Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Microsoft releases SkyDrive developer tools including Windows Phone 8, .NET SDKs

Microsoft has a bunch of new developer tools related to its SkyDrive file-sharing and cloud storage service, including new software development kits for .NET and Windows Phone 8.

The new SDKs for the .NET software framework for Windows and the recently released Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system are available for download at Microsoft's own developer portal or via NuGet for Visual Studio projects, the company said in a blog post announcing their availability.
The .NET SDK comes in both a client and server version, providing a .NET library for client desktop apps as well as for ASP.NET applications, Microsoft said, adding that "[w]ith this release you can now create applications that target traditional desktop scenarios and as well as server side scenarios."
Along with the Windows Phone 8 SDK, the devkit for .NET allows developers to build SkyDrive functionality into their apps and programs. For example, with the client version of the .NET SDK, developers can now "create WPF, Windows Form or console applications that let your users use their SkyDrive data," the software giant said.

With the server version of the SDK, .NET developers are now able to build ASP.NET websites and Web server components "that talk to SkyDrive," Microsoft said, while also making it "easier for you to incorporate Microsoft account into your identity system or even just use Microsoft account as your primary identity system."
Microsoft noted that there are already "a ton of Windows Phone applications that ... leverage SkyDrive in their applications." The new SDK basically adds support for the latest version of the OS to the mix but also builds on several new features in Windows Phone 8, the first such release by Microsoft to share the kernel of the flagship Windows operating system for desktops, laptops, and tablets.
One advantage of that shared foundation is that developers can now "easily move [their] code between [their] Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 application" via the new Task async pattern and dynamic keyword protocols.
Microsoft also drew attention to several representative SkyDrive tie-ins developed by its ecosystem, including IFTTT ("if this, then that"), the cross-platform "Recipe" tool that allows users to connect their channels across different social media services; the electronic signature service DocuSign; and SoundGecko, a text-to-audio transcribing service that uses SkyDrive to offer users anywhere access to files.

Source: ITProPortal

Saturday, November 10, 2012

WURFL Cloud Client Available on Windows Azure

ScientiaMobile, Inc., a US company offering the popular WURFL framework commercially, has today announced the availability of the WURFL Cloud Service on the Windows Azure Marketplace for ASP.NET developers. Companies that need to tailor their content to mobile devices can rely on state-of-the-art Device Detection from a company with 12 years experience in this field.

“A conspicuous amount of our infrastructure is running on the Microsoft Azure Cloud. It is fast and reliable. Organizations loyal to the Microsoft platform will be pleased to know that the WURFL cloud latency will be even lower for Azure-hosted applications.” - said Steve Kamerman, COO at ScientiaMobile.

“For us, the Azure Cloud is just one side of the Azure story. The other side is the Windows Azure Marketplace. It is a great place to publish, advertise and sell software components for the benefit of the community of ASP.NET developers,” said Krishna Guda, ScientiaMobile’s CEO. - “Being part of Azure obviously represents an opportunity for ScientiaMobile to extend the reach of our technology and having a clear path to developers in the Microsoft galaxy. For this reason, I asked my team to double down on the Azure integration in order to establish our well-deserved position on the portal as the first framework for mobile device detection. That objective is accomplished and we are very satisfied.”

“Microsoft has been aware of WURFL for a long time. Microsoft developers have adopted WURFL for many years simply because of word of mouth. Seeing WURFL being powered by the Azure Cloud and offered as part of the Azure Marketplace is the natural evolution of a developer library that has conquered its credibility the hard way throughout the years. ScientiaMobile’s choice of adopting both the Azure Marketplace and the Azure Cloud leaves us very pleased” - said Luca Venturelli, Server & Tools Business Group Lead at Microsoft.

Developers can sign up to the WURFL Cloud Service on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

Source: equities

Mono 3.0 Brings C# Up-To-Date

Mono 3.0 has been released with a complete C# 5.0 compiler with asynchronous programming support, improved garbage collection and the incorporation of Microsoft's open-source framework for Web development.

Announcing Mono 3.0 on his blog, Miguel de Icaza writes:
After a year and a half, we have finally released Mono 3.0.

