Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
I have a had a number of questions last week, from some of the UK’s University Gaming Students and Academics re Windows 8.
Over the past few weeks as part of my UK tour with Aardvark Swift recruitment, I have been highlighting the opportunity of students building portfolio’s and publishing apps on Windows 8 Store to demonstrate their abilities to help them gain employment see the PowerPoint deck below.
For more resources on Windows 8 development see http://www.ubelly.com/gaming
If your interested in attending a free Windows 8 developer camp see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8
One of the questions, I was asked last week was how can student use tools to develop prototypes and proof of concepts for academic activities, I wanted to share with you the following templates for PowerPoint. Using these templates, you can quickly put together a Windows 8 app layout and iterate on it. All elements in the set are based upon regular PowerPoint vector shapes, and are fully editable and customizable.
As anyone who has seen one of my presentations, PowerPoint is a really great rapid prototyping tool its slide-by-slide approach allows you to present a flow and tell a story with your designs. You can even create basic clickable prototypes by adding hyperlinks between slides. Furthermore, PowerPoint is available on almost every computer, including the new Windows Surface devices that run Windows RT, and is fairly simple to get started with.
Download the Templates For Free!
The wireframing set is available as a .pptx file (for PowerPoint 2007 or newer) that you can download using the link below:
It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You can therefore use it any way you want, private or commercial, just as long as you distribute the resulting work under the same license and give proper credit to the original creators:
Example grid page displaying item previews arranged in groups.
Example page displaying details for a single group with previews for each item in the group.
Example page displaying one item in detail.
Example page displaying a list of items and the details for the selected item.
Example of a Metro app in snapped view state.
Example of an app in fill view state.
Collection of common UI controls (part 1): button, text box, list box, check box, radio button, toggle switch, etc.
Collection of common UI controls (part 2): search box, date/time picker, slider, progress bar, scrollbar, etc.
Grid view (with groups).
List view and charms bar.
App header, app bar, and toast.
240 app icons (part 1).
240 app icons (part 2).
While you can build great prototypes with FREE tools and PowerPoint, you may find yourself wanting the templates to be in a format that is easier to search through.
In this case, I can highly recommend taking a look at PowerMockup, an add-on for PowerPoint.
PowerMockup provides a searchable library of wireframe elements that can easily be dragged and dropped onto a slide. Best of all, the tool allows you to add your own creations to the library and share them with others.
Andreas Wulf, www.powermockup.com has created these FREE additions
After downloading the files, switch to the “PowerMockup” tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon bar, click on “Import Files”, and select the downloaded .pmst files. Here is a screenshot of how it will look like after you have imported the templates:
All elements, including the icons, are properly named and tagged, making them easily searchable.
I hope you enjoy the set!
Normally, if were installing the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 onto a single machine you do it through the web installer located here:
or via Microsoft Download centre at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=27570
However, if you need to install it on a disconnected machine (VM image) or deploy the SDK to a number of machines within a lab or cluster it’s helpful to have an .iso of the installation media to install from.
Microsoft also provides a download for the .iso as well. You can get it from here http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=226694
Installing the Windows Phone SDK via ISO
Phone SDK consists of many packages/products and all these are installed on User’s machine as part of Phone SDK installation. Some of these packages are Emulator, XNA, Blend, Visual Studio Add-in for VS Ultimate, etc. Each individual package has got it’s own MSI.
When you extract the ISO (let’s say in dvd folder), you will find Setup.exe at the base level (dvd folder). This is a chainer and invokes all the MSIs one-after-another, the same way you mentioned below. Anyone who wants to install through ISO, should double-click Setup.exe and installation will start. It also gives you the option of Silent install same as MSI (option /q) and thus can be used through automation scripts as well.
This is an important folder which contains most of the package MSIs but they should not be invoked separately. The complete installation is dependent on the sequence in which these MSIs are installed.
After Uninstall, only Expression Blend entries are left back and this is known. Blend is a separately installed product and many Universities may therefore have this previously installed, as such we decided not to uninstall Blend in case a licensed version is present on the machine and our uninstall causes any problems with previously installed products.
In short, consider Setup.exe as your master MSI and use it in your scripts, everything should work.
The creation of MSI is primary used for legacy applications that were written prior to msi technology, and may be unreliable as the "snapshot" technique does not take into account existing software dependencies.
