Develop Android Application using App Inventor from Google

This morning, i got an invite from Google to try out  App Inventor. I was personally very excited because, you do not need to be a developer to use App Inventor and develop Android Apps. Instead of writing code, you will be visually designing the way your app might looks and use blocks to specify the app’s behavior.

I couldn’t wait to try no longer and started to play with it. The initial reactions were really impressive. It never made me feel that, i am working on a Web application. The Experience was just too good. App Inventor is simple to use, but also very powerful. Apps you build can even store data created by users in a database! You also have a separate work area to save your works. All of this, with just your gmail account. (click the image below to see the complete layout on how this platform appears)

Google App Inventor

App Inventor runs through a Web browser. Your phone will be connected to your computer through a USB cord and your app will emerge on the phone as you work in the Web browser. When you’re done, you can “package” your finished app to produce an “application package” (Android apk file) that can be shared around and installed on any Android phone, just like any other Android app.

The compiler that translates the visual blocks language for implementation on Android uses the Kawa Language Framework and Kawa’s dialect of the Scheme programming language, developed by Per Bothner and distributed as part of the Gnu Operating System by the Free Software Foundation.

Complete this form and you will be all ready to build apps soon!

For more information on Google App Inventor –

General Microsoft

Microsoft Sync Framework 2.1 Available for Download

Sync Framework 2.1 includes all the great functionality of the 2.0 release, enhanced by several exciting new features and improvements. The most exciting of these lets you synchronize data stored in SQL Server or SQL Server Compact with SQL Azure in the cloud. Microsoft has added top customer requests like parameter-based filtering and the ability to remove synchronization scopes and templates from a database, and of course made many performance enhancements to make synchronization faster and easier. Read on for more detail or start downloading now!

SQL Azure Synchronization

With Sync Framework 2.1, you can leverage the Windows Azure Platform to extend the reach of your data to anyone that has an internet connection, without making a significant investment in the infrastructure that is typically required. Specifically, Sync Framework 2.1 lets you extend your existing on premises SQL Server database to the cloud and removes the need for customers and business partners to connect directly to your corporate network. After you configure your SQL Azure database for synchronization, users can take the data offline and store it in a client database, such as SQL Server Compact or SQL Server Express, so that your applications operate while disconnected and your customers can stay productive without the need for a reliable network connection. Changes made to data in the field can be synchronized back to the SQL Azure database and ultimately back to the on premises SQL Server database. Sync Framework 2.1 also includes features to interact well with the shared environment of Windows Azure and SQL Azure. These features include performance enhancements, the ability to define the maximum size of a transaction to avoid throttling, and automatic retries of a transaction if it is throttled by Windows Azure. All of this is accomplished by using the same classes you use to synchronize a SQL Server database, such as SqlSyncProvider and SqlSyncScopeProvisioning, so you can use your existing knowledge of Sync Framework to easily synchronize with SQL Azure.

What is Cloud Computing? Why should you use Azure? – Read and watch these Videos to understand more

Bulk Application of Changes

Sync Framework 2.1 takes advantage of the table-valued parameter feature of SQL Server 2008 and SQL Azure to apply multiple inserts, updates, and deletes by using a single stored procedure call, instead of requiring a stored procedure call to apply each change. This greatly increases performance of these operations and reduces the number of round trips between client and server during change application. Bulk procedures are created by default when a SQL Server 2008 or SQL Azure database is provisioned.

Parameter-based Filtering

Sync Framework 2.1 enables you to create parameter-based filters that control what data is synchronized. Parameter-based filters are particularly useful when users want to filter data based on a field that can have many different values, such as user ID or region, or a combination of two or more fields. Parameter-based filters are created in two steps. First, filter and scope templates are defined. Then, a filtered scope is created that has specific values for the filter parameters. This two-step process has the following advantages:

  • Easy to set up. A filter template is defined one time. Creating a filter template is the only action that requires permission to create stored procedures in the database server. This step is typically performed by a database administrator.
  • Easy to subscribe. Clients specify parameter values to create and subscribe to filtered scopes on an as-needed basis. This step requires only permission to insert rows in synchronization tables in the database server. This step can be performed by a user.
  • Easy to maintain. Even when several parameters are combined and lots of filtered scopes are created, maintenance is simple because a single, parameter-based procedure is used to enumerate changes.