He also says the project is:
"moving to a more nimble release process with Mono 3.0. We are trying to reduce our inventory of pending work and get new features to everyone faster. This means that our "master" branch will remain stable from now on, and that large projects will instead be developed in branches that are regularly landed into our master branch"

This third major revision of Mono, the open source, cross-platform, implementation of the .NET framework, adds support for features added in .NET 5, in particular asynchronous programming which improves an applications ability to respond to input during long-running tasks. The .NET 4.5 Async API profile is now the default for the compiler, but it can support all .NET API profiles for compilation.

It also incorporates the assemblies from Microsoft's open-sourced ASP.NET framework for Web development with Mono's implementation of JSON now being replaced by Microsoft's. ASP.NET's Web Pages, MVC 4, Entity Framework object-relational mapping, and the "Razor" view engine are now all included. Obviously using the same assemblies as the "real thing" reduces the possiblity of any differences.
There are also performance and scalability improvements to garbage collection  and runtime optimizations and enhancements to the capabilities of Mono on Mac OS X and iOS, including the prospect of having F# 3.0 bundled with them. See the Release Notes for more details.

There is the wider issue of the place of Mono in the new landscape being created by Microsoft. There is a very real sense in which Mono carries the enthusiasm for .NET which Microsoft seems to have lost. However Mono isn't the real thing and many programmers are unsure of it. Certainly there is little point in switching to Mono under Windows unless you really need the open source or cross platform aspects.

However what about Mono 4?
Even with limited resources the Mono team might well run out of Microsoft sourced innovations to incorporate into the new framework. Will Mono then become the front runner in .NET development?

Source: I Programmer

Sitecore Gives Marketers and Developers Advanced Tools to Target Campaigns and Segment Audiences Across Digital and Mobile Channels

Sitecore, a leading web content management and customer experience management software company, today announced availability of a new version of its Content Management System software (CMS).

Sitecore CMS 6.6 offers enhanced mobile support to build engaging mobile web interactions and applications, advanced targeting and segmentation of customers, and a premier development environment with native Model View Controller (MVC) support. These new features provide greater flexibility to quickly create personalised customer experiences.

“The latest version of our software provides the tools that developers and marketers require to consistently and continuously engage with customers through any interaction channel,” said Darren Guarnaccia, senior vice president, product marketing, Sitecore. “We have enabled our developer community to work with the latest development technologies while offering marketers enhanced ways to use customer behavior data to better segment and target marketing campaigns. The result for businesses is a consistent, engaging customer experience that helps create customers for life.”

Catering to the Small Screen Businesses need a way to understand how website and marketing campaign content and offers will appear on the multitude of devices in use including iPhone, Android and Windows smartphones. Sitecore’s device simulator shows marketers how content will appear on mobile devices and in different browsers. It provides an accurate view, via screenshots, on how the website will display using the browsers and devices selected.

In addition, Sitecore mobile software developer’s kit (SDK) facilitates the development of native mobile applications and supports Apple’s iOS platform. The embedded browser allows marketers to leverage their Sitecore powered content, while tapping the powerful user experience of native mobile applications.

Premier Development Approach Sitecore now offers native support for ASP.NET MVC to complement its existing support for web forms based architectures. By natively supporting both in its platform and allowing use interchangeably, customers have the flexibility to use the right approach for any task while achieving all the modern development benefits of using MVC design patterns.

ASP.NET MVC includes many features that enable fast development for creating sophisticated applications that use the latest web standards and Sitecore customers can start to incorporate these new capabilities without extensive site redevelopment or migration.

Advanced Targeting for Multichannel Campaigns Marketers are often challenged with targeting campaigns to segments of their audience for better engagement. With CMS 6.6 marketers can create a list of visitors that match certain criteria by defining one or more conditions to define a segment. Segments allow for dynamic evaluation rather than having a static list of visitors, and can be built from both demographic and behavioral data. Segments can also be built from both demographic information as well as behavioral data. Marketers do not need to be CRM experts to target campaigns to specific audiences and segments can be built on any of the web, email or CRM details that have taken place.

Source: cfoworld