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!
DVD + On-line
Windows Phone Programming in C# by Prof Rob Miles;
WP7.5 update + extra modules This material contains a ten chapter textbook with labs, demos and step by step instructions on how to create Windows Phone 7 applications.
1st & 2nd Year Programming courses
Introduction to Game Programming with XNA and Windows Phone 7 by Prof Kelvin Sung (UW)
WP7.5 update + new material
This material is a 16-hour course designed to teach students how to build a 2D interactive video game.
3rd & 4th Year (require background in data structure)
Introduction to Mobile Application Development Using Silverlight by Michael Iantosca.
Students learn the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop a mobile application on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform using Microsoft Silverlight. 2nd & 3rd Year: background in programming needed (preferably C#, but C, C++, Java helps
Designing for Windows Phone by Microsoft
This material contains the following 7 lessons on how to design for the Windows Phone: METRO Design, Building WP7 Assets, Layout Controls in Expression Blend, Creating Animation and Basic Interactivity, Working with the Visual State Manager, Adding Data to your Application and Creating the Flickr4Fun app. [ HCI and Software Dev-t classes 1nd - 3rd Year: ]
Azure Mobile Curriculum by Rob Miles
Find out how Cloud computing works and what it brings to the Windows Phone user. The content will show you how to use the cloud for data storage and databases, farm out heavyweight tasks for cloud data processing and use the cloud to perform identity validation. [addition to above courses]
If you would like to receive a FREE copy of the CD please email email@example.com with your University contact details and full UK postal address.
PLEASE NOTE THE DVD WILL ONLY BE POSTED TO UK INSTITUTION ADDRESS
Don't forget students can get great resources and developer tools for free from http://www.dreamspark.com and check up on all the latest offers and prizes via the Microsoft UK Student Blog and Facebook Group
Microsoft Research Connections announced the release of the book, TouchDevelop—Programming on the Go, available in print form, as an e-book, and on the web. TouchDevelop has reached new heights as the only programming environment on mobile touch devices that creates apps directly for the Windows Marketplace. This book is a comprehensive guide on how to use TouchDevelop to write fun, productive apps that make full use of a device's audio, camera, sensors, and so on.
Touchdevelop — Programming on the Go by Nigel Horspool (University of Victoria), Judith Bishop, Arjmand Samuel, Nikolai Tillmann, Michał Moskal, Jonathan de Halleux, Manuel Fähndrich (Microsoft Research)
Download the book for FREE.
Download as single file
Alternative download option: one file per chapter
Who this book is for
This book has much to offer to both students and teachers: For teachers, it walks in detail through all of the screens of the TouchDevelop app, and it points out similarities and differences of the TouchDevelop language compared to other programming languages that the teacher might already be familiar with. For students and enthusiasts, the book can serve as a handy reference next to the phone. The book systematically addresses all programming language constructs, starting from the very basic constructs such as variables and loops. The book also explores many of the phone sensors and data sources which make creating apps for mobile devices so rewarding.
How to read this book
If you are new to programming with TouchDevelop, or if you have not yet worked on touchscreen devices, we suggest that you read the book starting from chapter 1. If you are already familiar with the basic paradigm of the TouchDevelop programming environment, then feel free to jump ahead to the later chapters that address particular topic areas.
Two apps, one book
This book is written from the perspective of a Windows Phone user – all screenshots and navigation instructions refer to the Windows Phone app. The TouchDevelop Web App runs in many modern browsers on many different devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Macs, PC. The Web App uses the same programming language and has a very similar navigation structure as the TouchDevelop Windows Phone app. As a result, you can reuse the lessons of this book when you create mobile apps in your web browser.
We are pleased to announce new versions of Blend + Sketchflow preview for Visual Studio 2012. Bringing Blend and Visual Studio together offers more value. Blend is a great tool offering a wide variety of designers and developers the ability to quickly and easily build great looking and powerful UI.
These new versions make available capabilities that were previously only available in Expression Blend such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and SketchFlow support, unifying the design-centric tools for building Windows Store Apps and Windows desktop apps to Visual Studio users.
This is for evaluation only and none of the platforms contain a go-live license. Therefore you SHOULD use other released versions of Blend for production work.
