Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools and Windows Phone 7 Toolkit

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Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools

You can download them here.

The following is installed with the download:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone – Free edition of VS 2010 for Phone development.
  • Express Blend 4 for Windows Phone – Free version of Blend for Windows Phone 7 Development.
  • Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 – Rich framework for building great applications for Windows Phone 7.
  • XNA Game Studio for Windows Phone 7 Rich framework that enables you to build great 2D and 3D games for Windows Phone 7.
  • Windows Phone Emulator – A hardware accelerated emulator that allows you to run and debug your applications and games without requiring a phone.
  • Phone Registration Tool – When you get a device, this allows you to “unlock” the device so you can run/debug your application on it, using your Marketplace account.

This release adds support for new Panormana and Pivot controls and associated project templates that you can use to create applications.

Windows Phone 7 Toolkit

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You can download here.

It includes the following additional Silverlight controls and components that are customized for the Windows Phone 7 experience:

  • ContextMenu
  • DatePicker
  • TimePicker
  • WrapPanel
  • ToggleSwitch
  • GestureService – adds events for Tap, DoubleTap, Hold, Drag (DragStarted, DragDelta, DragCompleted), Flick and Pinch

You can learn more about using some of the cool controls in the Toolkit from:

Silverlight 4 Theme refresh including RIA Services templates

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Download the refreshed Silverlight 4 themes (inlcuding RIA Services templates) here.

At the link above you’ll find 3 files to download:

  • README_FIRST.txt – please read this :-) but basically I’m writing the same thing here.
  • SL4Themes-templates.zip – this includes a folder for Expression Blend and Visual Studio templates.  The VS folder also has a sub-folder for the RIA Services templates.
  • SL4Themes-rawassets.zip – this is another (optional) zip that includes the resource dictionaries for each template on their own without any Silverlight project.

Sample preview of themes
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New – JetPack Theme: http://www.silverlight.net/content/samples/sl4/themes/jetpack.html
Windows 7 Theme: http://www.silverlight.net/content/samples/sl4/themes/windows7.html
Cosmopolitan Theme: http://www.silverlight.net/content/samples/sl4/themes/cosmopolitan.html
Accent Color Theme: http://www.silverlight.net/content/samples/sl4/themes/accent.html

Via Silverlight 4 Theme refresh including RIA Services templates

Introducing the Microsoft Web Farm Framework

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The Microsoft Web Farm Framework is a free product that enables you to easily provision and mange a farm of web servers.  It enables you to automate the installation and configuration of platform components across the server farm, and enables you to automatically synchronize and deploy ASP.NET applications across them.  It also supports integration with load balancers – and enables you to automate updates across your servers so that your site/application is never down or unavailable to customers (it can automatically pull servers one-at-a-time out of the load balancer rotation, update them, and then inject them back into rotation).

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2010/09/08/introducing-the-microsoft-web-farm-framework.aspx

Absolute Beginners Guide to Entity Framework

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The Essentials

The Entity Framework bridges the gap between how developers commonly manipulate conceptual objects (customers, orders, products; posts, tags, members; wall posts, private messages, friend connections) and the way data is actually stored (records in database tables).  The technical term for a tool that provides this abstraction is object relational mapper (ORM).  ORMs help developers be more efficient and focused, since they don’t need to spend brain cycles thinking about how to communicate with the database.  It also means that the code is more portable – switching database software requires changing a setting in the ORM, not a rewrite of the whole codebase to match the new database’s dialect.  As someone who has programmed using the ORM in Django, I can tell you how such a tool makes development less tedious and more enjoyable when you don’t have to consider SELECTS and INSERTS.  In fact, I’ve never before written a line of SQL, yet I was able to build a rich web application thanks to an ORM.

Getting Started

One of the nice features of using the Entity Framework is its out-of-the-box simplicity.  To my pleasant surprise, I didn’t need to download, install, or patch anything to get started with my first EF app.  I booted up VS 2010, opened a new project, designed my entities, wrote my code, and off I went.  You can probably get a very simple app up and running in about 10 minutes.  To prove it, I’ll do exactly that as a step-by-step walkthrough below.  For this example, I’ll make a simple events calendar.

Read more … Absolute Beginners Guide to Entity Framework – ADO.NET team blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs

XNA on Windows Phone 7 gives you touch Gestures

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Although Silverlight offers manipulation support, it has no direct support for the higher level concept of “gestures” (eg tap, flick). You could certainly build that yourself in Silverlight OR you may be able to use the gesture support from the XNA Framework. I say “may” as I haven’t tested this exhaustively but my initial efforts suggest it seems to work just fine.

Links:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mikeormond/archive/2010/08/31/xna-from-silverlight-on-windows-phone-7-gestures.aspx

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/windowsphone7series/thread/1f053f2f-7eda-421b-a01e-058fefce7ceb

Creating high performance Windows Phone apps – THE WHITEPAPER

 Download

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Some of the features it covers:

  • Compositor thread and user interface thread
  • Frame rate counter & cache visualizations
  • Cache mode
  • Fill rate concepts
  • Loading images larger than 2000 x 2000
  • Navigating into pages in other assemblies

Samples

The following list shows the code samples included in the zip file along with this document:

· Example #1 – FillRateTest

· Example #2 – PerspectiveFillRate

· Example #3 – PerFrameCallBack

· Example #4 – HidingObjects

· Example #5 – LoadingLargeImages

· Example #6 – SplittingAppAcrossDlls