Windows does not natively contain the necessary tools for you to create your own MSI files. Instead, you will have to rely on a third party MSI creation tool. There are several good tools available for free. Two of the more popular choices are MAKEMSI (http://dennisbareis.com/makemsi.htm) and WinInstall LE 2003 (http://www.ondemandsoftware.com/freele.asp).
The reason why .MSI files are the preferred installer package for Windows is because of the file format’s capabilities. When you install or uninstall an MSI file on a machine running Windows 7, Windows creates a system restore point. Furthermore, MSI files allow the application to be “self healing”. I’ll talk more about this later on, but basically this means that if part of the application is damaged or removed, then Windows has enough information to replace the damaged or missing parts. Finally, MSI files allow the system to automatically perform a rollback to its previous state if an installation should fail.
With MSI files having so many capabilities, it should come as no surprise that MSI files tend to be a bit complex. MSI files are actually database files with information pertaining to every file and setting that the application installs or modifies. Because of this complexity, most of the MSI file creation utilities require you to do at least some scripting when you create an MSI file.
WinInstall LE requires you to have a machine with a clean Windows installation and network connectivity. The software then takes a snapshot of this machine and saves the configuration image. You would then install the application that you want to create the MSI file for and take another snap shot. WinInstall would then compare the snapshots and use the differences between the two images to create an MSI file and the corresponding installation package.
This method is a little time consuming, but is far less tedious than writing scripts. Another advantage to using this method is that it is possible to install multiple applications on to the clean machine prior to taking the second snap shot. This means that you can create a single MSI file and installation package that deploys multiple applications.
Now that you know how to create an MSI file, there is one last concept that I need to talk about before I show you how to deploy an application thorough the Active Directory.
As you may already know, in an Active Directory environment, group policies are the main component of network security. Group policy objects can be applied either to users or to computers. Deploying applications through the Active Directory is also done through the use of group policies, and therefore applications are deployed either on a per user basis or on a per computer basis.
There are two different ways that you can deploy an application through the Active Directory. You can either publish the application or you can assign the application. You can only publish applications to users, but you can assign applications to either users or to computers. The application is deployed in a different manner depending on which of these methods you use.
Publishing an application doesn’t actually install the application, but rather makes it available to users. For example, suppose that you were to publish the Windows Phone SDK tools. Publishing is a group policy setting, so it would not take effect until the next time that the user logs in. When the user does log in though, they will not initially notice anything different. However, if the user were to open the Control Panel and click on the Add / Remove Programs option, they will find that Microsoft Windows SDK is now on the list. A user can then choose to install Microsoft Windows SDK on their machine.
Assigning an application to a user works differently than publishing an application. Again, assigning an application is a group policy action, so the assignment won’t take effect until the next time that the user logs in. When the user does log in, they will see that the new application has been added to the Start menu and / or to the desktop.
Although a menu option or an icon for the application exists, the software hasn’t actually been installed though. To avoid overwhelming the server containing the installation package, the software is not actually installed until the user attempts to use it for the first time.
This is also where the self healing feature comes in. When ever a user attempts to use the application, Windows always does a quick check to make sure that the application hasn’t been damaged. If files or registry settings are missing, they are automatically replaced.
Assigning an application to a computer works similarly to assigning an application to a user. The main difference is that the assignment is linked to the computer rather than to the user, so it takes effect the next time that the computer is rebooted. Assigning an application to a computer also differs from user assignments in that the deployment process actually installs the application rather than just the application’s icon.
Setting up the actual deployment is simple. The biggest thing that you must remember is that the MSI file and the corresponding package must exist within a network share, and everyone must have read permissions for that share.
To perform the deployment, open the Group Policy Editor. To publish or assign an application to a user, navigate through the group policy console to User Configuration | Software Settings | Software Installation. Now, right click on the Software Installation container and select the New | Package commands from the shortcut menu. Select the appropriate MSI file and click Open. You are now asked whether you want to publish or assign the application. Make your selection and click OK.
The process for assigning an application to a computer is almost identical. The only real difference is that you would use the Software Settings | Software Installation container beneath the Computer Configuration container rather than beneath the User Configuration container.
Over the past few weeks with the Public Beta of Unity for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have had a number of questions about the opportunity of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and UNITY3D.
