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Posts tagged with: Mobile

Moving to Azure

Sunday, December 30, 2012 8:01 PM

Windows Azure Logo

Wow. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two months since I last wrote something on here. In the interim, I’ve been some minor architecture work under the covers here at s-church.net. I moved the site to ASP.NET MVC 4 and .NET 4.5 and upgraded to Entity Framework for database access. The site is also now hosted on the new Windows Azure Web Sites with a SQL Azure database. I was very pleasantly surprised as to how easy it was to get up and running on Azure. Publishing the completed site to Azure was as simple as downloading the publish profile for my Azure site and then selecting that profile as the destination from the Publish command in the Visual Studio 2012 Web Application project menu. The publish process updates the database connection string as necessary to connect to the associated SQL Azure data store.

I’m also in the process of building a couple of new Windows Phone apps using the Azure Mobile Services backend. It’s not quite as straightforward to use Azure Mobile Services in Windows Phone 7.5 because I have to use the REST interface directly instead of the packaged clients available for Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, and iOS apps, but it’s still a big step forward from the Microsoft Sync Framework backend that I’ve used in the past. Sync Framework requires a dedicated server where I can do binary installs, which is quite a bit more expensive from a hosting perspective.

Once completed, the whole setup should be considerably cheaper than the hosting combination of Amazon Web Services and CrystalTech/The Small Business Authority that I’ve been using for over a year now and should also be more reliable since everything is co-located again.

 
By: shane
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Pick Your Poison – Mobile Web, Native, or Hybrid? – Today at 10 am

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 7:09 AM

I am presenting “Pick Your Poison – Mobile Web, Native, or Hybrid?” as part of Denver Startup Week today at 10 am at Uncubed in Denver.

 

If you are tweeting the presentation, please use the hashtags #effectiveui and #denverstartupweek and let me know if you have any comments or feedback in the comments here. I’m really excited about it and I look forward to seeing you there.

 
By: Shane
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Speaking at Denver Startup Week

Monday, October 8, 2012 12:58 PM

logo_denver_startup_weekI will be presenting "Mobile Web, Hybrid, or Native Mobile Application Development – How Do You Choose?” at Denver Startup Week on Wednesday, October 24th. The presentation will be from 10 am – Noon at Uncubed at 2762 Walnut Street in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver. Register for my talk here and check out the other events, including “Don’t Engage Me Bro!”  on October 23rd by fellow EffectiveUIer, Ryan Bell. I look forward to seeing you there!

 
By: Shane
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Review - Using PhoneGap Build Beta

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 1:28 PM

Adobe PhoneGap Build BetaMy most recent blog post on the EffectiveUI Blog just went live. The post is a review of my experiences using the PhoneGap Build beta for an iPad prototype.

Recently I was asked to build a prototype for a sales proposal here at EffectiveUI to enable the client to see what the finished design would behave like on a real iPad. We had provided an initial demo to the client through FieldTest; however, they wanted to see examples of what the actual interactivity would look and feel like on a real device. The client also added an additional requirement that the prototype be able to work completely offline. The eventual architecture for this application was to be a hybrid mobile Web and native application, much like I described in this MSDN Magazine article and in this blog post. …

Read the rest of the post at the EffectiveUI Blog.

 
By: Shane
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Building a Responsive Design

Thursday, August 2, 2012 1:11 PM

Mobile LayoutOne of the most interesting things I found looking at my web traffic reports for this site following the publication of my article, “Develop Hybrid Native and Mobile Web Apps” in the March 2012 issue of MSDN Magazine was how many iPad browsers were accessing the site. Not surprisingly given my background as a Microsoft developer, my statistics were dominated by Internet Explorer but the iPad, iPhone, and Android platforms accounted for approximately 13% of the unique visits to my site. Knowing that my site was designed for primarily desktop browsers, I immediately wondered what the site might look like to those users and how usable it might be. The short answer to those questions was: It looked awful and was completely unusable!