What is the Blend + Sketchflow Preview for Visual Studio 2012?
Blend for Visual Studio 2012 can help you design user interfaces for applications with robust tools that solve complex design tasks for building Windows Store apps.
The Blend + Sketchflow Preview introduces powerful WYSIWYG design capabilities to Visual Studio developers by providing support for WPF and Silverlight.
What is the difference between Blend + SketchFlow Preview for Visual Studio 2012 and Blend for Visual Studio 2012 RTW? Do I need both?
Blend for Visual Studio 2012 is a unique, innovative authoring tool with rich visual tools for creating Windows store apps using HTML/CSS and XAML. Blend is installed with most versions of Visual Studio 2012.
Blend + SketchFlow Preview for Visual Studio 2012 delivers WPF, Silverlight, and SketchFlow support compatible with Visual Studio 2012. You can install this alongside Visual Studio 2012 RTW.
What is SketchFlow; how does it differ from Storyboarding in Visual Studio 2012?
SketchFlow provides an informal and quick way to explore, iterate and prototype user interface scenarios. SketchFlow is for building working prototypes of software for developers, while the new storyboarding capability allows PowerPoint to be used for capturing lightweight requirements from stakeholders.
I wanted to put this quick blog together to answer the most common questions I get from students/developers wishing to build apps.
1. How can I get a Store Account for Windows?
All Students get FREE Windows 8 Store accounts via DreamSpark follow this presentation on the steps to how to validate your FREE Windows 8 Store account
2. What are the resources available if I want to start developing a Windows 8 or Windows Phone application
Windows 8 Developers – http://dev.windows.com
Windows 8 Designers – http://design.windows.com
Windows Phone Developers – http://dev.windowsphone.com
Windows Phone Designers – http://design.windowsphone.com
3. Not a designer, where can I get a logo?
Images from www.thenounproject.com Remember to check licensing first!
4. I want nice fonts, but aren’t they expensive?
www.Fontsquirrel.com is an excellent resource
5. Where can I get colours to match my app?
www.kuler.adobe.com and www.colorlovers.com are excellent, free, searchable resources
6. Where can I get background/pattern for my app?
Great resource with some nice tutorials www.dinpattern.com
In line with the todays launch of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I have collected a set of useful resources and links
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download
Windows 8 Consumer Preview download (web installer or ISO’s), videos, and FAQ’s.
Developer downloads for Metro style apps
Visual Studio 11 Express and the Windows 8 SDK + all the extra tools and SDK’s for Metro style app development.
Design assets for Metro style apps
100+ Photoshop files with common controls, shell components, tiles, icons, animation clips, color wheel references, and more.
Metro style app developer content
Windows Dev Center home
Links to Metro style app, Desktop app, Hardware, and IE development.
Metro style app development home
Links to key resources for designing, developing, and selling Metro style apps.
Product guide for developers
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Developers.
Comprehensive docs, articles, quickstarts, roadmaps, tutorials, checklists, developer agreements, and whitepapers covering all aspects of app design, development, and selling:
· Getting started · Planning apps · Designing UX for apps · Developing apps · Packaging apps · Debugging and testing apps · Selling apps · API reference · Concepts and architecture · Language reference · End-to-end apps
Design principles, UX design patterns, detailed UX guidelines, downloadable design assets, assessing usability.
Selling apps in the Windows Store
Windows Store markets, developer agreements, and checklists to prepare.
Visual Studio Express and the Windows 8 SDK + extra tools and SDK’s for Metro style app development.
Metro style app samples
Over 200 official samples from Microsoft are available in multiple programming languages. You can copy code inline, upload new code, rate, and leave comments.
Developer forums for Metro style apps covering designing, developing, and selling apps.
Blogs for developers
Building Windows 8 blog (B8)
An inside look at how, what, and why different features of Windows 8 are being built. This blog is written by Windows President Steven Sinofsky together with members of the Windows engineering team.
Windows Store blog for developers
All about doing business in the Windows Store. Members of the engineering team who’ve built the Windows Store write posts along with Antoine Leblond, Vice President of Windows Web Services.