Unity is popular cross-platform game engine with a built-in IDE developed by Unity Technologies. It is used to develop video games for web plugins, desktop platforms, consoles and mobile devices, and is utilized by over one million developers.
Unity in education is primarily used to create mobile and web games, but can also deploy games to consoles or the PC.
A number of 3rd Party Unity assets are presently being developed to provide full support for Windows 8 and Windows Azure.
One of these plug-ins is developed by Bit Rave. Bit Rave have extensive experience working with the Windows 8 platform capabilities, and as part of that we decided to build a library for Unity to make Windows 8 integration easier for everyone.
Bit Rave are currently looking for people interested in joining a closed beta. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to participate.
So what important about Windows 8 features?
Live Tiles are what makes your Windows experiences come to life. Bit Rave Live Tiles allows you to update and manage Live Tiles from within Unity.
For more information on Live Tiles check out Guidelines and checklist for tiles and badges on MSDN.
With both square and wide tile, Bit Rave makes it trivial to support both.
With support for text tiles and image tiles, there are lots of options.
And for Unity Pro users, you how about a screenshot on your live tile!
You can also manage rotating tile updates with just a few lines of code.
Windows 8 comes with a variety of devices, all with varying different screen layout capabilities. Bitrave's Snap View library helps you implement responsive applications for all changes in UI without having to leave Unity.
To learn more about the view states, check out Guidelines for Snapped and Fill Views on MSDN.
Register for snap, filled, and full screen views with the following line of code.
Register for orientation changes with the following line of code:
Charms covers both the settings charm, and the share charm for sharing content from within your app. For integration with the Search charm, it has it's own component appropriately named Search.
Setting is how your users find your help, your privacy policies, and find out further information about yoru application. You can trigger the settings charm manually with a single line of code.
Sharing is one of the key components of Windows 8 applications. Sharing allows your application to interact with other applications who can consume the content. You can allows your application to share with your favourite social media client, or maybe share an image with a photo manipulation app.
Bit Rave for Live Apps allows you to share seamlessly. To register content for sharing, it can be all done in a single line of code!
3: "Hello World!");
Or maybe you want to share an image from within game:
And for Unity Pro users, how about sharing a screenshot from a camera!
And you can even trigger the UI manually from within game:
With your Microsoft ID following you between machines, you can now take advantage of Roaming Settings. Use roaming settings to synchronise high scores and game files across machines. Bitrave Settings let you do all this simply and easily without having to leave Unity, and also supports Local Settings for non-roaming preferences and data.
Register for updates to settings data with the following line of code.
Roaming settings go with you, and all it takes is just a line of code to set them.
1: RoamingSettings.SetValue("high-score", hiScoreValue);
And just one line of code to retrieve.
1: var highScore = RoamingSettings.GetValue("high-score");
Local settings act just like roaming settings, but stay on a single machine when you don't want them to roam. You set and retrieve them in the same way.
1: LocalSettings.SetValue("high-score", hiScoreValue);
1: var highScore = LocalSettings.GetValue("high-score");
Azure Mobile Services allow you to take your application to the cloud quickly and easily.
And now you can access Azure Mobile Services directly from your Unity code.
Initialisation is just as simple as you'd expect.
1: var service = AzureMobileServices("url", "token");
Insert an item into your Azure database in a single line of code from Unity.
Update items in the Azure databsae with just one line of code from Unity.
Remove items from the Azure database in 1 line of code from Unity.
Query items in your Azure Mobile Services from Unity.
1: service.Where<ToDoItem>(p => p.Category == "Exercise", MyCallback);
2: public void MyCallback(List<ToDoItem> items)
NOTE: await / async will be available when supported by Unity. Until then we are using callbacks.
Lookup items in your Azure Mobile Services from Unity.
1: service.Lookup<ToDoItem>(myItem, MyCallback);
2: public void
3: MyCallback(ToDoItem item)
Microsoft recently ran an full day of events to highlight the opportunity of Windows and Unity.
You can watch the content below and get access to all the materials at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Windows-Camp/Building-Windows-Games-with-Unity?d=1
This session is a lightning tour of the Windows 8 experiences, and the most relevant improvements that game developers will run into when building a game for the Windows Store. You will also get a comprehensive overview on the economics behind the Windows Store
End-to-End: Develop, debug and deploy a Unity game for the Windows Store
In this session, we will build a game using Unity Editor and then export it for usage in a Windows Store app. You will see the exporting of the unity player, the visual studio project and deploying to a Windows RT device.
