Category: .NET Development

The use of C# will continue to fall, along with the eventual extinction of VB.NET

The use of C# will continue to fall, along with the eventual extinction of VB.NET

C# is a modern programming language that runs on the Microsoft.NET Framework. Just a few years ago being a C# developer allowed you to use your skills across multiple technologies that were in relatively high demand. You can use C# writing a desktop application using WinForms or WPF, or write the server side code for web site using ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC. A developer could also write a rich internet application with Silverlight technology in C#. Things have changed in the last few years as many of these technologies are becoming irrelevant.

With Windows 8 coming onto the scene Microsoft has de-emphasized the desktop experience, wanting users to do most of their work with Windows 8 applications in the tile mode. Desktop based browsers are slimming down and halting support for some third party plugins. The combination of this shift has left WinForms, WPF and Silverlight out in the cold. What’s left for developers on the PC is Windows 8 apps, which can also be written in javascript or C++. Windows 8 apps are not a priority for most companies as Windows 8 still has a very small tablet market share.

Windows 8 Phone is another potential target for C# developers, but with market share in the low single digits there isn’t much demand for developers writing a Windows 8 Phone app. Windows Phone 8 now also supports native C++ apps, and I’m guessing they won’t want to be supporting Silverlight on the phone for future versions.

Server side C# for ASP.NET MVC web applications is still very popular as many companies are still running Windows based servers. This will slowly shift as more companies move their servers from on-premise to cloud hosted. Many new web sites are written in mostly javascript with the rise of rich client side frameworks like Angular and server side technology with node.js. Which leads me to my point about the extinction of VB.NET…

Nobody writes VB.NET on the server! If they do, they probably don’t belong in our society.

It will be interesting to see what Microsoft does with C# in the coming years. It’s already a very powerful and flexible language so they may well leave it alone for a while. On MSDN C++ has been getting a lot of love in their monthly tech how-to articles. It seems they are trying to steer developers to use C++ as their primary language choice.

A recent article on Dr. Dobbs has C# as a rising language, but I don’t think it can keep holding its own with the main uses being Xamarin and MVC server side code.

As a developer who is strong in .NET and relies on that technology for a career, it will be worth taking a look at where you think the market for developers is headed. I believe that if you are strong in javascript, Objective-C, Swift, C++ and Java your future looks brighter than only knowing C#. One of the challenges developers face is keeping up with technology and adapting. This is clearly a time for .NET developers to realize what they can do to still keep their skills competitive and in demand.

Installing the Nokia Imaging SDK

Installing the Nokia Imaging SDK

Working with the Nokia Imaging SDK isn’t as easy as just installing the NuGet package. There are 2 dlls that will likely not be reference properly.

  • Nokia.Graphics.Imaging
  • Nokia.InteropServices.Runtime

If you try and add them manually you may get an error message like this: A reference to a higher version or incompatible…

Nokia has a post on how to solve this problem. The key is to remove Any CPU from your build configuration, and then close and re-open the solution.

http://developer.nokia.com/Resources/Library/Lumia/#!nokia-imaging-sdk/adding-libraries-to-the-project.html

Simple Automation with Quartz.net

Simple Automation with Quartz.net

I’ve found that Quartz offers great flexibility and ease of use when implementing scheduled tasks within an application.

With the release of Quartz 2.0 the code to run jobs has been changed quite drastically. The following is an example that allows a user to start and stop a job manually based on a time frequency in seconds that they set.

private IScheduler _scheduler; private ITrigger _jobTrigger; private IJobDetail _job; private int _timeInterval = 30; public int TimeInterval { get { return _timeInterval; } set { _timeInterval = value;} } internal void InitializeJob() { _job = JobBuilder.Create(typeof(JobQueueJob)) .WithIdentity("JobQueueJob") .Build(); buildTrigger(); } private void buildTrigger() { _jobTrigger = TriggerBuilder.Create() .WithIdentity("JobTrigger") .WithSimpleSchedule(x => x.RepeatForever().WithIntervalInSeconds(_timeInterval)) .StartNow() .Build(); } internal void StartJob() { ISchedulerFactory sf = new StdSchedulerFactory(); _scheduler = sf.GetScheduler(); _scheduler.Start(); buildTrigger(); _scheduler.ScheduleJob(_job, _jobTrigger); } internal void StopJob() { _scheduler.Shutdown(true); }

And the class that implements IJob

public class JobQueueJob : IJob { public void Execute(IJobExecutionContext context) { //Do your thing here } }

Elmah Error Logging with ASP.NET MVC

Elmah Error Logging with ASP.NET MVC

I’ve pieced this together from a few different articles to give you a one stop shop on how to implement Elmah with your MVC site.