Removing Scopes and Templates

Sync Framework 2.1 adds the SqlSyncScopeDeprovisioning and SqlCeSyncScopeDeprovisioning classes to enable you to easily remove synchronization elements from databases that have been provisioned for synchronization. By using these classes you can remove scopes, filter templates, and the associated metadata tables, triggers, and stored procedures from your databases.

SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 Compatibility

The Sync Framework 2.1 SqlCeSyncProvider database provider object uses SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2. Existing SQL Server Compact databases are automatically upgraded when Sync Framework connects to them. Among other new features, SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 makes available a change tracking API that provides the ability to configure, enable, and disable change tracking on a table, and to access the change tracking data for the table. SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 can be downloaded here.

For more information about Sync Framework 2.1, including feature comparisons, walkthroughs, how-to documents, and API reference, see the product documentation.

Stay in sync and Download Sync Framework 2.1 today and find out what synchronization can do for you!

Also Read these articles –

How-to Microsoft

Windows Phone 7 – Application Submission and Certification Process

When your application is developed and ready for publication, it must go through the certification process before it is eligible for listing in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The certification process involves static validation and automated testing of the application to verify that it meets all the policies and requirements. A Simplified Illustration of the Windows Phone 7 Application Submission and Certification Process is shown below.

This Document provides the policies and technical requirements that a Windows Phone 7 Application or Game must meet to pass certification and to be eligible for listing in Windows Phone Marketplace.

For further information on Documentation and Softwares for Developing for Windows Phone 7 Series, Read this article

General How-to Microsoft Tools

Documentation and Softwares – Developing for Windows Phone 7 Series

Windows Phone 7 Series is expected to hit the town in about 5 months from now. Microsoft has already released the Phone SDK which you can make use of to build your apps and keep it ready for the market by the time the device arrives!

All set to start developing your first application for Windows Phone?

Download Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit: This Training Kit below will give you a jumpstart into the new Windows Phone world by providing you with a step-by-step explanation of the tools to use and some key concepts for programming Windows Phones. This training kit is geared for beginners who want to get started with developing applications for the latest Windows Phone operating system. Even if you don’t know Silverlight or XNA Framework, you’ll find this Training Kit useful. More seasoned Silverlight developers should also find this kit useful, as it explains some of the differences between Silverlight and Silverlight for the phone. – Download this Training Kit here

Update: 28th July, 2010 –

The UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 v2.0 has been updated for beta. With additional information and a new layout we hope you will find more readable, this guide provides detailed information about UI elements and controls, UI system behaviors, and the interaction model for the touch interface based on the design system codenamed “Metro”. Designers and developers should read this guide to learn about the dos and don’ts of UI implementations for their Windows Phone applications.

The Design Templates for Windows Phone 7 are a collection of 28 layered Photoshop template files and system fonts that can be used to create pixel-perfect application layouts, to help guide UI development, or to pitch an idea. These design templates showcase many controls that are a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta. They also include examples of controls that are a part of Windows Phone, but are not available as a part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools.

Update : 30th April, 2010 –
Beginning today you can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh (WPDT CTP) from, which means you can now build Windows Phone 7 apps on the final release of Visual Studio 2010 (VS2010). While this update is primarily intended to enable development using the final release of VS2010 there are a few new things here too. You can read the complete article here on the Windows Team blog!

There is a huge bulk of Windows Phone development documentation on the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network). You do have lots of information like,

Windows Phone 7 Series

Other important documentation links include Developing Windows Phone Games and Silverlight for Windows Phone as a part of the XNA Game Studio 4.0 and Silverlight 4 RC documentation sets, respectively.