Deep dive: Tips & tricks for porting games from other platforms to Windows 8
Go deep under the hood of Unity for Windows Store apps. After this session you will understand how the engine works, and the changes you will need to make to port a Unity game to run on the Windows Store app model.
Sharing code: Reuse all this new knowledge on the Windows Phone platform
Most of what you learned so far on building Unity games for Windows 8 is applicable to Windows Phone too. In this session, we will highlight the few differences across the platforms; we will start with the Windows Phone Store monetization differences and then get to the tools and platform differences. ...
Differentiate: Integrate your game with Windows 8 platform features (such as contracts,…
To have a truly great game, you will need to integrate with Windows 8 features like contracts, live tiles, and push notifications; in this session you will see coding examples and learn techniques for writing plugins that integrate a Unity game with native Windows 8 features.
Introduction to building games with Unity
In this session, Carl Callewaert demos how to build a game using Unity Editor.
Partner Session: Rogue Rocket Games
Rogue Rocket games has released two games to the Windows Store: GunPowder and SushiChop. In this session you will hear their lessons learned during their journey writing these two games.
Partner Session: Coding Jar Studios
Coding Jar Studios started by writing Fling Theory for the Windows Store and quickly ported the game to Windows Phone. In this session you will hear their lessons learned while writing the Windows game and porting it to phone.
Partner Session: Luminary
Luminary is one of the first companies that ported games to Windows Phone. In this session you will hear their lessons learned in porting a Unity game from other platform to Windows Phone.
Next week I will be at the Develop Conference, attending some of the 103 sessions, 5 keynotes, and on the Microsoft stand at the Expo. I’m looking forward to networking with the 1500 developers and 450 companies during the event and discussing the opportunity of developing Windows 8 Metro Style games.
On http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh452780.aspx we list options for developing Windows 8 games.
At present there are over 50 games available in the store using the above technologies, here are some good links to get started
· Metro style app using C++, C#, or Visual Basic and XAML. You can use managed code languages like C# and Visual Basic to develop 2D (and lightweight 3D) games. If you have developed in Silverlight for Internet Explorer or Windows Phone 7, this model will feel very familiar.
· Metro style C++ with DirectX. You can develop both 2D and 3D games that effectively use the graphics processing horsepower on a range of Windows desktops and 3D-enabled Windows devices, from high powered gaming rigs to low power slates. It requires a strong working knowledge of Windows programming and native C/C++.
There are a number of online tutorial around Marble Maze which is a DirectX game written in C++. This leads you to the more basic “Hello World” example over here although while the results of that example are “Hello World” in nature.
There’s another, more realistic sample over here with a walk-through to build up a Metro style shooting game. It takes the form of a completed code sample and a walk through of what’s going on in that sample.
It runs to around 40 source files.
The key learning outcome for starting to build games for Metro are as follows as these would make excellent starting points for curricula development for Developing Metro Style Games.
1) Understanding how a Metro style app gets on the screen – i.e. the infrastructure around IFrameworkViewSource and IFrameworkView.
2) Understanding C++/CX which is a bunch of C++ extensions relatively familiar to people like me who’ve come from the C++/CLI world but a bit odd to a regular C++ developer.
3) Understanding some of the technologies used like the Parallel Patterns Library (PPL) which our default templates throw at you.
4) Understanding some of the C++ 11 techniques like lambdas which our default templates also throw at you.
5) Understanding how a Metro style app is meant to work from the point of view of lifecycle management (i.e. suspend/resume/terminate).
6) Understanding the WinRT APIs available and their main usage and purpose.
Steps 5 & 6 are common to any Windows 8 Metro style app developer.
As we are all aware, there are many game engines /frameworks (middleware) available. Some of these are already supporting development for Win 8 metro games whilst others are planning to support it within the coming months. I have listed the ones which are or have short terms plans to support W8 metro apps. I am sure that there will be more to come…
A full games development tool/suite – physics, rendering, scripting, AI etc.
Windows 8 Metro support: coming soon (for GA)
An Open Source, OpenGL implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework
Windows 8 Metro support: coming soon (‘later this year’)
Dev languages: C#/XNA
SharpDX is an open-source project delivering the full DirectX API under the .Net platform, allowing the development of high performance game, 2D and 3D graphics rendering as well as realtime sound application.
