Category Archives: Announcements

Announcing cloudbase.io Excel add-in

As I mentioned some a couple of posts ago, I have been playing around with cloudbase.io and I got so excited with it that I decided to help them on one feature that I was missing.

Basically If I want to have a better understanding about my application data I have not much options rather than the “JSON data browser”, which does not help much when we are talking of hundreds of records…

As a database-driven developer I always expect to have a sort of a tool where I can see the data on a tabular way, like the old SQL Query Analyzer (now Mgmt Studio) on MS SQL, or tools like PL/SQL Developer from oracle.

That`s where I wanted to give my 2 cents to cloudbase. Based on some past experiences on MS Office plugins development, I came up with one idea to build one add-in to use Excel as a tool to analyze my cloudbase data. The beta version of the plugin was announced today by cloudbase team.

Once you downloaded the lite edition for free from here, you will get a new tab inside your office(2007,2010 and 2013).

The general idea is that by using the settings window you could add as many applications as you want to have.

To speed-up the authentication procedure, you can give a PIN, which will be required every first time that the plugin is used within an excel session…

Once you have applications configured, you will be able to select them from the Excel ribbon, and for each application you will be able to get data from all collections!

By using the Filter Pane you can define some more precise filter to avoid download massive amount of data.

Another nice feature is the possibility to get cloudbase statistics data(same from the management portal) also straight to your excel!

 

excel01

And last, but not least, there’s an extremely valuable feature which will allow you to do the next step regarding your data analysis. First of all, I must say it works only on Excel 2013… The feature is called Data Analysis and it will basically download the data from all collections of the current selected application, allowing you to make a pivot table with data from different application collections! This is really valuable! It allows this by using a new feature on excel 2013 called Data Model.

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If you still did not tried the plugin out, don’t lose this opportunity.

A “Pro” version supporting data update as well is planned! Please let me know if you are interested on it!

New Adventure: How to build a game in XNA without any knowledge about it?!

As I said on my previous post, I decided to build one game in order to learn something different and also to keep myself trying the “Monetization path” for my Apps.

I ended up making this tutorial from MSDN site… Really high quality material! If you wanna to learn something about XNA, you have to take this tutorial!

This was a very nice Tutorial and it really helped me to do my first steps on the XNA world. Thanks Microsoft for that. Really good stuff!

As a developer I simply cannot learn things by “reading”/”repeating”(from tutorials…) stuff. I have to do something by myself! Then that’s the time when MathFly came in, after few weeks:

The main drivers of the game were:

  • Have fun and learn (my daughter is just learning Math and the game fits perfectly!)
  • Create a “Competition” environment by creating a worldwide Leaderboard!

The Game just got certified and very soon it will be available on the WP marketplace! Enjoy!

More infos can be found here.

Soon I plan to post also something on a new project coming for Windows 8! Yes! Metro Style Apps Rocks! J

A lot of work, but a lot of fun!!!!

Some News after being so quiet…

Yes! I Know!! That was a long time not posting anything here. This is bad but was needed…

I have been quite busy and did not managed myself to keep the blog up-to-date…

But I have some news! About a month and half ago I started to look for better the possibilities that I can get from Microsoft Advertising when it comes to “making money” with my WP apps. If you are not aware about that, I strongly encourage you to jump on this boat!

As an exercise I have made a very simple App which is bringing a good feedback: Verse Of The Day. The Idea of the application is Very simple… The user would get a daily bible verse on his phone… After a couple of hours I came up with something somehow like this:

 

You can download the App to your phone (IT IS FREE!) by clicking on the image bellow:

A quite interesting feature is the Live Tile feature, which change it to a set of nice pictures and also keep the daily verse updated!

After a nice feedback I ended up releasing an updated version few days ago, this time supporting a feature to Share to the user preferred Social Networks and also one option to get some random verses:

 

I have to confess that I did not get rich with the advertising on this App but it was a very nice exercise! J

By doing this App I realized it was time to make a bigger step and make a GAME!!! That’s where XNA came in!

On the next post I will keep telling the news!!

Moving on…

Hi Folks!

I know I have been away! There are a set of reasons for that. But one thing that I can say is that I’m always taking some free time to play around with the development of TFS On the Road.