In the US, there were 250 million mobile phones and 100 million smartphones at the end of 2011. While most of the focus for mobile development was here given the scale, product strategy professionals also turned their attention to tablets (33.7 million) and eReaders (25.1 million) according to Forrester Research Consumer PC And Tablet Forecast, 2011 To 2016 (US) and Forrester Research eReader Adoption Forecast, 2011 To 2016 (US) respectively. At EffectiveUI, one of the big trends that we are seeing is a rapid shift away from traditional desktop browsing experience to a multimodal experience encompassing smartphones, tablets, laptops, and traditional desktops. Given these multimodal requirements, developers are faced with a choice of building tailored experiences for each viewing platform or building a responsive design that smoothly accommodates a wide range of devices. I’ve talked in the past in my post on the EffectiveUI Blog, “Mobile Web, Hybrid, or Native Mobile – How Do You Choose?”, about the decision process for choosing to build a Mobile Web, Hybrid, or Native Mobile application and the decision tree for choosing a responsive design or platform specific designs is very similar.

Because of the fact that this site is largely intended for reading and is not a particularly interactive application, the responsive design option was the obvious choice to me. Responsive design uses CSS media queries in order to rearrange the layout of the site based on different widths. It takes advantage of well structured, semantic HTML markup in order to present a view of the site that is appropriate for each device while still giving all users the full functionality and content of the site.

The most common method of approaching responsive design is “mobile-first,” however, because I had an existing layout that was designed for an 800 pixel wide minimum, I started from my existing layout and then designed around that. There are two possible choices for determining where your design’s breakpoints are: device specific, and content first. In device specific, you set the breakpoints based on the width of the devices that are the most common visitors to your site and the devices that you want to support. The second approach is to let your content dictate the where the breakpoints are by setting a breakpoint at the widths where the content of the site starts to look stretched or out of proportion. The process of finding content specific breakpoints is a largely based on feel and you can have as many as you want. For this site, I chose the following breakpoints:

  • 577 pixels
  • 640 pixels
  • 800 pixels (Original Design)
  • and 1075 pixels

For anything below 577 pixels in width, I am showing the mobile layout as shown on the right. The navigation is collapsed into a drop down list and the sidebar is moved to the bottom of the page. Each photo in the Latest Photos section is also floated left so that they wrap appropriately so that the Latest Photos section expands to the bottom of the page.

At 577 pixels, the only change is that there is now enough real estate to show the standard navigation, so that replaces the drop down list as shown below.

577 Pixels

The next major change comes at 640 pixels in width. At this point, there is enough width to practically move the sidebar back to the right hand column without adversely crunching the Latest Photos section on the bottom. This change is shown below.

640 Pixels

At 800 pixels, I am back to my original layout so the site stops attempting to fill the full screen width and the side gutters appear again. This also leaves a nicely matched Latest Photos section of three rows of four.

800 Pixels

The final breakpoint is at 1075 pixels. At this point, the main container expands again to take advantage of the expanded width for more text horizontally. The Latest Photos section breaks nicely here into two rows of six.

Much to my surprise, the basic process of making the site responsive was relatively simple. At each point, I use a CSS media query like @media only screen and (min-width: 1075px) { } to change the styling of the HTML elements, but there aren’t any changes to the site markup. Clean, semantic HTML5 markup makes the process of making a site responsive significantly easier. The only place where I had a significant challenge in the responsive transition is in handling modal dialogs like when an individual picture is clicked. I’m not entirely happy with where that solution is at this point, but it works. On this site, I intentionally don’t minify my CSS and JavaScript so that you can view my code for your own reference, so please feel free to look at the code and let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

 
By: Shane
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Building Stirling Money

Thursday, May 24, 2012 3:38 PM

ScreenshotTransactionsBeing my first fully native Windows Phone 7 application, Stirling Money provided me lots of opportunities to learn more about the platform. I had written a check register application for Windows Mobile 6 and wanted to take the opportunity to update it to the new Windows Phone platform. Windows Phone 7 is a radical departure from Windows Mobile from both the user’s perspective and the developer’s perspective. Building applications for the older Windows Mobile platform utilized the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, SQL Server Compact, and a more traditional, battleship gray, Windows Forms user interface (UI). In contrast, Windows Phone 7 uses Silverlight and XAML for the UI and LINQ to SQL to access a local database.

