Developing Mobile Applications with Virtual Earth Web Services

Richard Brundritt and Robert McGovern from Infusion Development just got their "Developing a Mobile Application Using Virtual Earth Web Services" technical article published on MSDN and it’s available for your reading and plagiarizing pleasure.

Excerpt: "The constraints of mobile device applications are very different than the traditional web or desktop applications. Unlike a desktop or web application, the screen real estate is very compact and the controls are limited in functionality. These constraints force you to rethink your user experience. Simply building a form with a bunch of buttons isn’t very useful on most mobile devices. In addition, the occasionally connected nature of the device is problematic for any application that relies on web connectivity. Because you can’t guarantee whether the device will have or maintain a connection, the standard practice is to minimize the amount of network traffic expected. Similarly, network connections to mobile devices (even 3G) are slower and more bandwidth constrained than normal broadband. This puts an even larger emphasis on reducing network traffic.

Given these constraints, the first question about architecture involves how the application will be deployed and used. If you are building a consumer application for individual users, you want the entire application contained on the mobile device. However, if you are building for an enterprise, you might consider a three tier application where you can control the security of your credentials and your bandwidth on a server, and minimize the footprint of the mobile application. If you take the three tier approach, you also have to consider what the middle tier will be. You can use some sort of service (for example, build a WCF layer that encapsulates Virtual Earth) or build a mobile enabled web application. The choice of architecture depends heavily on how you intend to use the application and the constraints of your target devices."

This is a great article for Windows Mobile developers to get cracking on some code with Virtual Earth Web Services. Also, Richard Brundritt is on the Virtual Earth Support Team handling many of the toughest problems from our customers and writes a great developer blog on Live Spaces which is definitely worth the read if you’re bored with me.


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