LightSwitch, Custom Settings Tables, and a Web Cam

Visual Studio LightSwitch is a relatively new development tool from Microsoft that allows a developer to quickly create database-driven, Silverlight applications. While I won’t give you the full sales pitch in this post – since it is my first post on LightSwitch, I should at least mention that you can find more information here

We’ll take a look at setting control properties from code-behind. Specifically, we’ll see how we might store some settings in a database table, read them, and apply them to a control.

Beta Testers for the “Camera Image Control for LightSwitch” Extension

I’m looking for several people to help me beta-test a LightSwitch extension. The extension allows you to capture an image from your webcam and save it directly to a screen in LightSwitch. I’m planning to sell the extension for a small fee, but if you are one of the beta testers, you will get it for free.

If you think you can help, please use the menu on this site to contact me and I’ll get you setup with access to the extension.

Major Bug in Stripes 2.0 for Those Upgrading From Previous Versions

Update 5/3/2011: The fix (version 2.1) has been published to the market place. You should be able to start downloading it whenever your country's marketplace refreshes.

Well, it had to happen, eventually. There is a major bug in Version 2.0 of Stripes that is affecting users that upgrade from a previous version. Because some internal data structures have changed, when the old application state is pulled into the new application, items are missing and the application can crash when searching for a barcode.

Stripes 2.0 for Windows Phone

The latest version of Stripes (2.0) brings the following changes:

The good news is that the next version of Windows Phone (“Mango” is the code name) will allow developers to embed the camera in their application. That means, Stripes will have “live scanning” capabilities! Microsoft says we can expect this update in the fall of 2011.

What Order Do Navigation Methods Get Called in Windows Phone?

Recently, I was asked which gets called first: the Application_Launching, Application_Activated, Application_Deactivated, and Application_Closing events or the page-specific OnNavigatedTo and OnNavigatedFrom overrides. It turns out, the answer is – both.

When the application first runs from the start screen, Application_Launching gets called first. Then, the page-specific OnNavigatedTo gets called.

Slides and Demos from Nebraska Code Camp 2011

Thanks to everyone who came to my session Building a Real App for Windows Phone 7 at the Nebraska Code Camp 2011 event. I hope you enjoyed it. If you’re looking for the slides and demos, you can download them here.

Quick Tip: Find your Windows Phone Wifi MAC

I recently had to find the mac address of the Windows Phone I was using for a demo. I needed to connect to Wifi and the venue filtered connections by MAC.

Here are the steps to make it happen:

How the TextBox InputScope Affects the Windows Phone SIP (On-Screen Keyboard)

When writing a Windows Phone 7 application in Silverlight, you will find a property on every TextBox control called “InputScope.” The primary use of this property is to alter the way the Software Input Panel (SIP or on-screen keyboard) works. Depending on what you set its value to, the SIP will include certain character sets, auto-complete features, and can auto-capitalize phrases and words for you. There’s no question you should be using this built-in feature. However, sometimes it’s hard to remember what each value of the InputScopeNameValue Enumeration actually does.

As it turns out, Microsoft lists only 10 modes the SIP can be put into. Below, you will find a screenshot of each and a list of the InputScope values associated with each.

Slides and Demos from Lincoln .NET User Group

If you came to the Lincoln .NET User Group last night, thanks! Unfortunately, I ran out of time and didn't get to show all of the demos I had prepared, but I hope it was informative, nonetheless. I've attached the final demo project and the slides from my talk.

Thanks again for coming out and feel free to contact me with questions.

Stripes 1.4 for Windows Phone

Version 1.4 was just released to the Marketplace. It brings the following updates:

As always, bug reports and image detection problem reports are welcome. Please comment here or use the "Contact" link in the menu.