Getting Started

To get started in Windows Phone 7, the first thing I had to do is force myself to forget everything I had learned over almost 12 years of developing mobile applications for the Microsoft Pocket PC/Windows Mobile platform. Windows Phone 7 is such a radical departure that everything I had learned about building UIs and the underlying application architecture went completely out the window. Anyone who has taken the time to become an expert in a given field can tell you just how hard that can be, and it was no different for me. I found myself having to really consciously force myself out of my old Windows Mobile development patterns, but once I got to that point, I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to build an attractive interface that performed really well and ran rings around anything I had ever done on the older Windows Mobile platform.

The first big thing that I discovered is that there three invaluable, free toolkits that really ease the development of a Windows Phone application:

The Microsoft Silverlight Toolkit provides a whole host of native Silverlight controls for Windows Phone that you can drag and drop into the designer and use the Visual Studio properties window to manipulate. The Coding4Fun Toolkit provides more controls that really should have been built into the main framework if you ask me such as AboutPrompt, ProgressOverlay, RoundButton, and many more.

Building the UI

Even with all of these controls, building a UI in XAML is a lot like learning a foreign language. It’s just enough like XML and HTML that I’m familiar with, but with its own twists to throw me off. Data binding in XAML is particularly different than in ASP.NET or the older Windows Forms, so that was probably the biggest difference to get used to. The concept of using a view model in order to make all of the properties available to the UI was familiar to me because I use it all the time in my ASP.NET MVC development, but the binding syntax in XAML and exactly which NotifyPropertyChanged event the binding ends up listening to took some figuring out. I ended up with a number of properties in my view models that looked like the code below, with multiple NotifyPropertyChanged events, in order to get all of the related properties on the page to update when I needed them to.

private ObservableCollection<AccountViewModel> _accounts;
public ObservableCollection<AccountViewModel> Accounts
{
    get { return _accounts; }
    set
    {
        if (_accounts != value)
        {
            _accounts = value;
            if (_accounts != null)
            {
                _accounts.CollectionChanged += delegate
                {
                    NotifyPropertyChanged("Accounts");
                    NotifyPropertyChanged("TotalBalance");
                    NotifyPropertyChanged("NoDataVisibility");
                };
            }
            NotifyPropertyChanged("Accounts");
            NotifyPropertyChanged("TotalBalance");
            NotifyPropertyChanged("NoDataVisibility");
        }
    }
}

The other thing that I learned in the process is that the XAML editor in Visual Studio 2010, while much improved over previous editions, has some quirks when using static resources inside the phone:PhoneApplicationPage.Resources tag. Editing data templates in that tag doesn’t give the WYSIWYG display that editing a template inside a control does, so I often found myself editing ListItem templates inline so I could see the results in the designer and then moving the template to the Resources section once I had the design solidified.  I was pretty amazed at the amount of markup required for seemingly simple tasks. For example, one single row in the list view above required the following markup:

<DataTemplate x:Key="transactionsItemTemplate">
        <StackPanel>
            <toolkit:ContextMenuService.ContextMenu>
                <toolkit:ContextMenu>
                    <toolkit:MenuItem x:Name="menuItemEdit" Header="edit" Tag="{Binding TransactionId}" Click="menuItemEdit_Click"/>
                    <toolkit:MenuItem x:Name="menuItemDelete" Header="delete" Tag="{Binding TransactionId}" Click="menuItemDelete_Click" />
                </toolkit:ContextMenu>
            </toolkit:ContextMenuService.ContextMenu>
            <Grid>
                <Grid.RowDefinitions>
                    <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
                    <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
                </Grid.RowDefinitions>
                <Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="5"></ColumnDefinition>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="Auto"></ColumnDefinition>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="Auto"></ColumnDefinition>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="*"></ColumnDefinition>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="100"></ColumnDefinition>
                </Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
                <Rectangle Grid.Column="0" 
                           Grid.Row="0" 
                           Grid.RowSpan="2" 
                           Margin="0,2,0,2"
                           Fill="{Binding TransactionColor}"/>
                <CheckBox IsChecked="{Binding Posted, Mode=TwoWay}" 
                           Tag="{Binding TransactionId, Mode=TwoWay}"
                           Grid.Row="0"
                           Grid.Column="1"
                           Grid.RowSpan="2"
                           VerticalAlignment="Center"
                           HorizontalAlignment="Center"/>
                <TextBlock Text="{Binding CheckNumber}" 
                           FontSize="{StaticResource PhoneFontSizeNormal}"
                           Padding="0,0,10,0"
                           Grid.Row="1"
                           Grid.Column="2"
                           VerticalAlignment="Center"
                           HorizontalAlignment="Left"
                           Visibility="{Binding CheckNumberVisibility}"/>
                <TextBlock Text="{Binding Location}" 
                           FontSize="{StaticResource PhoneFontSizeMediumLarge}"
                           Margin="0,0,0,0"
                           Grid.Row="0"
                           Grid.Column="2"
                           Grid.ColumnSpan="2"
                           VerticalAlignment="Center"
                           HorizontalAlignment="Left"/>
                <TextBlock Text="{Binding Category}" 
                           FontSize="{StaticResource PhoneFontSizeNormal}"
                           Margin="0,0,0,0"
                           Grid.Row="1"
                           Grid.Column="3"
                           VerticalAlignment="Center"
                           HorizontalAlignment="Left"/>
                <TextBlock Text="{Binding Amount, StringFormat=\{0:C\}}"
                           FontSize="{StaticResource PhoneFontSizeMedium}"
                           Grid.Row="0"
                           Grid.Column="4"
                           Grid.RowSpan="2"
                           Margin="5,0,5,0"
                           TextAlignment="Right"
                           VerticalAlignment="Center"/>
        </Grid>
    </StackPanel>
</DataTemplate>

Building and Accessing Data

Database support on the phone is provided through LINQ to SQL on top of SQL Server Compact 3.5.  Having used the Microsoft Entity Framework extensively in some of my recent work at EffectiveUI, using LINQ to SQL was relatively easy to pick up, though it does have some differences from the Entity Framework syntax that got me a bit in the early going. After that, it was simply a matter of translating from the database model to the view models and everything else just worked, which was way easier than writing the ADO.NET code and scripting the database creation that was required in Windows Mobile.

ScreenshotBackupThe other interesting complication was that Windows Phone does not sync files directly with the desktop. The only solution to allow the user to backup and/or restore their data from the phone is to sync with a cloud service such as SkyDrive. Fortunately the Microsoft Live SDK makes this very easy.  The following markup is all of the XAML needed to add the Sign in/Sign out button to the page:

<my:SignInButton ClientId="00000000400C1EB8" 
    Scopes="wl.signin wl.basic wl.offline_access wl.skydrive_update" 
    Branding="Skydrive" 
    Name="buttonSkyDriveSignIn" 
    SessionChanged="buttonSkyDriveSignIn_SessionChanged" />

After that, the C# code to handle the SkyDrive session changes was also very simple. All I had to do is listen for the SessionChanged event and check to see if the session status that was reported was Connected as shown in the snippet below.

