.1). This is the Silverlight specific documentation for Windows Phone 'Mango'. http://wpdev.ms/sl4onmsdn

Windows Phone User Experience Guidelines. This is pretty comprehensive, but a little to meaty for most folks. We'll have a lot more information about UX on Windows Phone in the coming weeks and months. http://wpdev.ms/wpuxguide

Building a Windows Phone Application from Start to Finish. This is a pretty cool guide the P&P guys did, to walk you through the entire process of building an app. http://wpdev.ms/starttofinish

Microsoft Patterns & Practices: WP Developer Guide. A very big and comprehensive guide to building WP apps, from soup to nuts. http://wpdev.ms/wppatt

"How To" Index. An index of all of the 'how to' documentation put together by the doc team. http://wpdev.ms/wphowtos

CODE RESOURCES

Windows Phone Training Kit 7.1. A different set of hands on labs, targeting the new features and functionality of Windows Phone 'Mango'. http://wpdev.ms/wpdevtrain

Official Sample Code. This is a large set of sample code that's published inside our 'official' documentation on the MSDN Library. http://wpdev.ms/officialsamples

THREE OF MY FAVORITE ADD ONs (not trying to play favorites, but i'm getting tired of typing and creating short links...)

Silverlight Toolkit for Windows Phone. This would have been ideally packaged directly within the WP SDK, but the harsh realities of a big software company sometimes mean you don't get 'ideal'. They are super important and cool. http://wpdev.ms/wpsltk

Coding4Fun Tools. Who can argue with 'fun'? I know i can't. http://wpdev.ms/code4fun

Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone. Makes it easy to build apps (and games), that leverage Azure services. This is an amazing feat in and of itself, worthy of several academy awards, at least. http://wpdev.ms/wpwaztk

VIDEOS

WP for Absolute Beginners. Astonishingly good series of many videos about how to program for Windows Phone. Even though it is targeted at people who do not know programming at all, I highly recommend it, because it is so well 'grounded,' and gives you a great understanding of why things are done the way they are in C#, IMO. http://wpdev.ms/beginvids

Mango Jumpstart Training. This was just put up yesterday. Rob and Andy deliver the end-to-end textbook on Windows Phone development, all right on your computer in an easy to consume video format. From their mouths to your brain. http://wpdev.ms/wpmgojs

Microsoft Design Toolbox training, (includes a lot on Windows Phone, including the 'extra credit course,' four projects with six sessions each, and many new 'tutorials'. http://wpdev.ms/designtb

Inside Windows Phone Show. A weekly interview with a person of note involved in developing and/or evangelizing the Windows Phone developer ecosystem. Hosted by yours truly. http://wpdev.ms/insidewp

Streaming videos of our sessions at the MIX 11 event last April, (where we unveiled the WP Mango app platform). http://wpdev.ms/wpmix11

Videos of Windows Phone at last November's //BUILD event. http://wpdev.ms/phoneatbuild

Phew. That's all for now. More later.

LL
@larryalieberman
larryli@microsoft.com

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