New OData Tools Feed Windows Phone 7 App from Windows Azure Platform


odataA new OData Client for Windows Phone 7 makes it easier to consume feeds from a Windows Phone7 application. Starting today, you can access several new feeds from sources like EBay and Twitpic. Finally, we’re making available a set of libraries to make creating custom OData feeds easier on the Windows Azure Platform.

The announcements were made at Professional Developers Conference (PDC).

Here are the details:

WCF Data Services client for Windows Phone 7

A production-ready version of the WCF Data Services client for Windows Phone 7 is available for download from http://odata.codeplex.com.  This means that it is now simple to create an app that connects your Windows Phone 7 to all the existing OData services as well as the new ones we’re announcing at this PDC.

The release includes a version of System.Data.Services.Client.dll that is supported on the phone (both the assembly and the source code) and a code generator tool to generate phone-friendly client side proxies.   

The library follows most of the same patterns you are already used to when programming with OData services on the desktop version of Silverlight.  The key changes from Silverlight desktop to be aware of are:

  • LINQ support in the client library has been removed as the core support is not yet available on the phone platform.  That said, we are actively working to enable this in a future release.  Given this, the way to formulate queries is via URIs.
  • We’ve added a LoadAsync(Uri) method to the DataServiceCollection class to make it simple to query services via URI.
  • So you can easily support the phone application model we’ve added a new standalone type ‘DataServiceState’ which makes it simple to tombstone DataServiceContext and DataServiceCollection instances

New OData Feeds

We’ve been working with a number of partners over the past few months to make their data available via the Open Data Protocol. We’re excited to announce the availability of these new OData feeds today. All of these feeds are being hosted on the Windows Azure Platform.

eBay. The eBay OData feed allows you to query the items available in the eBay catalog. You can query for items using a free text search, filtering on attributes such as price, number of bidders and location. You can also query for User details, including listing the items being sold by a User. Finally, if you’re looking for great deals on eBay, the OData feed provides an easy way to access to those deals.

Twitpic. Twitpic is one of the most popular image services used by Twitter users. It was made famous by a user who published the first image of US Airways Flight 1529 landing in the Hudson River. With the Twitpic OData feed, you can query for Images by User, Place, Tags and Events. You can also query on Comments made about Images.

Facebook. The Facebook Insights OData Service allows Facebook application developers to connect to live usage data for their applications from clients like Excel. The combination of PowerPivot in Excel 2010, OData and Facebook Insights proves is a powerful example of how these technologies can work together to provide business insight.

Netflix. We featured the Netflix OData feed at MIX 2010 earlier this year. At the time, you could search the Netflix catalog and find titles by genre, rating, availability, etc. With yesterday’s release, you can now manage and query a User queue using the Netflix User feed. This turns the Netflix feed into a read/write API so you can further build even richer applications using the Netflix OData feed.

Data Services Toolkit

The Data Services Toolkit is a collection of libraries that we built out to support the development of custom OData feeds on WCF Data Services and the Windows Azure platform. The toolkit is used in several of the feeds listed above and was the subject of Pablo Castro’s presentation at PDC10.

 

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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