private void buttonSkyDriveSignIn_SessionChanged(object sender, Microsoft.Live.Controls.LiveConnectSessionChangedEventArgs e)
{
    if (e.Status == LiveConnectSessionStatus.Connected)
    {
        _session = e.Session;
        _model.IsSignedIn = true;
        _client = new LiveConnectClient(_session);
        _client.GetCompleted += new EventHandler<LiveOperationCompletedEventArgs>(_client_GetCompleted);
        _client.PostCompleted += new EventHandler<LiveOperationCompletedEventArgs>(_client_PostCompleted);
        _client.UploadCompleted += new EventHandler<LiveOperationCompletedEventArgs>(_client_UploadCompleted);
        _client.DownloadCompleted += new EventHandler<LiveDownloadCompletedEventArgs>(_client_DownloadCompleted);
        _progress.Text = "Loading...";
        _progress.IsVisible = true;
        _client.GetAsync("me/skydrive/files?filter=folders", "me/skydrive/files?filter=folders");                
        _model.InfoBoxText = "Signed in.";
    }
    else
     {
         _client = null;
         _model.IsSignedIn = false;
         _model.InfoBoxText = "Not signed in.";
     }
}

Building a Trial Mode Application

Another place where the Windows Phone tools really shined is in building a trial feature into the application. Unlike in the past, where a developer had to deal with all of the registration algorithms themselves, Microsoft does a great job of providing these checks for the developer along with the hooks into the Windows Phone Marketplace to convert from trial to paid. The code to check to see if the application is running on a trial license is very simple as shown below:

private void DetermineIsTrial()
{
#if TRIAL    
    // return true if debugging with trial enabled (DebugTrial configuration is active)    
    App.IsTrial = true;
#else
    var license = new Microsoft.Phone.Marketplace.LicenseInformation();
    App.IsTrial = license.IsTrial();
#endif
}

This method is called when the application is loaded or is activated after the user switched to a different task and set in a static variable in the main app class so that I can check for trial functionality anywhere where that check is needed.

To convert the user to a paid user from the “Buy Now” button, I only have to execute the following code to launch the Marketplace app directly to my application page. If they purchase the application while there, the DetermineIsTrial method will be called when my application is reactivated and the user will automatically see the full functionality.

private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    MarketplaceDetailTask marketplaceDetailTask = new MarketplaceDetailTask();
    marketplaceDetailTask.Show();
}

Conclusion

Being my first fully native application for Windows Phone 7, I was really pleasantly surprised as to how easy it was to build an attractive, performant app that took advantage of local database storage and cloud backup. Stirling Money took approximately 16 hours of total development time for the first release into the Windows Phone Marketplace. My next project is building a side by side comparison of building a fully-native Windows Phone application and building the same application functionality with PhoneGap/Apache Cordova and doing a comparison of the two approaches in addition to the approach of building a mobile web application within a native shell that I discussed in my article, Develop Hybrid Native and Mobile Web Apps, in the March 2012 issue of MSDN Magazine.

As of this writing, Stirling Money has been certified and published to the Windows Phone Marketplace, although it is not currently searchable yet. When it becomes available, it will be at this link. Prior to that, there is more information on my Windows Phone Software page. I will be publishing an additional post when the application goes live in the Marketplace.

 
By: Shane
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Mobile Web, Hybrid, or Native Mobile – A New Question

Monday, April 23, 2012 2:17 PM

Continuing on my recent thread about decision making for choosing a mobile web, hybrid, or native mobile application architecture, I’ve added another question to consider for the decision tree:

  • Does your application need to take advantage of push notifications?

After a discussion with a client last week, I ended up adding this question to my list. The client had already implemented a hybrid mobile application based on ASP.NET for Android and iPhone and wanted to have all of the registration take place through a web form, but I quickly noticed that the registration processes are very different between Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Not only are the processes different, but the central application server needs to know what type of device it is to successfully send a push notification. Once the device is registered for push notifications, the basic mechanics of sending and receiving notifications are similar on each of the devices.

That being said, my first dive into the world of push notifications has suggested that the best approach for building push notifications would be to build all of the registration and message handling functionality as native mobile code, even within the context of a hybrid app.  Push notifications are definitely a disqualifier for a pure mobile web solution, but don’t necessarily push all the way into a fully native mobile solution.

More reading:

Windows Phone 7 Push Notifications

Android Cloud to Device Messaging

iOS Push Notifications

 
By: Shane
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Mobile Web, Hybrid, or Native Mobile – How Do You Choose?

