Bob Familiar – Page 5 – The Undocumented API

Author: Bob Familiar

APIMASH Chuck Norris Starter Kit for Windows Phone 8

The Chuck Norris Starter Kit for Windows Phone is a XAML/C# Windows Phone 8 app that demonstrates calling the ICNDb Web Service.The ICNDb Web Service returns a simple JSON payload containing a hard-hitting nugget of humor that is deserialized and displayed on the User Interface.

For an overview of the APIMASH Starter Kits and their architecture see this article.

For details on the APIMASH Chuck Norris Starter Kit for Windows 8 see this article.

This article provides an overview of the starter kit so that you can learn how to call web services, deserialize JSON to C# and bind to UI controls. By digging into the APIMASH Starter Kits I hope that you are inspired to create your own unique, compelling Windows 8 app, maybe one that leverages the Internet Chuck Norris API.

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Chuck Norris Starter Kit

APIMASH Chuck Norris Starter Kit

The APIMASH Chuck Norris Starter Kit is a XAML/C# Windows 8 app that demonstrates calling the Internet Chuck Norris API.

Note: You do not download the Chuck Norris Starter Kit…it downloads you!

The ICNDb Web Service returns a simple JSON payload containing a hard-hitting nugget of humor that is deserialized and displayed on the User Interface.

For an overview of the APIMASH Starter Kits and their architecture see this article.

This article provides an overview of the starter kit so that you can learn how to call web services, deserialize JSON to C# and bind to UI controls. By digging into the APIMASH Starter Kits I hope that you are inspired to create your own unique, compelling Windows 8 app, maybe one that leverages the Internet Chuck Norris API.

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Northeast APIMASH Tour

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Get ready to learn and code, because the Northeast MSDN Roadshow team is loading up content, code, and demos that might even work, to return to the roads for a special limited engagement in June!

These are free workshops, great for students, hobbyists, and professional developers who want to learn the basics of Windows 8 app development and publish their first app to the Windows Store.  Fans of previous daytime Roadshows will notice that we have sneakily adapted these as evening, hands-on events, hosted by local user groups.

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APIMASH: JSON Deserialization for C# Developers

Open Data API’s are a great source of rich , immersive content for building compelling app for Windows.  Part of working with these API’s is handling the dense, super chunky payloads that they return, deserialize them into a usable Data Model that your C# app can use to produce an immersive experience. This article will help you decode the deserialization process step by step so that you can try it for yourself.

APIMASH is the name is a project currently undertaken by Technical Evangelists here at Microsoft to provide a portfolio of starter kits that leverage well known API’s such as TwitterEdmunds, Tumblr and many others in order to inspire you, yes you, to create compelling Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps. Download the APIMASH Starter Kits today and get started.

Open Data API’s are web based services that you invoke by referencing a URL. Instead of returning an HTML page, they return well formed XML or JSON (Javascript Object Notation). For purposes of this discussion I will focus on how to work with JSON.

There are 3 steps we need to take to be able to deserialize a JSON payload.

  1. Document the JSON Payload
  2. Create a set of C# classes that mirror the structure of the JSON Payload
  3. Invoke the API and use a library call to deserialize the JSON string to instantiate the C# classes creating the Data Model

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Edmunds Starter Kit

APIMASH: The Edmunds API Starter Kit

The APIMASH Edmunds StarterKit is a XAML/C# Windows 8 app based on the default Blank Template that demonstrates calling the Edmunds Vehicle API’s.

For an overview of the APIMASH Starter Kits and their architecture see this article.

The JSON payload for Makes, Models, Model Specs and Pictures is deserialized into a set of C# classes that define the Data Model. That data then is selectively copied into the View Model for binding to WinRT XAML controls. You can use the breadth and detail of the automotive information available through the Edmunds API to create mashups, visualizations and other applications that will provide an added dimension of user experience for the automotive consumer.