Windows 8 Metro support: Now
Dev languages: C#
For all of you who have asked what Windows 8 devices will be available later this year? Here is a quick run down on Windows 8 devices from the Computex, as you may be aware from the press announcements Intel made the statement that more than 20 Windows 8 tablets with Intel innards are on the way, meaning these are new slates from Acer, ASUS and Samsung here are some of the models which were on display at Computex and reviews via the verge and engadget.
Samsung teases Series 5 Hybrid PC, a Windows 8 tablet with magnetic keyboard dock and pen support (update: hands-on photos)
The Hybrid is rated for 10 hours of battery life and has a pair of 2- and 8-megapixel cameras. It also supports pen input, and will come bundled with the same S-Pen and S-Memo software used on the Galaxy Note 10.1 (but modified for Windows, of course). This might be a good time to clarify that unlike the 10.1 (or any other Galaxy Tab, for that matter), this is not an ARM-based slate, but rather, an X86 PC.
Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch hands-on
Samsung Series 5 Ultra Convertible hands-on
ASUS outs Tablet 600, a Transformer-like Slate running Windows RT
Like any Android-powered Transformer, this one packs a quad-core Tegra 3 chip, except it has twice the RAM (2GB). At the center of it all is a 10.1-inch (1366 x 768) IPS+ display with viewing angles similar to what you'll find on current Transformer tablets. Around back, it has an auto-focusing 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash, complemented by a 2-megapixel shooter up front. Other specs include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and your usual array of sensors, including GPS, a gyroscope, e-compass and, last but not least, NFC
ASUS reveals TAICHI convertible notebook / tablet with dual 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch displays It http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/04/asus-taichi-n-trig-duosense-pen/
Two displays in one tablet? Yes you can. ASUS' new TAICHI series packs displays on both the front and the rear, letting you use the device in a variety of configurations. In 'notebook' mode, you can use TAICHI with a backlit QWERTY keyboard and trackpad. Once you close the lid, however, it's stylus time. TAICHI includes Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processors, 4 gigs of RAM, SSD storage, dual-band 802.11n WiFi, FHD/Super IPS+ displays and, naturally, dual cameras. Despite the display duo, both the 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch configurations are reportedly as thin and light as the Zenbook line. Both variants will offer 1920 x 1080 pixels on each side, and displays can be used independently, so you can even share the device with a friend -- with completely different content on each LCD.
Asus Transformer AiO dual-boots Windows 8 and Android 4.0 (hands-on video)
ASUS announces line of Transformer Books, laptops with detachable touchscreens
In addition to various Windows 8 tablets and a dual-booting all-in-one, ASUS announced the Transformer Book, a line of notebooks with detachable touch screens that can function as tablets -- not ARM-based tablets, mind you, but full-blown x86 slates. Look no further than the large screen sizes: 11.6, 13 and 14 inches. As mentioned, they pack laptop-grade chips to match, including a Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, backed by discrete graphics. Storage options include SSDs and traditional hard drives, and we're told these lappies can accommodate up to 4GB of RAM.
MSI Slider S20 to make Intel's convertible 'Letexo' ultrabook concept a reality. MSI unwraps Slider S20 hybrid tablet with Windows 8 (hands-on)
S20 variant with a properly speedy low-voltage Ivy Bridge chip as well as 4GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI and USB 3.0. Our friends at Engadget Spanish got an early look and found the tablet a bit chunky with a so-so display, but also thought that it looked like a "robust" design. Check our overseas companions' first impressions for more, and know that the Slider S20 is expected to reach Europe in September at €899 ($1,121) in its full Ivy Bridge glory along with a lower-powered model at €799 ($996).