Thursday, April 5, 2012 2:19 PM

MobileWebContinuumQuestion 

Since my article in MSDN Magazine, “Develop Hybrid Native and Mobile Web Apps,” came out, I’ve received a lot of questions on how to decide what kind of mobile application to build: mobile web, hybrid, or native mobile? This is a really thorny question and one that doesn’t have a well-defined answer. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week discussing how to go about answering this question with some of the members of the sales team at EffectiveUI and I’d like to share some of my process in the hope that it will help others with these decisions and spark a conversation to continue to refine the decision-making process.

I’ve just had a new post published on the EffectiveUI blog about these thoughts and I’d love to hear what you think.

 
By: Shane
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MSDN Magazine: Develop Hybrid Native and Mobile Web Apps

Friday, March 2, 2012 10:04 AM

MSDN Magazine: Develop Hybrid Native and Mobile Web AppsMy article on building hybrid native and mobile web applications has been published in the March issue of MSDN Magazine.

Mobile applications are all the rage these days. There are currently three major mobile platforms: Apple’s iOS  (iPhone and iPad), Google’s Android , and Microsoft’s Windows Phone , and countless variations within these platforms for the developer to consider. Focusing on any one of these platforms leaves 50% or more of the market unable to use your application, but the cost of building and maintaining the same application on each of the platforms quickly becomes problematic. A web application is another option, but one that leaves the experience diluted and leaves the developer without access to many of the native hardware capabilities. 

In one of my recent projects at EffectiveUI, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to solve this conundrum in a way that provides the best possible user experience while still being cost effective and maintainable. My solution was an application that is a hybrid of a native application and a mobile web application. I had the opportunity to share this solution, and provide a tutorial for building it, in an article for MSDN Magazine , “Develop Hybrid Native and Mobile Web Apps .” I truly believe that this approach is a “best of both worlds” solution that leaves the developer and end user in a better place.

I hope that my approach to this problem helps you in building your applications and I’d love to hear any feedback that anyone might have.

The main text of this post is also cross-posted on the EffectiveUI blog.