You’ll want to install Elmah through the Package Manager. Use the command Install-Package elmah

First we’ll tackle the config file. To implement just copy and paste into the appropriate sections of your web.config.

<configSections> <sectionGroup name="elmah"> <section name="security" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.SecuritySectionHandler, Elmah" /> <section name="errorLog" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorLogSectionHandler, Elmah" /> <section name="errorMail" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorMailSectionHandler, Elmah" /> <section name="errorFilter" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorFilterSectionHandler, Elmah" /> </sectionGroup> </configSections>

<appSettings> <add key="elmah.mvc.disableHandler" value="false" /> <add key="elmah.mvc.disableHandleErrorFilter" value="false" /> <add key="elmah.mvc.requiresAuthentication" value="false" /> <add key="elmah.mvc.allowedRoles" value="*" /> <add key="elmah.mvc.route" value="elmah" /> </appSettings>

<system.web> <httpModules> <add name="ErrorLog" type="Elmah.ErrorLogModule, Elmah" /> <add name="ErrorMail" type="Elmah.ErrorMailModule, Elmah" /> <add name="ErrorFilter" type="Elmah.ErrorFilterModule, Elmah" /> </httpModules> <httpHandlers> <add verb="POST,GET,HEAD" path="elmah.axd" type="Elmah.ErrorLogPageFactory, Elmah" /> </httpHandlers> </system.web>

Within the system.webserver section:

<handlers> <add name="Elmah" verb="POST,GET,HEAD" path="elmah.axd" type="Elmah.ErrorLogPageFactory, Elmah" /> </handlers> <modules> <add name="ErrorLog" type="Elmah.ErrorLogModule, Elmah" preCondition="managedHandler" /> <add name="ErrorMail" type="Elmah.ErrorMailModule, Elmah" preCondition="managedHandler" /> <add name="ErrorFilter" type="Elmah.ErrorFilterModule, Elmah" preCondition="managedHandler" /> </modules>

Last but not least, outside of your system.webserver and just before the end configuration tag. This piece will log into a SQL DB of your choice based on a connection string named ElmahLogging.

<elmah> <security allowRemoteAccess="1" /> <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlErrorLog, Elmah" connectionStringName="ElmahLogging" applicationName="MyExcellentApp"/> </elmah>

The SQL Server ddl to run in your logging database:

/* ELMAH - Error Logging Modules and Handlers for ASP.NET Copyright (c) 2004-9 Atif Aziz. All rights reserved. Author(s): Atif Aziz, http://www.raboof.com Phil Haacked, http://haacked.com Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License. */ -- ELMAH DDL script for Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or later. -- $Id: SQLServer.sql 677 2009-09-29 18:02:39Z azizatif $ DECLARE @DBCompatibilityLevel INT DECLARE @DBCompatibilityLevelMajor INT DECLARE @DBCompatibilityLevelMinor INT SELECT @DBCompatibilityLevel = cmptlevel FROM master.dbo.sysdatabases WHERE name = DB_NAME() IF @DBCompatibilityLevel <> 80 BEGIN SELECT @DBCompatibilityLevelMajor = @DBCompatibilityLevel / 10, @DBCompatibilityLevelMinor = @DBCompatibilityLevel % 10 PRINT N' =========================================================================== WARNING! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- This script is designed for Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (8.0) but your database is set up for compatibility with version ' + CAST(@DBCompatibilityLevelMajor AS NVARCHAR(80)) + N'.' + CAST(@DBCompatibilityLevelMinor AS NVARCHAR(80)) + N'. Although the script should work with later versions of Microsoft SQL Server, you can ensure compatibility by executing the following statement: ALTER DATABASE [' + DB_NAME() + N'] SET COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL = 80 If you are hosting ELMAH in the same database as your application database and do not wish to change the compatibility option then you should create a separate database to host ELMAH where you can set the compatibility level more freely. If you continue with the current setup, please report any compatibility issues you encounter over at: http://code.google.com/p/elmah/issues/list =========================================================================== ' END GO /* ------------------------------------------------------------------------ TABLES ------------------------------------------------------------------------ */ CREATE TABLE [dbo].[ELMAH_Error] ( [ErrorId] UNIQUEIDENTIFIER NOT NULL, [Application] NVARCHAR(60) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL, [Host] NVARCHAR(50) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL, [Type] NVARCHAR(100) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL, [Source] NVARCHAR(60) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL, [Message] NVARCHAR(500) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL, [User] NVARCHAR(50) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL, [StatusCode] INT NOT NULL, [TimeUtc] DATETIME NOT NULL, [Sequence] INT IDENTITY (1, 1) NOT NULL, [AllXml] NTEXT COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL ) ON [PRIMARY] TEXTIMAGE_ON [PRIMARY] GO ALTER TABLE [dbo].[ELMAH_Error] WITH NOCHECK ADD CONSTRAINT [PK_ELMAH_Error] PRIMARY KEY NONCLUSTERED ([ErrorId]) ON [PRIMARY] GO ALTER TABLE [dbo].[ELMAH_Error] ADD CONSTRAINT [DF_ELMAH_Error_ErrorId] DEFAULT (NEWID()) FOR [ErrorId] GO CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX [IX_ELMAH_Error_App_Time_Seq] ON [dbo].[ELMAH_Error] ( [Application] ASC, [TimeUtc] DESC, [Sequence] DESC ) ON [PRIMARY] GO /* ------------------------------------------------------------------------ STORED PROCEDURES ------------------------------------------------------------------------ */ SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON GO SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[ELMAH_GetErrorXml] ( @Application NVARCHAR(60), @ErrorId UNIQUEIDENTIFIER ) AS SET NOCOUNT ON SELECT [AllXml] FROM [ELMAH_Error] WHERE [ErrorId] = @ErrorId AND [Application] = @Application GO SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF GO SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON GO SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[ELMAH_GetErrorsXml] ( @Application NVARCHAR(60), @PageIndex INT = 0, @PageSize INT = 15, @TotalCount INT OUTPUT ) AS SET NOCOUNT ON DECLARE @FirstTimeUTC DATETIME DECLARE @FirstSequence INT DECLARE @StartRow INT DECLARE @StartRowIndex INT SELECT @TotalCount = COUNT(1) FROM [ELMAH_Error] WHERE [Application] = @Application -- Get the ID of the first error for the requested page SET @StartRowIndex = @PageIndex * @PageSize + 1 IF @StartRowIndex <= @TotalCount BEGIN SET ROWCOUNT @StartRowIndex SELECT @FirstTimeUTC = [TimeUtc], @FirstSequence = [Sequence] FROM [ELMAH_Error] WHERE [Application] = @Application ORDER BY [TimeUtc] DESC, [Sequence] DESC END ELSE BEGIN SET @PageSize = 0 END -- Now set the row count to the requested page size and get -- all records below it for the pertaining application. SET ROWCOUNT @PageSize SELECT errorId = [ErrorId], application = [Application], host = [Host], type = [Type], source = [Source], message = [Message], [user] = [User], statusCode = [StatusCode], time = CONVERT(VARCHAR(50), [TimeUtc], 126) + 'Z' FROM [ELMAH_Error] error WHERE [Application] = @Application AND [TimeUtc] <= @FirstTimeUTC AND [Sequence] <= @FirstSequence ORDER BY [TimeUtc] DESC, [Sequence] DESC FOR XML AUTO GO SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF GO SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON GO SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[ELMAH_LogError] ( @ErrorId UNIQUEIDENTIFIER, @Application NVARCHAR(60), @Host NVARCHAR(30), @Type NVARCHAR(100), @Source NVARCHAR(60), @Message NVARCHAR(500), @User NVARCHAR(50), @AllXml NTEXT, @StatusCode INT, @TimeUtc DATETIME ) AS SET NOCOUNT ON INSERT INTO [ELMAH_Error] ( [ErrorId], [Application], [Host], [Type], [Source], [Message], [User], [AllXml], [StatusCode], [TimeUtc] ) VALUES ( @ErrorId, @Application, @Host, @Type, @Source, @Message, @User, @AllXml, @StatusCode, @TimeUtc ) GO SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF GO SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO

Now that the web.config and database are configured, a few more tweaks to your MVC project and you’re ready to go. By default Elmah will only handle unhandled exceptions. To handle all exceptions that application processes, we can write a custom action filter to intercept the error and log it!

using System.Web.Mvc; using Elmah; namespace MVCproj.ActionFilters { public class ElmahHandledErrorLoggerFilter : IExceptionFilter { public void OnException(ExceptionContext context) { // Log only handled exceptions, because all other will be caught by ELMAH anyway. if (context.ExceptionHandled) ErrorSignal.FromCurrentContext().Raise(context.Exception); } } }

Modify your FilterConfig in the AppStart to look like this:

public class FilterConfig { public static void RegisterGlobalFilters(GlobalFilterCollection filters) { filters.Add(new ElmahHandledErrorLoggerFilter()); filters.Add(new HandleErrorAttribute()); } }

Elmah error logging is now configured for your ASP.NET MVC application. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get used that often. Ha ha… I know bad joke.

Enjoy

Developing a RSS Feed Display in Windows Phone 8

Developing a RSS Feed Display in Windows Phone 8

Pretty much any site that has a blog comes with a RSS feed for free use. To display a RSS feed from a web site in your Windows Phone 8 App is fairly straight forward with the help of the SyndicationItem object in the System.ServiceModel.Syndication dll. Since Windows 8 Apps do not reference this automatically, you’ll likely find it at this location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Silverlight\v4.0\Libraries\Client\System.ServiceModel.Syndication.dll

Once you have the dll referenced you will create a List of of SyndicationItem objects. You can also create a property to bind to the SelectedItem of the LongListSelector. In this property example I am using BindableBase as my ViewModel base class. BindableBase comes with SetProperty to implement INotifyPropertyChanged.

private SyndicationItem _selectedSyndicationItem; public SyndicationItem SelectedSyndicationItem { get { return _selectedSyndicationItem; } set { _selectedSyndicationItem = value; SelectionChanged(); } } private IEnumerable<SyndicationItem> _syndicationItems; public IEnumerable<SyndicationItem> SyndicationItems { get { return _syndicationItems; } set { SetProperty(ref _syndicationItems, value); } }

The rest of the code in my ViewModel handles loading the RSS feed and responding to the SelectedItem binding event. The example here uses the RSS feed from the Colorado Technology Association.

public void LoadRss() { string url = "http://www.coloradotechnology.org/members/blog_rss.asp?id=432063&rss=zGF1zZtI"; try { var request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(new Uri(url)); request.BeginGetResponse(ResponseHandler, request); } catch (Exception exception) { ErrorHandling(exception); } } void ErrorHandling(Exception e) { ProgressVisible = false; ErrorMessage = "An error occured loading the news feed. " + e.Message; ErrorVisible = true; } private void ResponseHandler(IAsyncResult asyncResult) { try { var request = (HttpWebRequest) asyncResult.AsyncState; var response = (HttpWebResponse) request.EndGetResponse(asyncResult); if (response.StatusCode == HttpStatusCode.OK) { var reader = XmlReader.Create(response.GetResponseStream()); var feed = SyndicationFeed.Load(reader); SyndicationItems = feed.Items; ProgressVisible = false; ErrorMessage = string.Empty; ErrorVisible = false; } } catch (Exception exception) { ErrorHandling(exception); } } private void SelectionChanged() { AppSession.RSSUrl = _selectedSyndicationItem.Id; AppSession.RSSTitle = _selectedSyndicationItem.Title.Text; if (NavigationEvent != null) NavigationEvent(this, "/WebArticle.xaml"); }

The remaining implementation is in the xaml, which is shown here:

<LongListSelector ItemsSource="{Binding SyndicationItems}" SelectedItem="{Binding SelectedSyndicationItem,Mode=TwoWay}"> <LongListSelector.ItemTemplate> <DataTemplate> <StackPanel> <TextBlock Text="{Binding Title.Text}" Foreground="Chocolate" FontWeight="Bold" FontSize="20" TextWrapping="Wrap"></TextBlock> <TextBlock Text="{Binding PublishDate}" FontSize="14" Margin="0,5,0,8"></TextBlock> </StackPanel> </DataTemplate> </LongListSelector.ItemTemplate> </LongListSelector>

