Over the course of the past few weeks my team has been hard at work on creating a bunch of Starter Kits in response to the questions we had been getting from Windows Store developers. In particular these Kits focus on calling open web API’s for numerous services and wrap them into workable sample apps. There are a bunch of samples written in both WinJS and XAML/C# for you to take advantage of when building your own apps. All of this code is open source and available right now on Github for you to use in your own apps!
For a great example of a XAML/C# version check out Bob Familiar’s overview of the Rotten Tomatoes Starter Kit here.
World of Warcraft API Starter Kit for Windows Store Apps
I chose to use Blizzard’s World of WarCraft APIs for the sample app to display Realm Status (these are the game servers for World of Warcraft). For those not in the know World of Warcraft is a very successful online game from Blizzard Entertainment® and offers an excellent open api to get game statistics. The full API documentation can be found at http://blizzard.github.io/api-wow-docs/.
Currently I have implemented the WOW API into three core pieces of functionality.
- Realm Status (individual)
- Realm Status (all)
- Localization (results from WOW API can be returned in en_US, es_MX, or pt_BR)
I wanted the Windows Store App to also serve as a workable app template for helping your own apps pass certification. Taken what I’ve learned from my own apps I’ve implemented several pieces of functionality I’ve seen developers fail certification on or get tripped up with during development. This sample app includes workable functionality for all of the following:
- Application Bar (For Language Localization settings)
- Share Contract (Share at any time from any of the pages)
- Settings and Privacy Panel
- Icons (Sample Icon and Images)
- Roaming Settings (Localization settings are stored in the users roaming settings)
- Scaling (App uses a ViewBox control to scale up on screens larger than 1366×768)
- Windows 8
- Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 or higher
- Download the Starter Kit Zip Portfolio from (http://apimash.github.io/StarterKits/)
- Open the Solution in Visual Studio
- Compile and Run
Step 1. All of the Blizzard World of Warcraft API’s do not require a developer key to use. However, if you plan on creating an application with heavy api usage Blizzard requests you contact them at email@example.com to register your application.
Step 2. Currently only Realm Status is implemented. Adding additional functionality such as character or pvp info is as easy as calling the appropriate wow api (found in http://blizzard.github.io/api-wow-docs/) and then wrapping it in a function the same way realm status was done in /js/wowapi.js.
This also allows us to separate our concerns with all of the WOW API’s wrapped inside of wowapi.js and then the specific UI databinding code being stored in the individual WinJS Page controls.
Step 3. Once you have data returning you should bind to a listview in the same manner /realmstatus/realmstatus.js currently is.
The data converters are optional I am simply changing the background color style of the individual elements in the Listview’s Template based on weather the Realm is currently online or not.
Step 4. I highly recommend you use WinJS Page controls to follow standard convention. Simply create a new folder in the root of the project, right click and add a new “Page Control”. Then edit the html, css, and js in the same manner that was done in the /realmstatus page control.
That’s it! You now have a fully functional Windows Store app that is generating data from Web Service calls to Blizzard’s WoW API.
Hopefully these Starter Kits will help aid you in your own Windows Store app development. If you live within the Philadelphia, PA area I have been running a Philly Appathon Workshop series that covers the APIMASH Starter Kits as well as a developer topic each week. We are now in the fifth week and will be wrapping up but if you have missed any of the contest I have posted everything online on my slideshare. I will continue to be available through my office hours as well as at the Philly App Labs and monthly meetings. So if you are a local Pennsylvania developer looking for some Windows Store or Windows Phone app assistance please introduce yourself!
For those not in the local are my team will also be running a Webcast Series. Each session will run from Noon – 1pm EDT. Attend one or all four webcasts, you decide. For more details or to register, choose a webcast below.
6/5/2013 | Exploring the Mashery APIs
In this webcast you will learn how to develop Windows 8 apps using Mashery API’s such as Tom-Tom, Edmunds, Rotten Tomatoes and Active.com. Amit Jotwani from Mashery will join us to provide an overview of Mashery the industry leader in API management. We will cover how to access these web service API’s and then deserialize the response into a set of runtime objects that you can bind to Windows 8 UX Controls to create a compelling experience.
6/12/2013 | Exploring the Social Networking APIs
In this webcast you will learn how to develop Windows 8 apps using the Twitter, Meetup and Facebook APIs. Twitter, Meetup and Facebook are the premier social networking sites and their API’s provide access to Tweets, Meetups and Friends. What a great combination!
6/19/2013 | Exploring the Yelp API
In this webcast you will learn how to develop Windows 8 apps using the Yelp API. Yelp is a local business directory service and review site with social networking features. People use Yelp to search for everything from the city’s tastiest burger to the most renowned cardiologist.
6/25/2013 | Exploring the Bing Maps API
In this webcast you will learn how to develop Windows 8 apps using the Bing Maps API. Bing Maps gives you a rich set of tools to help you create amazing map experiences perfect for mash-ups.
Lastly don’t forget to check out the “Keep the Cash Rewards” offer to see how you can get $100 for publishing your app(s) in the Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Store. Publish your app before June 30, 2013 and you can get a $100 virtual Visa card for every qualified app you enter (up to $2000*). Learn more.