Wednesday, November 30, 2011


HTML5 kills off flash; HTML5 kills off Silverlight; HTML5 makes the dinner and does the ironing too. HTML5 is going to save the (tech) world. I've heard it all in the last year or two. Very rarely have I seen a balanced article or a writer that understands the concepts involved. Even worse are the (non technical) tech journalists who write an article on this subject purely to boost their own exposure.

This article attempts to provide a bit of history on the subject. It also attempts to pacify the situation and explain why it doesn't really matter.

This article focuses more on Silverlight than other technologies but the principles are the same for these too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Apple releases iOS 5.1 beta to developers

Apple has released a new build, referred to as 9B5117b, has been seeded for developers. This update is not available over-the-air as past developer builds have been.

This release includes enhanced dictation support during text input, but only on supported devices.  This leaves open the possibility that a the speech recognition portion of Siri may be added to iPod touch, iPad and earlier iPhone models.

It is important to note that once this version of iOS is installed that it can not be rolled back. iOS 5.1 requires the use of the newest Xcode 4.3 developer preview toolset for building third party apps.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

3D basics using Silverlight-5 and XNA

This article presents the simplest possible Silverlight/XNA program: a basic spinning triangle, albeit with full 3d lighting effects. It is the 3D equivalent of the classic 'Hello World' program. It comprises about 50 lines of code, and the rationale behind every line is explained.


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Silverlight Best Practices

Silverlight Best Practices (Part 1 of 4)

Silverlight Best Practices (Part 2 of 4)

Silverlight Best Practices (Part 3 of 4)

Silverlight Best Practices (Part 4 of 4)

Silverlight Best Practices (Part 2 of 4)

This is in continuation to my previous post Silverlight Best Practices – I, where I talked about Design Considerations. These design considerations were a bird's view and the posts to come will explain these in detail. In this post, I shall deal with the Business Layer, its components, steps to design these components, and design considerations. This post can be considered not just for Silverlight Applications, but for other Web Applications as well.


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Silverlight Best Practices (Part 3 of 4)

This is in continuation to my previous post Silverlight Best Practices – II, where I talked about Business Layer Design Considerations. This post, the area of concentration, will be a list of to-do's while developing a Silverlight Application.


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Silverlight Best Practices (Part 4 of 4)

This is in continuation to my previous post Silverlight Best Practices – III, where the focus was what should be and what should not be done while developing a Silverlight Application. It was purely from a developer's perspective. In this post, we would consider designing the 'Data Access Layer'


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Silverlight Best Practices (Part 1 of 4)

I have been working on Designing and Development of Rich UI applications on Silverlight, and Windows Phone platforms and high performing applications as middleware components for Trading Applications. One of the biggest issues I have seen is non-adherence to standards causing slowness in applications, or a red-mark in Audits due to mis-fit of technology stack. To help developers decide whether to opt for Silverlight and when designing what should be taken care of, this series of articles are written. Wherever required, I would direct you to appropriate sites, books and links to have a further read to avoid duplicacy of text on two websites.


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First look at Windows Simulator

Many friends of mine have been asking me what my team is working on these days. I finally have an opportunity to share with all of you the really cool stuff we've been working on for the past many months.

My team built the Windows Simulator enabling users to debug Metro Style apps for Windows 8 in a Windows environment.


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AWESOME WP7 Power Tool

This is an awesome tool for side-loading apps to the emulator/device. You absolutely will love it. It offers a lot more functionality than the default app deployment tool that comes with the SDK. Provided by the Windows Phone engineering tech team.


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Microsoft Windows Simulator Rotation and Resolution Emulation

The Windows Simulator is a tool provided in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview that helps debugging Metro style applications. Its main purpose is to enable debugging when developers want to test how their applications respond to the new metro capabilities without having a device that supports those capabilities. It is implemented as a remote connection session to the same machine, but additionally emulates common hardware functionalities available in new devices, e.g., Rotation (i.e., orientation change), High Resolution and Touch. A general introduction can be found here. This article focuses on Rotation and Resolution emulation.


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Using ASP.NET PageMethods With Silverlight

Most developers are by now familiar with the PageMethod. This is a static method in the codebehind class of an ASP.NET page which is decorated with the [WebMethod] attribute. The methods are called via a POST to the pagename/methodname and the parameters are sent as the POST data.

You can also call PageMethods from a Silverlight application by using the ScriptManager control. In order to begin utilizing PageMethods in your ASP.Net enabled webpage via Silverlight, you need to do 3 things. Read to know more.


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Debugging Contracts using Windows Simulator

All of you might be pretty busy discovering what Windows 8 has to offer. Today I will introduce you to debugging Contracts, one of the cool features in Windows 8.

It is hard to debug contracts when you are debugging locally because they disappear as soon as the focus is lost. So, as you hit a breakpoint in Visual Studio for your app, the target app would disappear making it difficult to debug your app.


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Using the DatePicker control in Silverlight 5

This article introduces the DatePicker control present in the Silverlight Toolkit and shows how to use it in Silverlight applications.