To see how SelectedItem is implemented as a Dependency Property, you can see my article on that here: http://www.new.surfdew.com/?p=181

Upgrading to LongListSelector

Upgrading to LongListSelector

The Windows Phone 8 SDK officially ships with the LongListSelector control.  Microsoft is encouraging developers to use this control instead of the ListBox.  ListBox is still supported, but the control is not optimized for the phone experience.  Read more about the features of the LongListSelector here: http://blogs.windows.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2013/05/23/windows-phone-8-xaml-longlistselector.aspx

It’s fairly easy to upgrade your ListBox references to LongListSelector.  You can simply replace ListBox with phone:LongListSelector in your xaml.  There is one thing that Microsoft messed up on though and that is not making SelectedItem a dependency property.  If you’re using MVVM with TwoWay binding, you’re hosed with this out the box control.  Never fear though, the class can be extended to allow for TwoWay binding.  The following is the full implementation of the custom class:

publicclass LongListSelector : Microsoft.Phone.Controls.LongListSelector { public LongListSelector() { SelectionChanged += LongListSelector_SelectionChanged; } void LongListSelector_SelectionChanged(object sender, SelectionChangedEventArgs e) { SelectedItem =base.SelectedItem; } publicstaticreadonly DependencyProperty SelectedItemProperty = DependencyProperty.Register( SelectedItem, typeof(object), typeof(LongListSelector), new PropertyMetadata(null, OnSelectedItemChanged) ); privatestaticvoid OnSelectedItemChanged(DependencyObject d, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e) { var selector = (LongListSelector)d; selector.SetSelectedItem(e); } privatevoid SetSelectedItem(DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e) { base.SelectedItem = e.NewValue; } publicnewobject SelectedItem { get { return GetValue(SelectedItemProperty); } set { SetValue(SelectedItemProperty, value); } } }

Windows 8 Phone Databinding

Windows 8 Phone Databinding

I recently began developing an Windows 8 Phone App.  I’m developing the app with Xaml and C#, using the MVVM development pattern.  I came across a pretty cool class that implements INotifyPropertyChanged that’s built for the .NET 4.5 Framework.  The class is simply called BindableBase, and I’m really liking it so far. The class is implemented as follows:

using System; using System.ComponentModel; using System.Runtime.CompilerServices; using System.Windows; namespace MVVM { /// &<summary&> /// Implementation of &<see cref=&quot;INotifyPropertyChanged&quot;/&> to simplify models. /// &</summary&> [Windows.Foundation.Metadata.WebHostHidden] publicabstractclass BindableBase : INotifyPropertyChanged { publicevent PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged; protectedbool SetProperty<T>(ref T storage, T value, [CallerMemberName] String propertyName =null) { if (object.Equals(storage, value)) returnfalse; storage = value; this.OnPropertyChanged(propertyName); returntrue; } protectedvoid OnPropertyChanged([CallerMemberName] string propertyName =null) { var eventHandler =this.PropertyChanged; if (eventHandler !=null) { if (Deployment.Current.Dispatcher.CheckAccess()) { eventHandler(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName)); } else { Deployment.Current.Dispatcher.BeginInvoke(() =&gt; { eventHandler(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName)); }); } } } } }

To invoke the PropertyChanged Event, simply call the SetProperty method. It’s nice because you can do it all in one line of code in the setter.

private IEnumerable<SyndicationItem> _syndicationItems; public IEnumerable<SyndicationItem> SyndicationItems { get { return _syndicationItems; } set { SetProperty(ref _syndicationItems, value); } }

Silverlight Binding with the Dynamic Data Type

Silverlight Binding with the Dynamic Data Type

I thought I would share my first experience with the .NET dynamic data type while doing some Silverlight binding.

The scenario is I have a View, ViewModel and Model project. My Model project gets data from a WCF service, and sets the appropriate properties in the ViewModel. There’s an ObservableCollection property in the ViewModel bound to a DataGrid in the View.

