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Creating Android Services with C#

Creating Android Services with C#
One of the great things about Mono is that it lets you use tools like C# and the .NET Framework to build apps just about anywhere. In this video, Mike Bluestein demonstrates why you need Android Services how to use Mono for Android and C# to build them. Check the link at the bottom of the post for more Xamarin Seminars on using Mono to create Android, iOS and Mac apps.

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Extending Visual Studio Part 2 - Creating Addins

This is the second in my series of articles on extending Visual Studio. In this article we're going to look into a way to extend Visual Studio that has been around for a while - addins.

We'll create a very funky addin called 'Switch'. This addin will allow us to switch between related files - C++ header and source, WinForms code and designer, XAML and code-behind and so on.

In this article we'll start with one of the simplest ways to extend Visual Studio - creating Code Snippets.
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Routing in ASP.NET MVC

MVC will create a control over how URLs are mapped to your controllers. It also gives you the ability to define your own URLs. These URLs will be in a readable friendly fashion as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This will be helpful to remap old URLs to new functionality and side-by-side utilizes classic ASP.NET sites inside of MVC. The important note is that Routing is not URL rewriting, it will customize many attachments towards request/response.
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NotifyIcon with WPF applications

NotifyIcon is an utility form System.Windows.Forms which can be used by any application to invoke the default notification from the system tray. As per my latest requirement, I have to create an application that runs on system tray and occationally shows notification using the system tray default notifications. While working with it, I have wasted a considerable amount of time, and thought it would be worth mentioning the same in a blog.
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Func and Action Delegates

The .Net Framework 3.5 has introduced two sets of System-Defined Delegates named Func andAction. Action<> and Func<> are extremely useful tools for reducing duplication in code and decreasing coupling. The Func Delegate encapsulates a method that accepts between zero and four arguments and returns a value. The Action Delegate encapsulates a method that accepts between zero to four parameters and does not return a value i.e. Action delegates differ from Func in that the method must returns void.
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Windows 8 & Data Binding. Part 4–Data Conversion

In Part 3 of this little mini-series on data binding in Windows 8 we looked at Element Binding. Today, we'll take a look at Data Conversion.

At times the data in your business object (the source for your binding) and the target UIElement may not have an exact type match. For example, if your Employee class wants to keep track of the start date for each Employee, a sensible way to do so is with a DateTime object. However, when we display that data we'll want to use a Text object, and we may not want the entire default conversion of a DateTime to a string. To rectify this problem, we can create a class that performs a conversion from one type to another (in this case, from DateTime to string). This class will implement IValueConverter and will have two methods: Convert, and ConvertBack.

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Telerik Loves Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 RTMs!

Yesterday's release of Visual Studio 2012 and Blend for Visual Studio 2012 marks the beginning of a new era. In some ways, VS2012 and Blend are incremental releases, adding even better support for building enterprise and consumer apps and services for the desktop and the web. However, in one very important way, the release of VS2012 and Blend, together with the release of Windows 8 earlier this month, signals a whole new focus for the platform - that of touch-centric tablets - and with it, a whole new way to package and distribute apps for the Windows operating system - the Windows Store.

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Entity Framework & WP: Part 3

In the first two parts we used Entity Framework to create a model to keep track of ideas for other app, generated a .sdf database file, generated data classes then fixed errors in the class so it will work in Windows Phone. In this part we will add some structure to our app, setup the db on first run and populate some default data into some tables. Then finally we will create a couple of views to display the info in the database.

Based on feedback, I would like to clarify that at this point we are done using Entity framework and are using LINQ to SQL to manage the database that we used EF to design in Part 1.

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WP8 Battery API

The Battery API makes a nice addition to the WP8 SDK. I can see in the near future that some applications will display the battery metrics on a Live Tile or in the application that hides the System Tray.

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Mobile Development Tutorials,Mobile Developments,Visual Studio,Window Phone Tutorials,WP7,WP8

Visual Studio 2012 is releasing on 15th August 2012

Yes, you read the title right. Just after the announcement of Windows 8 RTM, Microsoft announced the release date of Visual Studio 2012. The final product will be available to MSDN subscribers and general public on 15th August 2012. Visual Studio 2012 virtual launch event will be organize by S. Somasegar and Jason Zander on 12th September 2012. Don't miss the opportunity to watch it live.   Today just after the Announcement of Windows 8 RTM, Jason Zander (Corporate Vice President for the Visual Studio team) and S. Somasegar (Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division) announced that the Visual Studio 2012 (aka. Visual Studio 11) and .NET 4.5 build is now ready. The final bits will be available to MSDN Subscribers and other places on 15th August 2012. As the final build is now complete, the team is now preparing it for the final distribution. Both of them also announced the official launch event of Visual Studio 2012 on...
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WPF Stylizing RowDefinitions & ColumnDefinitions

My favorite part of programming in WPF is the ease with which we compartmentalize the application components. Every Page or UserControl of course has a markup and a code-behind file, but if you are serious about architectural patterns like I am, then you also have a ViewModel and probably a related resource file as well.