Windows 8 app developer blog (D8)
Explores best practices for coding and designing Metro style apps. It is written by the team of developers who are building Windows 8.
Windows Internet Explorer Engineering Team Blog.
Inside Windows Live blog
The engineering being Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, and Windows Live.
Visual Studio Blog
The official source of product insight from the Visual Studio Engineering Team.
The Windows Blog
Consumer and general interest topics.
Social channels for developers
Twitter (Building Windows 8)
Twitter (Windows Dev Center)
Consumer Preview Newsletter
Launching with Consumer Preview
Tips, offers, and news about Windows 8 including resources for developers and businesses.
Desktop app developer/partner content
Desktop app certification requirements
Certification requirements for Windows 8 desktop apps.
Desktop App Certification Kit
The Windows 8 SDK includes the Windows App Certification Kit to test desktop apps and get them ready for certification.
Tips and fixes for common issues with desktop apps for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and software for Windows Server 8 Beta.
Compatibility of desktop apps and devices with Windows 8. Partners can add products and update compatibility status using this template.
Hardware developer/partner content
Hardware Certification Requirements
Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements and Policies
Hardware tools and certification kit
Windows Consumer Preview Kits and Tools for hardware development
Driver development documentation
Developing, testing, and deploying drivers
Hardware and driver community resources
Forums, blogs, and newsletters for the hardware and driver developer community.
This week I had a really interesting discussion/debate with a University lecturer on teaching user interface design and it took me back just to how things have changed since the mid-nineties.
When I was a student a lot of CS courses which looked at interface design had materials which referenced the following statement “The Evil’s of Rapid Prototyping,” and many slide decks contained reasons why rapid prototyping was a bad idea. Most of the reasoning centred around prototyping tools being so complex back then, they needed to be operated by developers; subsequently, the design process tended to be influenced by all design work needing to be interpreted through the lens of what a prototyper could actually achieve with the software available.
Fast forward to today and there’s been a rethinking on prototyping. Is this good or bad?
I recently blogged about how professional organisations are using tools such as OneNote for UI/UX design. Additionally there a lots of new prototyping tools have appeared over the past few years and they’re rapidly being adopted by interaction designers.
So we concluded that the creators of these tools never attended one of these courses!
So the question I now want to pose is.. how do go about teaching modern user interface design and application workflows on your courses and what tools and resources do you use?
As we know prototypes can be as simple or as complex as necessary for the project on which you are working.
What tools do you use?
Microsoft SketchFlow includes several tools to make your prototype interactive in order to more closely mimic the flow of a production application. For example, with SketchFlow, you can do the following:
Begin a prototype with just a site map and a few notes jotted on the application screens, and then continue to refine your prototype as you go along.
Either draw user interface (UI) elements, or import them from common drawing programs.
Animate your prototype, creating a visual representation of the interaction between the user and the application.
Use the full library of standard UI elements and custom controls.
Create sample data on the fly, easily build data-driven UI, and add styles to your data.
Create interactivity without writing code by using built-in behaviours. Behaviours are extensible, making it easy to add custom behaviours to your prototyping toolbox.
Either write code to create custom elements, or use pre-built elements from your development team
For more details on Sketchflow see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/expression/ee215229.aspx
Tutorials on Sketchflow see www.microsoft.com/.../creating-navigation.aspx
But what about considering Modern design principles..
With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 we have the following key principles which need to be adhered
So the key things you need to consider when designing your apps for modern applications are..
Ensure that you weave platform features into your core scenarios and prototype design to leverage the power of the underlying platfom..
So lets think about the platform features available..
To help develop these scenarios here are list of the key resources.
Microsoft Design Guidelines for Windows Phone http://design.windowsphone.com
Microsoft Design Guidelines for Windows 8 http://design.windows.com
Microsoft User Experience Fundamentals and online training http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Windows-Camp/Windows-8-UX-Fundamentals-Training-Workshop-2012
So where to start?
To help you get started on your app development here are some templates and guidance from http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Windows-Camp/Windows-8-UX-Fundamentals-Training-Workshop-2012
Example of a completed template for a new app design/concept.