The data in the ObservableCollection can be filtered through a search within the application. I want a Label control to display the results of the search, such as “Your search returned 34 results”. So I did something crazy! Binding the updated ObservableCollection to the Label. This could have been done with a separate property, being updated from the set of the ObservableCollection, but that approach was too boring.

So you may ask, how does a Label element bound to an ObservableCollection display text? Through the magic of binding converters…

XAML:

xmlns:conversion="clr-namespace:SampleBuddy"

<controls:ChildWindow.Resources>


<conversion:CollectionConverter x:Key=”collectionConversion”></conversion:CollectionConverter>

</controls:ChildWindow.Resources>

<sdk:Label Content=”{Binding WorkOrders, Converter={StaticResource collectionConversion}}” Foreground=”Blue” Cursor=”Hand”></sdk:Label>

WorkOrders is the ObservableCollection property from the ViewModel class, which implements INotifyPropertyChanged.

Converter Class:

namespace SampleBuddy

{

public class CollectionConverter : IValueConverter
{
public object Convert(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
{
string text = “Your search returned “;
dynamic collection = value;
if (collection != null)
{
text += collection.Count.ToString() + ” results”;
}

return text;

}

public object ConvertBack(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)

{return value;}

}

}

To better learn how to implement the converter, check out this article.

So I was able to bind to an existing property, and update the display whenever the collection changes from the ViewModel. Since I couldn’t cast the object, because it was referenced from the ViewModel and not the View, the dynamic data type came in very handy.

Marketing Your Windows Phone App

Marketing Your Windows Phone App

When I first submitted my Windows Phone App to the Marketplace it was an exciting time.  How would the public react to my app?  How many downloads would I get?  Would somebody actually press on an Ad?

During the first few days of my app being in the Marketplace, I had 1 download and it was from India.  Confused by the lack of interest I tried searching for my app.  The only way I could find my app was to search for it by name.  It wasn’t even coming up in the search results for a golf app.  What did I do wrong?

The app I designed is to help facilitate golf betting.  The app keeps track of who owes what throughout the round.  It calculates generically, so it can be used with any and multiple betting games.  Here is the link to the app.

What I first discovered was that I was not adding Keywords to my app.  When I submit my app I always think the keyword input is kind of hidden.  I never saw it when I first submitted.  Adding keywords instantly put my app in the search results with all of the other golf related apps.  Here’s a screenshot of the keywords I’m currently using:

SideBetKeywords

 

After I submitted an update and added keywords, my downloads started to increase to 1 or 2 a day.  It was going too slow still so I threw out the link to my app on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  I also added Analytics using the free service from Localytics.  Localytics is very easy to plug into your app and offers pretty good free analytic data.  You can see a chart of your user sessions per day, and a map of where your users are.

LocalyticsChart

 

 

LocalyticsMap

 

This was helpful to know where my app was being downloaded in the world.  I then decided to localize my app by adding a resource file for all of the text in my app.  Once everything was in resource files it was easy to add new languages.  Here’s a great post on localizing your Windows Phone App:  http://kb.tethras.com/localizing-your-windows-phone-8-app

Side Bet is now in 6 languages which include Spanish, Italian, German, English, Chinese and Russian.  My app’s downloads are now in the 5 – 10 per day range.  I hope these tips were helpful with increasing downloads for all you app newbies out there.

 

What’s the deal with Silverlight?

What’s the deal with Silverlight?

Most people in the development community have conceded that Microsoft is no longer putting any energy into Silverlight. And why should they? There isn’t a tablet or phone that will support the technology. Even desktop support is getting spotty with many support issues on Macs running the latest versions of Firefox and Safari.

I get why Microsoft is has given up on the technology, but it’s quite a shame. To develop a cross-browser saas application is not trivial using html and css. Silverlight makes development easy. It allows a developer to code the application just like it’s a desktop application without having to code in javascript and css.

If the web moves forward with html5 and leaves behind third party plug ins, the browser consumers are going to lose out. I don’t think we will get back to the same responsiveness and overall great experience until we hit html6. So will that be IE 17, Firefox 45, and Chrome version 89? I’m just being humorous about html6, but I’m serious when I say that I will miss Silverlight on the web.

I will move forward and get on whatever web bandwagon I need to get on. But I’m sad that other companies (Apple) are dictating what technologies we can use on the web.