The DatePicker control enables users to select dates using a Calendar like interface. It also includes a TextBox as part of its interface so that users can enter a date instead of selecting one from the Calendar.

The DatePicker control is not part of the Silverlight runtime, it is available in the Silverlight SDK. To use a control from the Silverlight SDK, you must add a reference to the assembly and include the appropriate XML namespace mapping in XAML.


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How to use PlaySoundAction Behavior in WP7 Application?

Behaviors are most demanded feature to include in Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and/or WPF applications to implement proper MVVM pattern to do some UI level actions. These are pluggable on demand and don't need any other extra code to integrate. Just a simple XAML change and you are done.


In this article, we will learn how to use the inbuilt "PlaySoundAction" behavior to add sound effect on button click. We will demonstrate it using Windows Phone 7 application. Read more to learn. Complete demonstration with images for each steps available.


How can you Add Network Connection Settings Page in your WP7 Application?

Do you want to integrate the network connection settings page (like: Airplane, Bluetooth, Cellular and/or WiFi) in your Windows Phone 7 application? Then this article will help you step-by-step to understand and integrate it.


Connection Settings page are those, where you can configure your connection types and various parameters of the connection. Windows Phone 7 SDK exposes the APIs for you to integrate them in your application. In this tutorial, we will discuss about these with a nice demo. Read further to know about these settings page and integration steps to the application.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

How to perform Asynchronous Processing in .Net

Hi, today we will demonstrate asynchronous processing using delegates and events. One might think what the need of doing work  asynchronously in windows environment. Yes, it is required and thought following  sample example we will substantiate this.

The Program
In this program we will develop a class will have certain events and delegates to handle those events. Our class will have a function to perform task and continuously changes the status through raising events.

Start Visual Studio 2008 IDE and Select Create New Project. Select C#->Windows Application Template from Create Project Explorer and Give a name "MyApplication"

Accessing Controls from DataGrid ColumnHeader – Silverlight

Accessing Controls from DataGrid ColumnHeader – Silverlight

If you have ever worked with DataGrid and columnHeader template then you might have faced scenario where you need to access the controls defined in style .In this post we will discuss how to retrieve the same at runtime from code behind.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What are "Delegates" in C#

Delegates, a word that frequently pops up in the Interviews and many candidates gets confused and nervous when they hear this word. In this article, I am trying to explain delegates in easy to understand way, hopefully after going through this article, you will feel comfortable using delegates and answering any question related with delegates.

What is a delegate?

Delegate is an object that can refer to a method.

When we are creating delegates, we are creating an object that can hold a reference to a method; it necessarily means that a delegate can invoke the method to which it refers. 

As the delegate refers to a method, the same delegates can be used to call multiple methods just by changing the method name at the run time; provided the method (instance or static) match the signature and return type.

Confused? not a problem, just go through below code snippet of code behind (DelegatesPage 
.aspx.cs) of my DelegatesPage.aspx page.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

User Control vs Custom Control in Silverlight for WP7

In this article I am going to discuss the difference between User Controls and Custom Controls in Silverlight for  Windows Phone 7. Before you begin make sure that you are familiar with the Silverlight Object Trees model. The following topics are also helpful:

When deciding to implement some custom control functionality at first we need to know the difference between Custom Controls and Custom User-Controls. So in this article I will try to help you choose the best option for your WP7 application.


Generally a UserControl provides the base class for defining a new control that encapsulates related existing controls and provides its own logic. Custom User-Controls are user controls that can be reused but they can't be skinned or themed.

In Windows Phone 7 Custom  User Controls inherit from (System.Windows.Controls.UserControl) UserControl.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Microsoft WPF - Silverlight Comparision