In summary, using any form of prototype technique makes it easy to sketch out a conceptual application and ensure the following are achieved.
So what are you waiting for? You can just create a series of screens and use the templates above and then begin to draw. As your idea progresses, you can add interactive elements that make your prototype as close to the finished product as you need it to be to communicate the design idea you want to convey.
Reviewers can use the tools such as SketchFlow, One Note to view the application flow, and then leave feedback directly in the project as annotations. Once the feedback has been incorporated and the prototype is complete, the prototype project can be handed off to a developer for conversion into a final application,
Channel 9 is home base online for technical know how, how to’s and tips and tricks.
Channel 9 is used by millions of Developers worldwide each month through videos, how to articles and events.
We are excited to announce that the team has just released a Channel 9 application in the Windows 8 App Store.
So Install the application today on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and easily browse the latest content on Channel 9, share content with your friends and view content on any of your Play To Enabled devices.
To find the app, Search the Windows 8 App store for Channel 9.
New Updates - What’s new
AppHub Integration: Linking your DreamSpark Account with a Microsoft Live ID
I’m very excited to inform you that we’ve completed our “AppHub Integration: Linking DreamSpark Account with Live ID”
This will now dramatically improve the experience of those students that were having difficulties with App Hub registration.
With the update to DreamSpark students and educators create a new DreamSpark account that is not a Windows Live ID. However for students who wish to produce application for Xbox or Windows Phone require a Windows Live ID, to create apphub accounts via http://create.msdn.com. We have now enabled the system, to enable educators or students to map their DreamSpark account to new or existing Windows Live ID.
Here is the workflow:
- Student/Educator visits the page https://www.dreamspark.com/Product/Product.aspx?ProductId=26 and sees [Map your Live ID] button enabled and [Register on AppHub] button disabled.
- Student/Educator Clicks on [Map your Live ID] button.
- Student/Educator Sign in on DreamSpark site with their Verified account (or get the account verified).
- Student/Educator then logs in using Windows Live ID account.
- Student/Educator is shown the message “Are you sure you want your map your DreamSpark login (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your Windows Live ID (email@example.com) with [Ok] and [Cancel] buttons.
- Student/Educator clicks on [Ok] button a Accounts will be mapped a User automatically signed out from Live ID account à User will be redirected to the page https://www.dreamspark.com/Product/Product.aspx?ProductId=26 with [Map your Live ID] button disabled and [Register on AppHub] button enabled.
Microsoft Press have a number of FREE Ebooks now available covering topics from SQL Server 2012, Office 2010 and Windows Phone, there is something here for everyone.
Many of our free ebooks are offered in three formats - PDF, Mobi (Kindle) and epub. Hope you find them useful!
Techila is a middleware solution for High Performance Computing that enables existing applications to utilize more computing capacity. I believe that the key problem in business and operational computing is the lack of application performance. There are enormous amounts of computing capacity available using Windows Azure cloud service.
Techila allows applications to utilise all available computing capacity. To try demonstrate this a great example of the benefits of Techila and the Windows Azure with Techila integration is a case study, which Techila did with a leading cancer researcher. The researchers in question had a project, which would have taken 15 years. He had developed his research application in MATLAB. He used the Windows Azure with Techila integration to boost the performance of his application with the combined power of 1200 Windows Azure instances. This allowed him to complete the project in 4,5 days! Being able to do something in 4,5 days, which usually takes 15 years gives a real competitive advantage.
Techila develop the solution in close co-operation with end-users and system administrators from the very beginning.
Techila has selected Pharma, Economics/ Financial, and Universities/ Academia as the key markets because of the fact that they are strong on Techila's home market, Finland. But I want to emphasize that unlike many other distributed computing solutions, Techila is a fully horizontal middleware, which can be used in any segment and which can increase the performance of any application: The code can be a MATLAB application, or it can be R (or C/C++, Java, Perl, Python, Fortran,...) They also offer an open API, which can be used to connect any ISV application (3DSMax, SAS, COMSOL, Sungard,...) to the Windows Azure capacity.
Also please find below a demo of run a 2-day long computation in a couple of minutes using 500 Azure instances using MATLAB:
Techila with R language can be found here: