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 Twitter, Edmunds, Tumblr and many others in order to inspire you, yes you, to create compelling Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps.
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.