Currently I’m working on the possibility to add attachments to Work items but I have found some “challenges”. Therefore I’m in contact with the TFS Odata Service guys trying to help them to simulate the issues that I’m having. I’m sure that we will have a solution to the issues that I’m finding. One big limitation that I see is that I cannot attach files bigger than 64kb at the current version of TFS Odata… So my plan was to allow the attachment of voice notes and this will be difficult with this limitation of 64 kb. But I’m still looking for possibilities. Besides that one of the next features is to support some basic WI edition. A lot of work to do, but I’m sure we will get there, step by step.

I have been using http://www.mopapp.com/ to monitor the market place data. From this site I can get very nice reports from the Market Place data. Take a look on the report print bellow:

As you can see, on average there’s about 9,9 downloads per day of the app since it was launch, number that I consider nice to a very specific niche application like this… 358 downloads so far. And growing!

I have to say a big thank you especially to Brian Keller. He made a blog post that is up for almost a month! J This is really helping on my website traffic and app downloads.
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/briankel/archive/2011/06/07/tfs-on-the-road-a-new-windows-phone-7-app-for-team-foundation-server.aspx

And to make things even better, yesterday Brian Harry also made one post where he mentioned TFS On The road as well!
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/2011/07/04/odata-access-to-tfs.aspx

The app has been also for a while on the Visual Studio Spotlight sessions of the Visual Studio website (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/default) …

This king of so positive feedback from MS and the community itself are the fuel to keep myself moving on with this project! J

Thanks all my friends that tweeted, re-tweeted and posted something else about this app! Nice!

Let’s move on!!!

 

 

TFS On The Road v1.5 just published

Hi Folks,

The v1.5 of the TFS On The Road was just published to the Market Place. This new version holds the interesting feature that I showed on the post Improving TFS On The Road chart capabilities .
Basically this feature will allow you to drill down on your work items through different levels.

Let me show some pictures to explain better. Bellow you can see the stacked chart of WI types per State. Note that there’s a Settings Link up-right of the chart. When you click there you will see one screen to select some chart settings. You can select between a set of chart types. Stacked charts supports two fields.

I will change it to show a pie chart of Work Item states on the project summary, as shown below. As soon as you click on the OK button the chart will be rendered and the settings will be saved for this level (1st level). On tis sample I will drill down to the Active work Items just taping the chart area…

As soon as I do this I will see the list of work items filtered by state=’Active’. Note that you have the option to show a chart for this Work items list as well. Just tap the Chart button(bottom right). First you will see the default chart(stacked by WI type/State). This time I will change to Pie by Iteration Path. Then I can immediately see all Active Wi’s by Iteration Path! Awesome!


And I can always drill down! On the sample I will go to the Yellow Area of the char t(Wave Twelve…)… Then I will get to the work items list again! And if you note on the top part you will see the applied Filter…

And you can take a look on the chart as well for this level (3rd level). It starts with the default chart… Of course you can change it as well. On the last level I Changed to show Bar charts by “Assigned to”.

And Of Course I can move On!!!! I will click on the last bar to drill down again (pedro’s active tasks on the Iteration ‘Wave Twelve’)… Look the list and the applied Filter… And Of course you could drill down again! J But I think it’s deep enough on this sample. Theoretically you could drill down as much as you can.

Really nice, isn’t it? J As you could see, we navigate in 4 drill-down levels:

  1. Pie chart by WI States, selected the Active Work Items
  2. Then Pie Chart by Iteration Paths, we selected “Wave Twelve”
  3. Then we made a bar chart by “Assigned to”
  4. Finally we got to the last level on this sample

What is interesting is that every settings that you defined so far were saved per level! Next time you will not need to configure the chart(by tapping on settings) again! J

Cool!!!

If you still did not got the 1.5 version… Just take it to play around with this feature!

Now I’m preparing myself to start adding support to work items basic edition/creation and also to add attachments…

Let’s move on! I keep you updated! J

Things are getting interesting

Hi Folks!
I write this post exactly 10 days after Tfs On The Road was published on the Market Place. First of all I would like to thanks every supporter of the App. Iha!
I want to share some statics…
First thing to share is the number of downloads (source Reports from MSDN App Hub). On the first two days the App got more than 155 downloads! I think this is a reasonable number for my first app. J

And it is really coming from everywhere… Take a look:

country type units
Australia Free 7
Austria Free 1
Belgium Free 3
Canada Free 6
France Free 6
Germany Free 24
Hong Kong SAR Free 1
Italy Free 2
Mexico Free 4
New Zealand Free 1
Singapore Free 2
Spain Free 4
Switzerland Free 1
United Kingdom Free 10
United States Free 77

Source=MSDN AppHub

Besides this, the main App page(http://pcbl.de/tfs-on-the-road/) had about 620 Pageviews! I consider this also a good achievement due to my limited possibilities to actually share the app properly on some channels.