I prefer to keep my markup files clean, defining visual attributes in a separate resource file. In doing so, adding or removing elements later, or altering visual properties is done more quickly and with more flexibility...all while providing the serenity that comes with S.O.C. (Separation of concerns).

Especially when dealing with themes and skinnability, the power of DynamicResource is a priceless commodity that in my opinion should never be limited arbitrarily. Dynamic Resources compliment the performance benefits of the M-V-V-M model by not front-loading the resource cache, and they are what makes dynamic skinnability so practical and appealing in the WPF Framework.

Telerik Silverlight & WPF Controls Q2’12 SP1 Release is Here - with PivotGrid CTP

In keeping with one of our favorite traditions, it is a great pleasure to announce the first service pack of Q2 for RadControls for Silverlight and RadControls for WPF. As usual, we are shipping numerous improvements across all the controls. The most exciting news, however, is that the service pack includes the first public CTP version of RadPivotGrid. Our pivot control is a very powerful tool for slicing and dicing your complex data in a meaningful way.

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WP8 to feature expanded Bluetooth functionality, access to stack and transfer

One area that Windows Phone has been lacking is the ability to do anything with Bluetooth besides connect to hands-free headsets or speakers. Windows Phone 8 looks to finally expand that with the leaked SDK detailing some new features available to developers and thereby customers.

For instance, peer-to-peer file sharing is now allowed, especially apps that want to "talk" to each other. For instance, we could add an ability for the WPCentral app to share links or photos to another phone with the WPCentral app. Presumably this feature could be used for all sorts of features like in games by unlocking a feature when you pair up with another phone e.g. a social aspect.

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WP8 Application platform detailed

The relatively big news today is the sudden appearance of the soon to be released Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview SDK which has leaked a few hours ago via Microsoft's own password protected servers. Instead of making tons of posts detailing every single feature of the OS simply to generate hits I'm going to provide you with the detailed overview of the Windows Phone 8 application platform which I'm going to copy and paste (from the SDK) below after the break for those of you who aren't able to get their hands of the Docs or the full SDK package. I'm also currently installing the full 1.3Gb Binaries on by Windows 8 desktop (important note: The WP8 Preview SDK is only compatible with the Windows 8 X64 Release Preview) and will make another post later on detailing the emulator. UPDATE: My WP8 Emulator overview is here.

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Entity Framework & WP: Part 1

Back when I got my first Windows Phone (November 2010), I started taking a look at developing for the platform. I found that there was no database access I could use to store large amounts of info easily. The way I worked around this in early, unreleased apps was by serializing and de-serializing XML files in Isolated Storage. It was terribly tedious. With the mango release we finally had a DB to use. Happy days! But it still took writing classes by hand. I spent that whole weekend creating DB classes for various apps then discovered that I could use SqlMetal to create classes from SQL Compact files.

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SSL Socket support in WP

As discussed before, Windows Phone Mango brought the socket support to Windows Phone app developers. Unfortunately the platform doesn't provide secure sockets (SSL socket) out of the box. Many applications nowadays require SSL socket and for example many IRC servers only allow secure socket connections.

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WP8 to feature developer access to Voice Command features

In what should be a very exciting addition for developers in Windows Phone 8, access to Voice Command (aka TellMe) should rank up there fairly high.

According to the leaked Windows Phone 8 SDK, devs can add functions in their app that use the Voice Command features, specifically customers can launch the app with a sub-command to go to a specific area of the app or execute a specific command.

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How to add a settings menu in a Windows 8 Metro-style app

In Windows 8 development, there are some differences between the Javascript and XAML APIs. Some things are available in JS but not in XAML and vice versa. One example is the SettingsFlyout control. There is no SettingsFlyout control for creating a settings menu item in XAML, although that exists in JS. The de facto solution is to create your own custom page and show/dismiss it according to the settings charm events. As this is something that basically every Metro app (or "Windows 8 style application") has to include, it's fortunate that there's now a bit less tiresome way of doing this.

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SEO for WP Marketplace

After my first windows phone application jOS went live I was really worried about the prospects of anyone finding my application in the relevant searches. I realised that it was difficult to find and reasons were that the keywords were not chosen carefully. I then started dissecting the marketplace search algorithm by profiling the search facility and decided to share my findings with the rest of you so that those publishing for the first time do not get frustrated.

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Disabling Design Time Data in a WP App

In the previous article, I discussed creating and working with Expression Blend design time data in Windows Phone applications. I'm going to continue this theme by covering how to effectively disable this data at run time. The important thing to remember is that you want to preserve the design time experience so that the designer can continue to use Expression Blend.

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