MSI Slider S20
There's a Transformer-style tablet with detachable keyboard dock
Acer unveils 11.6-inch Iconia W700, 10.1-inch W510 Windows 8 tablets (update: hands-on pictures and video) http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/03/acer-iconia-w700-w510-windows-8/
That first flavor packs a relatively massive 11.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display with touch support for up to 10 fingers, and ships with a cradle that positions the device at 70 degrees for landscape viewing or 20 degrees for touch use. It offers more than 8 hours of battery life and also includes a trio of USB 3.0 ports, along with Dolby Home Theater for enhanced audio. Acer appears to be marketing the W700 as a "desktop replacement" when paired with a cradle and keyboard. Unlike the W510, the dock is only used to hold and position the device -- you'll need to use Bluetooth to add an external keyboard. The tablet includes a bevy of connectivity options, including Thunderbolt, micro HDMI, USB 3.0 and a power jack on the left side, a pair of red-grilled speakers on the bottom, and a power button, headphone jack and volume rocker on the right. There's also a five-megapixel autofocus camera and microphone on the rear, and a Windows key and front-facing camera flanking the large, high-res display.
Acer introduces Aspire S7 Windows 8 touchscreen ultrabooks
The 1080p touchscreen laptop is coming in two sizes — 13.3 and 11.6 inches — and Acer is quoting 12 and 9 hours of battery life, respectively. Other details are light, but Acer is adding a glossy layer of glass to the outside of the 13.3-inch machine’s aluminum lid. It seems like the company is tempting fate a little by putting glass on the laptop's exterior, but the "trendy and elegant appearance" must be worth it
Acer introduces Windows 8 all-in-one U Series at Computex 2012 http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/03/acer-announces-windows-8-all-in-one-u-series-at-computex-2012/
Acer just introduced two Windows 8-equipped U Series all-in-one desktops here at Computer 2012 in Taipei -- the 27-inch Aspire 7600U and 23-inch Aspire 5600U. The 7600U features a 64-point capacitive multitouch tilt and swivel display and is only 3.5cm (1.38 inches) thick, while the 5600U is billed as "the thinnest AIO available" (no numbers specified). Both system feature HD visuals and Dolby Home Theater Surround sound, but the company isn't ready to share any other details on specs.
A1.5GHz dual-core APQ8060A with 2GB of RAM
Sony VAIO T ultrabook
Sony's 13-inch VAIO T ultrabook, on sale today
For those who have been asked about running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the retail version of Nike-Tab (sold as the Series 7 Slate)… please note that has Samsung created a new webpage to assist users with the install + drivers which can be found here: http://www.samsung.com/global/windowspreview/
Visual Studio 2013, .NET 4.5.1, and Team Foundation Server 2013 are now available for download! DreamSpark subscribers can download Visual Studio FREE of Charge from either their Institutional DreamSpark ELMS store or direct from DreamSpark.com.
Visual Studio 2013 is the best tool for developers and teams to build and deliver modern, connected applications on all of Microsoft’s platforms. From Windows Azure and SQL Server to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8, Visual Studio 2013 supports the breadth of Microsoft’s developer platforms.
As part of the Cloud OS vision, Visual Studio 2013 enables developers to build modern business applications that take advantage of the cloud and target a variety of devices and end-user experiences, all delivered within today’s rapid and dynamic application lifecycles.
Accessing Visual Studio 2013 via DreamSpark.com
When student download and install Visual Studio 2013 from DreamSpark.com, they will receive a static key to complete the installation. The key simply means the students do not have register or reregister the product every 90 days are per the RTM version..
For administrators and IT technicians the DreamSpark institutional ELMS Store contains a copy of Visual Studio 2013 with a Pre-Keyed serial number this version can be used to install on institution teaching and learning lab machines either manually or via a managed desktop image.
Visual Studio and Cloud services
When the student/institutions have installed Visual Studio 2013 on premise, they will get prompted to go an connect online to use online features of Visual Studio a Windows Live ID or Microsoft Account is required. If a student signs in with their WLID this will save there solutions to the cloud.
What are the new features
There are great new features and capabilities in Visual Studio 2013 for every developer, including innovative editor enhancements such as Peek and CodeLens, diagnostics tools for UI responsiveness and energy consumption, major updates for ASP.NET web development, expanded ALM capabilities with Git support and agile portfolio management, and much, much more. Check out what’s new with Visual Studio 2013 for details.
Want to know more about Visual Studio 2013
Visual Studio 2013 launch on November 13th. at the launch event the Visual Studio team will be highlighting the array of new features and capabilities in the Visual Studio 2013 release.
Visual Studio 2013 supports development of great Windows Store applications for Windows 8.1, which is also available for download today FREE of charge for all DreamSpark Premium subscribers.
