Silverlight Show: Connecting Windows 8 applications with services: Part 1: Using services to get data in our Windows 8 applications

Windows 8’s biggest novelty is without a doubt “Apps”. Microsoft is entering the world of apps and is for the first time introducing a “real marketplace”, named the Windows 8 Store where developers can publish, market and sell their applications. This new (for Microsoft developers at least) way of working requires in many views a change of mindset. We as developers are facing many new things, including a new application lifetime management, a new API (WinRT), a different type of communication between apps (Contracts), a new Start experience (Tiles) and many more.

Since apps are going to be distributed through the means of a store, topics such as accessing data also requires some thought. In many views, accessing data through services is similar to accessing data in Silverlight applications. Although the principles are similar, the implementation tends to differ in many places.

The apps we build need to give the user the feeling of being connected. When we’re building a stock ticker application, the app needs access to up-to-date data. An RSS reader would be pretty useless without access to RSS feeds. A LOB app may need access to a CRM data. Without being connected to (up-to-date) data, many apps can’t even execute their normal routine.

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