Friday, 17 January 2014

Learning Windows Azure Mobile Services for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

I've spent the last few months writing a book for Packt Publishing titled Learning Windows Azure Mobile Services for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The book has been published today and is available as an eBook or paper-back.

The book covers the following with examples and full solutions for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8:

Chapter 1: Preparing the Windows Azure Mobile Services Portal

  • Choosing a subscription
  • Pay-as-you-go subscription
  • Basic and Standard subscriptions
  • Free trial
  • Creating a Windows Azure account
  • Creating a mobile service
  • Mobile Services features
  • Managing keys
  • Mobile service dashboard
  • Configure
  • Scale
  • Logs
  • Summary

Chapter 2: Start Developing with Windows Azure Mobile Services

  • Preparing our development environment
  • Hardware requirements
  • Setting up the software
  • Requirement for store accounts
  • Creating apps from the portal
  • Connecting existing apps to Windows Azure Mobile Services
  • Adding a Connected Service in Visual Studio 2013
  • Manually installing the SDK in Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Phone
  • Creating a table
  • Writing a model of the table
  • Interacting with the table
  • Summary

Chapter 3: Securing Data and Protecting the User

  • Configuring permissions
  • Rules for choosing permissions
  • Authentication providers
  • Authentication
  • Registering for Windows Live Connect Single Sign-on
  • Authentication in the app
  • Logging in
  • Storing credentials
  • Logging out
  • The DataServiceBase class
  • REST API and the master key
  • Summary

Chapter 4: Service Customization with Scripts

  • Understanding table scripts
  • Level-insert table script example
  • Score-insert script example
  • Score-read script example
  • API scripts
  • Creating an API script
  • High-score API script
  • Script debugging and logs
  • Scheduling
  • Working locally with Git
  • Pulling the repository
  • Updating our repository
  • Adding scripts manually
  • Pushing back changes
  • Implementing NPM modules
  • Summary

Chapter 5: Implementing Push Notifications

  • Understanding Push Notification Service flow
  • Setting up Windows Store apps
  • Setting up tiles
  • Setting up badges
  • Setting up Windows Phone 8 apps
  • Service scripts
  • WNS scripts for Store apps
  • Sending toast notifications
  • Sending tile notifications
  • Sending multiple tiles
  • Sending badge notifications
  • MPNS scripts for Windows Phone apps
  • Sending toast notifications
  • Sending tile notifications
  • Summary

Chapter 6: Scaling Up with the Notifications Hub

  • Configuring the Hub
  • Setting up Windows Store and Windows Phone 8 apps
  • Calling the hub from scripts
  • Creating WNS scripts (for Store apps)
  • Sending toast notifications
  • Sending tile notifications
  • Sending badge notifications
  • Creating MPNS scripts (for Windows Phone 8 apps)
  • Sending toast notifications
  • Sending tile notifications
  • Backend services
  • Targeting audience using tags
  • Summary

Chapter 7: Best Practices for Web-connected Apps

  • App certification requirements for the Windows Store
  • UX guidelines
  • Implementing a privacy policy
  • Checking the network connection
  • Managing notifications settings
  • Implementing settings pages
  • Summary

The content is based around a case study of a simple XAML based game to help provide real-world examples and implement as much Windows Azure Mobile Services functionality as possible with a tangible context. There is a full table of content on the book's web page.

Writing this book was an enjoyable, but difficult challenge. The main challenge was covering a large subject matter within a strict and short page limit; I chose to use a case study to help me think up realistic examples, but also provide fully working Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 solutions to enhance the book.

There is a sample chapter available to download here (I'm fairly sure this should have been the 3rd chapter on security, but it looks to be the first one) and an article on Push Notifications here.

Anyway, if it looks of interest, please get yourself a copy!

1 comment:

  1. That was enjoyable to read, thanks for posting it.

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