Big Data Solution
Microsoft’s end-to-end roadmap for Big Data embraces Apache Hadoop™ by distributing enterprise class Hadoop based solutions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure. The roadmap includes Microsoft BI tools such as SQL Server Analysis Services, Reporting Services and even PowerPivot and Excel. This enables you to do BI on all your data, including those in Hadoop.
On the more technical front, we have been working on a simplified download, installation and configuration experience of several Hadoop related technologies, including HDFS, Hive, and Pig, which will help broaden the adoption of Hadoop in the enterprise.
The Hadoop based service for Windows Azure will allow any developer or user to submit and run standard Hadoop jobs directly on the Azure cloud with a simple user experience. Therefore it doesn’t matter what platform you are developing your Hadoop jobs on -you will always be able to take a standard Hadoop job and deploy it on our platform, as we strive towards full interoperability with the official Apache Hadoop distribution.
This is great news as it lowers the barrier for building Hadoop based applications while encouraging rapid prototyping scenarios in the Windows Azure cloud for Big Data.To facilitate all of this, we have also entered into a strategic partnership with Hortonworks that enables us to gain unique experience and expertise to help accelerate the delivery of Microsoft’s Hadoop based distributions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure.
Finally, in line with our commitment to Interoperability and to facilitate the high performance bi-directional movement of enterprise data between Apache Hadoop and Microsoft SQL Server, we have released two Hadoop-based connectors for SQL Server to manufacturing.
The SQL Server connector for Apache Hadoop lets customers move large volumes of data between Hadoop and SQL Server 2008 R2, while the SQL Server PDW connector for Apache Hadoop moves data between Hadoop and SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW). These new connectors will enable customers to work effectively with both structured and unstructured data.
For more information see http://www.microsoft.com/bigdata
Here are the system requirements for the Windows Phone 8 SDK
If you have already been developing for Windows Phone 7 note the new requirements
1. You need to be running a 64 bit Windows 8 OS to install the Windows Phone 8 SDK.
2. If you don’t meet the requirements for the Windows Phone 8 Emulator, the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 will install and run but the Windows Phone 8 Emulator will not function and you will not be able to deploy or test apps on the Emulator. see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/10/24/hyper-v-list-of-slat-capable-cpus-for-hosts.aspx for details on SLAT
The emulator uses Hyper-V under SLAT so if you try to run a project in the emulator and Hyper-V is not enabled, you will be prompted to turn on Hyper-V. Turning on Hyper-V will require you to restart your computer.
If you visit the Windows Phone Dev Center you’ll find all documentation and samples for the Windows Phone 8 SDK.
Here are a couple of new features here just to whet your appetite
No. Apps built for Windows Phone 7.5 still run on Windows Phone 8, so finish and publish the apps using your free developer account from http://create.msdn.com via http://www.DreamSpark.com
If you want to leverage some of the new Windows 8 features, you can do that in your next release.
Check out the following videos from Build 2012 on Windows Phone 8 Development
The RTM versions of Visual Studio 2012 require developer activation to enable the developer to develop a Windows Store application.
This activation is via a registered LiveID/Microsoft Account, and simply enrols VS2012 for a 90 day development license.
I have a had a number of question how do we do this?
The process you must be undertaken by a local admin on the desktop, you must also have access to Visual Studio and register your LiveID/MicrosoftID against the machines copy of Visual Studio 2012..
To enable you to undertake the activation on a large scale deployment such as University or college lab environment here are some tips
We are in the process of producing necessary documentation and white papers but In the meantime the following FAQ is helpful:
· Does the developer license only have to be acquired/renewed in relation to Windows Store app development? Yes. To be precise: You need the developer license to install, develop, test and evaluate new style apps BEFORE you submit them to the Window Store. To be able to submit an app to the Windows Store, you'll need to open a separate Windows Store developer account through the developer website.
· Is the license per user or per machine? Per User and machine, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh974578.aspx
· It seems that you have to have local administrator privileges to renew the license, is that correct? YES
· Is the renewal of the license something that could be automated by an administrator via remotely deployed PowerShell scripts? YES, see section "Getting a developer license at a command prompt" at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh974578.aspx
· How can I use a DreamSpark account? Here is how to associate your DreamSpark account to a Microsoft account and also get a developer license for Windows Phone/Xbox development http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/02/29/dreamspark-and-apphub-account-creation-simplified.aspx