Charlez Petzold is authoring a Book called “Programming Windows Phone 7 Series”. He has already offered a draft preview of his eBook FREE of cost! – Download the ebook here (pdf document)

2/4/2010 – Update : New XNA Game Studio 4.0 samples for Windows Phone released on the Creators Club site

Yesterday, Microsoft released several samples and mini-games to help you get started using the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP (which includes the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP) to create games for Windows Phone 7 Series.  Here is some additional information about the samples and where you can download them:

  • Reach graphics demo – this is the demo that Shawn Hargreaves used in his talks at GDC and MIX to show the 5 five built-in effect types provided by the XNA Framework 4.0 on Windows Phone (BasicEffect, DualTextureEffect, AlphaTestEffect, SkinnedEffect, and EnvironmentMapEffect).
  • Snow Shovel mini-game – a simple Windows Phone game that shows how draw 2D sprites using SpriteBatch and handles player input using the accelerometer. You will not be able to use accelerometer input in the Windows Phone 7 Series emulator in the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP however.
  • Primitives sample – an updated version of an existing sample that works with the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP and demonstrates how to create a reusable class to draw 2D primitives (points, lines and triangles) on the screen.  The source code for the 4.0 version of this sample is available at this link.
  • Primitives3D sample – an updated version of an existing sample that works with the XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP and demonstrates how to create a reusable class to draw 3D primitives (cubes, spheres, cylinders, torus and teapots) on the screen.  The source code for the 4.0 version of this sample is available at this link.

You can also join the discussion in the Windows Phone forums to get your queries answered.!

Community Activities General

Chirp – Twitter’s Developer Conference – San Francisco, 14th-15th April 2010

4/15/2010 – Update : The report from Chirp, Twitter’s first gathering of its developer ecosystem (Source –

3/31/2010- Update : Today, Twitter is putting on sale tickets for the second day of the conference for only $140 (yes, 140, like Twitter’s character limit). To be clear, this is just for the second day of the conference, but for those on a budget, it’s a much better deal to be able to take part in the event. The second day is the hack-a-thon event taking place at Fort Mason in the city. And it actually begins at 7 PM PT at the end of day one of the event, when Twitter buses people over from the Palace of Fine Arts, where the day one events (including the major keynotes from Twitter execs) take place – Source : TechCrunch

Chirp – the official Twitter Developer Conference is less than 30 days away and the event is really starting to take shape. If you are not yet on the list and want to be in there for the announcements, to meet the entire Twitter team, and to connect with the developers, media and financiers in attendance, there are still tickets available at

Yesterday The Twitter team released more details about the first day agenda. Biz Stone (@biz) will set the tone of the day with Evan Wiliams’ (@ev) delivering a visionary keynote. Ryan Sarver (@rsarver) will share Platform announcements and roadmap details and Dick Costolo (@dickc) will talk about monetization and commercial accounts. They even have a few surprises peppered throughout the day.

You can see the complete agenda at

Chirp - Twitter ConferenceThe second day’s schedule will be available early next week. It has something for everyone. Deep technical tracks for developers, business sessions for managers, policy talks for implementers, birds of a feather roundtables for information sharing, and more. The goal of this meet on the second day is to create an environment for everyone to network, share knowledge and collaborate. So in addition to the formal tracks, we’ll also have informal areas dedicated to impromptu, community lead conversations.

Twitter employees from all area’s of the company will be in heavy attendance to answer any questions you have. To make it easy, we sought a raw and unique space to make our own:

Finally — They are arranging a competition which will be held on the second day. The panel of judges is impressive. Winners will receive the opportunity to connect with angel investors and get the attention of the press covering Chirp. The only catch: you’ve got to be there to take part! 

Check this link for more information – You can also send @chirp your ideas to make the event great.

By the way, I just heard that Twitter is completing 4 years tomorrow – 21/3/2010.. and Ironically, tomorrow is my Birthday as well 🙂 You can also follow my tweeps here –

Courtesy: Chirp information from the official Twitter emails.

General How-to Microsoft

How to Make Websites Indic Aware and accept Indic Inputs?

The Microsoft Indic Language Input Tool (erstwhile Akshara) is now available for developers to use in their websites.  By including a bunch of scripts, web developers would now be able to accept Indic Input for their websites.  This transliteration feature helps in places where we need to capture information in the local language without having the respective keyboard.

The Indic Input tool is also available as a desktop version for use with Word, Excel and pretty much any input in Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Developers can also check here to include this feature in their own websites (available Support for Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu).

Harish Ranganathan, one of the Application platform Evangelists at Microsoft has written a detailed post on how to make your website Indic Aware in his blog. I would highly recommend you read his article!

You would also be interested in seeing this post which was written earlier – Ever wanted to type Indian language text easily into any application?