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Rotten Tomatoes Starter Kit

APIMASH: The Rotten Tomatoes API Starter Kit

The APIMASH Rotten Tomatoes Starter Kit is a XAML/C# Windows 8 app based on the default Grid Template that demonstrates calling the Rotten Tomatoes API’s.

For an overview of the APIMASH Starter Kits and their architecture see this article.

The JSON payload for Movies or DVD’s is deserialized into a set of C# classes that define the Data Model. That data then is selectively copied into the View Model for binding to the WinRT XAML controls.

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API Mashup Web Cast Series

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Join Microsoft Technical Evangelists for four app mashup webcasts featuring the APIMASH Starter Kits built using APIs from Yelp, Bing, Mashery, Facebook, Twitter and Meetup and many more. These workshops are great for students, hobbyists and professional developers who want to learn the basics of app development and publish their first app to the store.

Download the APIMASH Starter Kits today and get started.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Keep the Cash!

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.

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APIMASH: Using API’s to create compelling Windows Apps

APIMASH is the name is a project currently undertaken by Technical Evangelists here at Microsoft to provide a portfolio of starter kits that leverage well known API’s such as TwitterEdmunds, Tumblr and many others in order to inspire you, yes you, to create compelling Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps.

Download the APIMASH Starter Kits today and get started.

As I have worked with developers over the past year to develop Windows apps, I often hear the refrain ‘I want to build an app but I just need an idea’ or ‘I have an idea but I don’t know how to get started’. That’s where the APIMASH Starter Kits come in. They are fully functional Windows 8 apps that make asynchronous calls to well known API’s, deserialize the JSON or XML payloads to construct data models and map those data models to view models for binding to UI controls. They demonstrate the entire sequence of calls and mappings necessary to get data from the Internet and onto the screen. What’s left as an exercise for the developer is to customize the API calls, mash those calls together if appropriate and dress up the UI to dazzle and impress.

This article provides a primer to investigating the wonderful world of Internet API’s and the patterns and practices of invoking these API’s from Windows. Future articles will dig into specific APIMASH Starter Kits.

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Windows App and Game Workshops

Attend a FREE Windows 8 Developer Workshop near you!

Game Development for Beginners

In this beginner level workshop we will cover the basics of game design, programming and publication. We will build a casual game and publish it to the Windows Store. This workshop is great for students, hobbyists and professional developers who want to learn the basics of game development and publish their first app to the store as no programming skills are required!

  • Farmington, CT Saturday, June 1st 10am – 2pm Register
  • Farmington, CT Saturday, June 15th 10am – 2pm Register
  • Farmington, CT Saturday, June 29th 10am – 2pm Register
  • Cambridge, MA Saturday, June 8th 10am – 2pm Register
  • Cambridge, MA Saturday, June 22nd 10am – 2pm Register

Windows 8 App Mashup Series

In this workshop you will learn how to develop Windows 8 apps based on well-known web service API’s such as Twitter, Bing Maps, Meetup, Singly and APIs from Mashery such as ESPN, Rotten Tomatoes and Active.com. Your app could entertain or even change the world. This workshop is great for students, hobbyists and professional developers who want to learn the basics of app development and publish their first app to the store.

  • API: Rotten Tomatoes, Farmington, CT Saturday, June 8th 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: Yelp, Farmington, CT Saturday, June 22nd 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: Stackoverflow, Cambridge, MA Saturday, June 1st 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: Tom-Tom and Bing, Cambridge, MA Saturday, June 15th 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: Edmunds, New York City, NY Saturday, June 1st 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: Tumblr, New York City, NY Saturday, June 8th 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: Twitter and Meetup, New York City, NY Saturday, June 15th 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: Tom-Tom and Bing, New York City, NY Saturday, June 22nd 10am – 2pm Register
  • API: ESPN, New York City, NY Saturday, June 29th 10am – 2pm Register

You can download the complete APIMASH Starter Kit portfolio here: https://github.com/apimash/StarterKits

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First!

This is my new blog hosted in Windows Azure. Its very nice here in the cloud. I think I’ll stay.

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