 
By: Shane
11 Comments

Comments

  • Ruurd Eijzinga 3/15/20123:48 AM Great article, is there a version for vs2010 ?
  • Shane Church 3/15/20127:48 AM @Ruurd: All of the ASP.NET MVC and Windows Phone 7 code samples in the article are for Visual Studio 2010. The Android project requires Eclipse and the Android SDK and the iOS code requires Apple OS X and XCode.
  • Ruurd 3/15/20128:20 AM sorry, but I get these errors EffectiveUI.MSDN.Web.csproj' cannot be opened. The project type is not supported by this installation. EffectiveUI.MSDN.Phone.csproj' cannot be opened. The project type is not supported by this installation. I am running vs2010 sp1
  • Shane Church 3/15/20128:48 AM You will need the ASP.NET MVC 3 components for the Web project from http://www.asp.net/mvc. You will also need the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK for the Phone project from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=27570.
  • Kushil Abeyguna 3/25/20123:51 PM Good article. I think many people already have been developing hybrid (HTML5/JavaScript running in a native wrapper) mobile application using open source frameworks such as PhoneGap (which supports six mobile platforms). But I never thought of developing these native shells by myself. This is a good eye opener for most people like me as they would have never thought that their favorite frameworks do a "similar" thing to the above in their native wrappers. Good work indeed. I do not have to stick to a bridging framework like PhoneGap anymore.
  • Shane Church 3/27/20129:18 AM Kushil, (cross-posted from blog.effectiveui.com) Comparing this solution to one like PhoneGap (now Apache Cordova) is a matter of degree. To me, the big difference in the solutions is that Cordova is designed to allow a HTML/JavaScript developer to build a device native application. For that to happen, some of the HTML and JavaScript have to be deployed to the device itself and there remains a dependency on the Cordova JavaScript APIs for native hardware access. On the other hand, the solution I present in the article takes a cross-platform mobile web application and provides it with access to native functionality as needed. The hybrid technique that I describe in the article provides a much finer level of control over the user experience when compared to Cordova and also has the advantage of being accessible on devices that do not have the native application installed. As I stated in the article, none of these approaches are inherently better than the others and you really need to make sure that you keep the business and end user goals in the forefront when choosing a technology stack for a mobile application.
  • ALex 3/29/20121:25 AM Hi Shane, this seems like a very useful approach! Thank you. Having to write just 1 Web Application and still have access to the ressources of the device can save a lot of time. But I am wondering if this approach could also enable the webapplication to be accessible offline? What do you think?
  • Shane Church 3/29/20123:49 PM Alex, Depending on how you architect the site, you could likely make large portions of the site available offline using the HTML5 ApplicationCache interface (http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/appcache/beginner/). It really depends on how dynamic the data in the site is as to how much you could make available offline. I think it would be extremely challenging to make the entire content of anything other than a completely static site available offline. More likely, you could use the HTML5 ApplicationCache interface to speed loading of portions of your app by caching images and CSS files on the user device. I hope this helps!
  • ALex 3/30/20125:58 AM Thank you very much. I think the approach you are using and the new things that are coming like SPA on mvc 4 (http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechDays/Techdays-2012-the-Netherlands/2159) will be very powerful!
  • Mark L 4/16/20129:35 PM Hi Shane, I've just downloaded the sample code from your article, but the Android code doesn't compile as it appears to be missing a referenced library. I get this error: Project 'EffectiveUI.MSDN' is missing required library: 'C:\Users\Shane.Church\Documents\Cartegraph\httpmime-4.1.2.jar' Any chance of posting an updated sample code package that includes this library? Or am I being a numb nuts and it's already there? "
  • Shane Church 4/17/20121:28 PM Mark, The httpmime-4.1.2.jar is part of the Apache HttpComponents project at http://hc.apache.org/index.html. You can download the HttpClient 4.1.3 (GA) release binaries which include httpmime-4.1.3.jar and update the reference in Eclipse.

MSDN Magazine

Monday, December 5, 2011 2:42 PM

MSDNMagazineSmallLogoA few weeks ago, I submitted an abstract of an article on the Cartegraph mobile prototype that I worked on for EffectiveUI to MSDN Magazine.  The concept is about addressing the costs of building a mobile application for all of the rapidly proliferating mobile platforms (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone) by building the application primarily as a web application using ASP.NET MVC 3 and jQuery Mobile while still being able to leverage native hardware features like the camera, GPS, or accelerometer.  A few minutes ago I got a phone call from Dr. James McCaffrey of Microsoft Research and author of MSDN Magazine’s monthly Test Run column.  The magazine editors liked the abstract, had asked him to review my submission from a technical perspective and he had a few clarifying questions that he wanted to ask.  He really liked the idea and is recommending to them that they move forward with the idea toward publication.  He commented that the abstract was really well written and also offered some advice about how to catch the readers with the concept in the first few sentences of the article.  Hopefully, with any luck, I’ll have a byline in MSDN Magazine here in a few months.

 
By: Shane
2 Comments

Comments

  • Ryan Comingdeer 2/29/20124:21 PM I read your article today in the March MSDN issue. I love the concept of MVC 3 powering mobile apps. Today I do most of my web apps in MVC 3 and I do a ton of Mobile apps using Phonegap and JQuery Mobile. However, one very important note that you didn't mention in your article was that if you develop the app the way you suggested, Apple will NOT approve the app to the public iTunes store. You would be fine on Windows and Android but the Apple team does not allow an app to be just a browser pointing to a website. We have had this issue a number of times with PhoneGap even if the files reside in the app. For some reason, Apple wants to make sure the app is utilizing some portion of Native code before it gets approved. Very sad, but very true. Have you been able to work around this issue?
  • Shane Church 3/2/201210:00 AM Ryan, With this proof of concept application, we didn't go as far as publishing to the app store. A modification that could be made to make it pass Apple's scrutiny would be to make the login page native on the Apple platform.