Microsoft WPF - Silverlight Comparision


Features/ Support


Platform Support WPF is a Windows desktop technology for developing Windows application in the 
.NET framework
Silverlight is a web technology, that is fully supported by a browser plugin on 
both Windows and MAC (in a similar fashion to Flash). There is also a plugin for 
running Silverlight on Linux (Moonlight).
Architecture Presentation Core --> .NET Framework --> CLR Presentation Core -->.NET for Silverlight --> CLR for Silverlight --> Browser 
WPF applications can be deployed as a standalone application, ClickOnce 
application, or a XAML Browser application. BAML is a binary form of the XAML in 
a WPF application
Silverlight applications are hosted within a web server and a web page. To 
minimize client download size, Silverlight uses an XAP archive. A XAP archive is 
a zip-compressed archive of the Silverlight application, plus a manifest file 
describing the content.
XAML processing WPF has its own XAML parser XAML parser that is part of the Silverlight core install
Xml/Object Data Provider Supports theXmlDataProvider andObjectDataProvider Supports theXmlDataProvider but not the ObjectDataProvider
Access to .NET Network Stack WPF has access to the full .NET networking stack and can make any type of call Silverlight is a browser-based technology that has access to a subset of the 
.NET Framework (called the CoreCLR). Can only make asynchronous network calls
Cryptography Namespaces WPF has access to 107 cryptography classes and supports the full range of 
algorithms in the .NET Framework.
Cryptography (Silverlight has 20 classes in the namespace. Silverlight supports 
only 4 hashing algorithms and the AES encryption protocol
Deep Zoom No Yes
Data Binding Supports MultiBinding Doesn't support MultiBinding
Triggers Yes Limited support
Commanding Yes No
Freezable objects Yes No (Flow Document are designed to optimize viewing and readability)
3D Drawing Yes 3D Support is limited
Flow Document support Yes No
Dynamic resources Yes No
Multitouch API WPF has element-level support for multitouch events on its UIElement class. Silverlight 4 client as a whole is registered for touch messages, and the 
multitouch events are handled through a client-level Touch service class.
Out-of-Browser Support WPF has an XBAP deployment model that runs in a browser Silverlight uses a different deployment technique where an application can be 
configured to run outside the browser after being installed from a host Web page
Screen Coordinate System WPF has a theoretically unbounded coordinate system Silverlight has a bounded coordinate system
Measurements WPF supports a measurement system that by default is based on Device Independent
Pixel (DIP) units
Silverlight supports a measurement system that is always based on pixel units.
URL based navigation No Yes
Clipboard Anything serializable Text only
Controls/Elements All visually rendering elements derive from the Visual base class Elements derive from Control
External Device access Anything with drivers, COM, Win32 or Communication Protocol Webcam, Camera, Microphone and device with COM API or compatible communication 
File Access Unlimited Limited
WPF Specific Functionality Desktop Functionality (Printing, XPS Documents, Speech, InterOp) XAML (Styles 
) User Interface (3D Graphics, Themes, Skins, Image Manipulation, Page-Based 
Navigation, Input Gestures) General Functionality (Freezable Objects, Data 
Providers, Validation, Dynamic Resources, Code Access Security )
Silverlight Specific Functionality 
  Web Functionality (Browser InterOp) Media (Traditional Streaming, Progressive 
Download, Smooth Streaming, Timeline Markers ) Deep Zoom

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Common Validation Rules in LightSwitch Business Applications

Checking the validity of data input is a common requirement for any application that interacts with humans (and other systems), particularly business applications. I've never seen or written a data-entry application without implementing common validation rules for inputting data. LightSwitch has many ways to implement validation declaratively through the data designer as well as supporting custom code you write. Field (or property) validation is just one aspect of writing business rules in LightSwitch, but it's definitely an important one. It's your "first line of defense" in keeping user entered data consistent.

Although LightSwitch has some built-in business types and declarative validation settings, many times we need to write small snippets of code to check the format of data entered on a screen. Common things in the USA are States, ZIP codes, Social Security Numbers, UPIN, ISBN, etc. But you may also want to prevent things like numeric and symbolic values in people's or place's names or a variety of other rules based on string manipulation.


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The Death of Flash and Silverlight

This week there has been news that Silverlight 5 might just be the last version of the technology that never really seemed to get any real traction. This morning I woke to several stories about Adobe killing any further development of it's flash mobile plugin. Both Microsoft and Adobe seem to understand the future of client development does not lie in a proprietary plugin technology, but in HTML5.

Flash has long been the standard bearer of richer experiences inside browsers. Designers have often deferred creating real web sites to making them entire flash applications. As a developer I have always questioned this strategy for many reasons. First is the misuse of the technology that often leads to a very large application payload a user had to download. Next is it meant death to search engine optimization.


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App to Restart WP7

Sometimes I have felt rebooting my Windows Phone because I messed things up deploying an app or just too many apps running and I just need to flush everything off to start it fresh the only option is to shut down and then power up again using the power button on right. Though its ok but I would rather loved to have a restart button or if the same button on long press could have given me option to restart and shutdown both.


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Lighting up your C# Metro apps by being a Share Source

If you have been paying attention to any of the Windows 8/Metro stuff that has come out sense BUILD you may have noticed that with Windows 8/Metro application developers can now easily light up their applications by enabling their apps to hook into the various system Contracts. These contracts include things like search, settings, file picker and app selection.

In this post we will walk through what is needed for your application to share its content with other applications. This is known as being the Share Source and is pretty easy to setup.


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Why Adobe had to Kill Flash Player for Mobile; Silverlight, Flex, HTML5

You may have caught some of the headlines that Adobe has killed Flash Player for Mobile devices.

A lengthy article was recently published by Adobe Chief Engineer, Mike Chambers.

I've been intensely focused on where development in general is heading for the past couple of months (details currently on my twitter timeline) so I read this article looking for Adobe's reasoning and went on further to see how Flex's path is tracking compared to Microsoft's Silverlight. These are my take-aways and key quotes.


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Rating control for WP7.5

Long evenings at hotels can be strangely productive time, and last night I started to think that there is no simple and lightweight star rating control available (I know only one, but it's a big too big for my taste).


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