Mar 08

Submitting your app to the Windows Phone Marketplace

Since I’ve started developping apps just for fun, I realised that my first WP7 app is a great success, at least it is for my 2 year old son. He plays with it all the time. So why not share this success?

It time to find out how to submit your application to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Altought it’s relatively simple, I doubt if you get it right the first time, due to the policies that Microsoft has in place, and believe me, the policies are needed!

First you have to register as a developer (create.msdn.com) , pay a small fee ($100 per year) and then . . . . . the tax forms :-( Very complicated, but Microsoft is very willing to assist. Fill in the form, send it per e-mail to the Microsoft (mplcomm@microsoft.com) and they’ll check it for you, and if its OK, you have to send it by snail mail. Why is it so complicated? I’m a dutch guy, that doesn’t know anything about the American IRS, the jargon used and the tax treaty The Netherlands has with the USA. And it’s very important to get it right: if one of your apps become successful, they’ll probably find you and sue you for a lot of money. So make sure you’ll fill it in right.

Uploading is quite simple. Upload your xap file, give some description, set the pricing and do some testing. Testing should be done using a Visual Studio plugin. There are three types of tests in the Windows Phone Marketplace Test Kit:

  • Automated
  • Monitored
  • Manual

Very important to install and use this plug in. It wil save you a lot of effort (and mostly time) to get your app published. These are tests that Microsoft also wil do. So be prepared to run them before you upload the xap file. Take a good look at the manual test. My app was rejected twice, due to not have tested the manual tests thouroughly enough. So save yourself the time and effort and take a few minutes to do proper testing.

After 3-7 days your app will be approved (or not). After approval it takes 2-4 day to appear in the Windows Phone Marketplace just like my app Kids Fun!

Happy selling

CD

Feb 25

Setting a development goal: my first Windows Phone App

My first app was of course a Hello World application on my Windows Phone. It’s really no big deal. Just setup your Visual Studio, install the Windows Phone SDK, and your all set. Within 10 min. you’ll have your hello world app.

Usually learning new skills takes a lot of time and effort. The first real results are often far away and as Stephen Covey said “Begin with the end in mind” I had to set some kind of goal to work to. Of course it isn’t much motivating to set the goal too far away.

So I set my goal to develop a Windows Phone 7.5 Silverlight application for my 2 year old son to play with. Just a plain and simple app to experiment a little.

As I designed my app in my mind and began to write some code I started to see what was different between a Commodore 64 and the current object oriented programming. On a C64 you simply set some parameters and the SID sound chip came alive. Nowadays you have to create a SoundEffect from a stream resource (SoundEffect.FromStream(SoundFileInfo.Stream)) to place the wav file and use the in the sound dispatcher, and use the XnaAsyncDispatcher to empty the queue.

On the other hands things got far more easy. The inkpad for example. It’s very easy to make use of the inkpad. Create an inkpresenter. Capture the event MouseLeftButtonDown to start capturing the mouse movement (CaptureMouse), add the stylus points to a stroke (System.Windows.Ink.Stroke) and add the stroke to the inkpresenter (Strokes.Add). Try this on a Commodore 64 !

To make the phone vibrate, is as easy as making a sound on a C64: VibrateController.Default.Start(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(2)).

If you want to see the result: here it is.

CD

Feb 12

Acquiring knowledge of C# Azure and Windows Phone 7

First thing to do is to acquire knowledge about what cloud development is about. Through my knowledge of the IT industry (and particulary Microsoft) I’ll came up with this plan:

  • develop Microsoft Phone apps to practice programming
  • use the Microsoft Cloud (like Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Office 365)
  • everything coud based if possible.
  • C# as the programming language

So, internet is a great way to explore and read about this. There are plenty of resources available. For example video’s about developer camps and of course the MSDN library. But most important: old fashioned books!

First: some old books that were already on the shelf:

Second: new books

  • Windows Azure – step by step (Roberto Brunetti)
  • Beginning Windows Phone 7 Development (Henry Lee and Eugene Chuvyrov)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Communictions Foundation (Johnson, Madziak, Morgan with GrandMasters)
  • Coding Faster: getting more productive with Microsoft Visual Studio (Zain Naboulsi and Sara Ford)

Enough to read and to reference. Of course only in combination with good internet research.

Let’s go to the Hello World app on my LG LG-E900 Windows Phone 7.5

 

CD

Feb 10

Hello World

Hello World,

Welcome to my blog.

I’m kind a new to (cloud) development and today I’ve deceided to become a Cloud Devoloper and Windows Phone developer. In this blog  I’ll take you through my journey of becoming a developer as something I do beside my paid and fulltime IT job.

I hope you have fun, I’m sure I’ll have it.

CD