What really make things move faster are the folks that post something about the app to their friends. Some blogs that I found mentioning the App are:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/briankel/archive/2011/06/07/tfs-on-the-road-a-new-windows-phone-7-app-for-team-foundation-server.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/slange/archive/2011/06/08/steve-s-newsletter-june-2011.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckh/archive/2011/04/10/odata-service-for-tfs.aspx

http://coolthingoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/05/on-road-again-with-tfs-on-road-free-wp7.html

http://it-republik.de/dotnet/news/TFS-on-the-Road-kostenlose-WP7-App-fuer-Team-Foundation-Server-2010-059408.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

There’s a lot more. Thanks for the support! Special thanks goes to Brian Keller, which really made a huge impact on this Traffic site(J) and also for the open channel to collect my feedback as a consumer of TFS Odata Services.

I could not forget also all the mentions on Twitter… Thanks Felipao(or Felipin?), André, Idevar, Alfredex, Kono, Lino and everyone else that I forgot to mention… J Thanks!

I’m happy with this scenario and I can see very nice steps ahead… I hope that soon I can release the new version of the App with the extensive chart supporting possibilities.

Let’s keep up the hard work! J

Improving TFS On The Road chart capabilities

Hi Folks,

During this weekend I have been playing around on charting possibilities on TFS On The Road.

Just for information, on this project I’m using the Silverlight Toolkit Chart component, which is doing a very nice job so far. To check some online samples form the Toolkit, click here. Really nice stuff.

I have been thinking on a way to allow the user generate some “quick” charts on the mobile. My idea is just to give the user the chart type possibilities and also the fields to generate the chart. The base chart settings screen looks like this:

For stacked charts you can use up to 2 fields. The chart types and fields are:

Once the user provides this information he can see his chart. When possible the charts are supporting drill-down navigation, which allows you to see the work Items behind a certain chart area.

To show this feature working I prepared one video to show it. Please take a look:

I still need to do some more testing and as soon as possible there will be an update available (the update version will be possibly 1.5.0).

I’m delighted to get your feedback on this feature.

The Show must go on…

Hi Folks,

Since the first release of the “TFS On The Road” I have been getting a very feedback from the community! Many thanks!

Today I just made a new branch on the CodePlex Project for the Version 2.0 of the App! Actually I just implemented a new and very important feature which will come on the next release: “Goto Work Item”.

Basically this feature allows you at any point to give a Work Item ID and then “jump” straight to it. To show it working I made one video:

As soon as more features appear, they will be shown here. Depending on the community feedback we might have one intermediate release between the current version (1.2) and 2.0. For now, that’s it.

I enjoyed this possibility to create videos and I’m going to make several other videos to present the TFS On The Road Features.

See you!

“TFS On The Road” now on Codeplex

Hi Folks!

First of all I would like to thank everyone for the feedback that I’m taking for this App. This is the kind of thing that makes things nicer!
To keep up the good mood, I have some news! I just finished the very first check-in of the “TFS On The Road” project on CodePlex.


http://tfsontheroad.codeplex.com/

As it is a project that I made mainly targeting the “TFS Community”, I think it is reasonable to share the source code with everyone. And better than that, I invite everyone that is interested to make it better. So this is a typical CALL TO ACTION. If you think you can contribute, just join us. The idea now is that we will plan and implement the features to the version 2.0.

Some of them are:

I alert that, as this was my very first WP7 project, the code needs some improvement. J I know that and it will come on the next release as well.

To some of the features it would be nice to start thinking to use “Mango” as the base. But this will be discussed later.

So that’s it! Just join the project team! Your contribution will be valuable.

Join us!

Announcing “TFS On The Road”

Hi all!

Have you been looking for a good TFS Client running on your nice WP7? So you will be happy to read this post!

I’m very proud and happy to announce one of the first Wp7 TFS Clients based on TFS OData Service !

TFS On The Road is the WP7 TFS Client that you were waiting for and it is completely FREE! You will be able to access a lot of data from your TFS in order to support you to take decisions “on the road”. The tree bellow shows the basic App Navigation Map:

Click here to download the App and access the TFS On The Road page that I prepared showing the key app features.

This is just v1! A lot more will come! Feedbacks are welcomed!