LUWS or similar Web Service?

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riceboyler
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LUWS or similar Web Service?

Postby riceboyler » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:02 pm

Hello all. I'm trying to work on building a Windows Phone 7 app that will allow a user to login with their LDS Account and get a contact list for their unit. There is a similar Android app I've used (Ward Central) that seems to integrate with the LDS.org Web site.

What I'm trying to figure out is if this is via a Web Service that provides ward member data in a standard (SOAP, REST, JSON, etc.) format? I'm not looking for callings or anything like that, just the contact information.

Thanks!

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Postby eblood66 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:18 pm

riceboyler wrote:Hello all. I'm trying to work on building a Windows Phone 7 app that will allow a user to login with their LDS Account and get a contact list for their unit. There is a similar Android app I've used (Ward Central) that seems to integrate with the LDS.org Web site.

What I'm trying to figure out is if this is via a Web Service that provides ward member data in a standard (SOAP, REST, JSON, etc.) format? I'm not looking for callings or anything like that, just the contact information.

Thanks!


There is already a similar LDSTech community project: Mobile Member Windows Mobile Application

However, it does look like it targets Windows Mobile 6 rather than 7. I'm not sure how big a difference there is between the two. In any case, you may want to look at the code for that project and/or you may want to contact the developers of that application (there is contact information on the wiki page).

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:25 pm

eblood66 wrote:However, it does look like it targets Windows Mobile 6 rather than 7. I'm not sure how big a difference there is between the two.

Huge difference actually. With Win Mo 7, all UI development is Silverlight (only option). Win Mo 6 used WinForms from the .NET compact framework. One can also do 100% free development for Win Mo 7, via a free edition of Visual Studio and Expression Studio targeting Windows Mobile, including SDK's and emulators.

But anyway, for any non-LDSTech Community developed applications, the only real method is to screen scrape the HTML of the existing LUWS. The major benefit of participating in the Church sponsored project is use of web services, but I don't believe they are open to non-LDSTech Community projects for the foreseeable future.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

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Postby RossEvans » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:43 am

eblood66 wrote:There is already a similar LDSTech community project: Mobile Member Windows Mobile Application

However, it does look like it targets Windows Mobile 6 rather than 7. I'm not sure how big a difference there is between the two. In any case, you may want to look at the code for that project and/or you may want to contact the developers of that application (there is contact information on the wiki page).


I briefly researched the original release of Windows Phone 7, and was put off by the fact that its Silverlite environment does not bundle or allow any SQL engine that is exposed to developers as a persistent data store. Most competing platforms now incorporate SQLite, and Windows Phone Classic (the Microsoft marketers' new name for WIndows Mobile 6) at least allows a third-party implementation of that popular engine. Not only does Windows Phone 7 not include SQLite, it does not even include Microsoft's own SQL platform, SQL Server CE.

It is probably possible to build a simple app such as that described here without a local SQL data store, but for any more complex applications, the lack of a such an engine is crippling. The advice from MS is that if you need to build such complex data-driven apps, develop for Windows Phone Classic instead.

I do agree that, regardless of architecture, it is quite iffy to build a third-party app such as this at the present time. The Church clearly is moving in the direction of sponsoring such applications itself as community apps instead. If I were the orginal poster, I would contact Tom Welch and see if there is interest in expanding the Mobile Member project to include the Windows Phone 7 platform. There is a web-based API that provides the data riceboyler is seeking, but AFAIK that API is only available for official community projects.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:22 am

boomerbubba wrote:I briefly researched the original release of Windows Phone 7, and was put off by the fact that its Silverlite environment does not bundle or allow any SQL engine that is exposed to developers as a persistent data store.

That would make sense, since Silverlight is just like Flash in that it is a client side app hooked into a browser and gets its data via web service calls. Perhaps there are file-based workarounds (like Isolated Storage) available in the mobile SDK, but it is indeed interesting that a lightweight SQL install is discouraged.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

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Postby mkmurray » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:26 am

mkmurray wrote:...but it is indeed interesting that a lightweight SQL install is discouraged.

This blog post from a Microsoft MVP has more details about the lack of SQL on Windows Phone 7 and the workarounds Microsoft suggests:

http://geekswithblogs.net/campuskoder/archive/2010/03/17/138584.aspx

Enough derailment of this topic from me now. :)
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

riceboyler
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Postby riceboyler » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:59 pm

Wow, good discussion! :)

I did download and look at the source code for the Project, but it's FAR different from WP7. Further, I didn't see any real implementation of the web service, and it appeared that the source code for the 6.5 project was just a wireframe more than anything, rather than a fully fleshed out app.

Truth of the matter is, I'm looking for an excuse to build a WP7 app to get my feet wet in the WP7 world and get used to building such apps, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Thanks for the discussion, I'll keep looking around.

riceboyler
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Postby riceboyler » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:04 pm

boomerbubba wrote:I do agree that, regardless of architecture, it is quite iffy to build a third-party app such as this at the present time. The Church clearly is moving in the direction of sponsoring such applications itself as community apps instead. If I were the orginal poster, I would contact Tom Welch and see if there is interest in expanding the Mobile Member project to include the Windows Phone 7 platform. There is a web-based API that provides the data riceboyler is seeking, but AFAIK that API is only available for official community projects.


I read this paragraph after I replied above. Excellent suggestion, and I'll be doing as such. I know that there was at least some thought of it at some point as there are folders for WP7 in the project. I'll contact Tom Welch and see if there is interest in expanding the scope of the project.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:48 pm

riceboyler wrote:I did download and look at the source code for the Project, but it's FAR different from WP7. Further, I didn't see any real implementation of the web service, and it appeared that the source code for the 6.5 project was just a wireframe more than anything, rather than a fully fleshed out app.

It could be that all WinMo developers are focused on the Gospel Library app right now. I actually started out as the first Windows Mobile developer volunteer and I first started on the Mormon Channel app, but we were shortly thereafter asked to work on the Gospel Library app first. Lately, however, I have been too busy to do anything with either project. I have heard that there is talk about making some Windows Phone 7 apps with these existing projects. Talking to Tom would be a good start to find out more.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

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Postby RossEvans » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:14 am

riceboyler wrote:I did download and look at the source code for the Project, but it's FAR different from WP7. Further, I didn't see any real implementation of the web service, and it appeared that the source code for the 6.5 project was just a wireframe more than anything, rather than a fully fleshed out app.


Don't let that dissuade you. The way the Mobile Member project was rolled out, it actually is several distinct projects (one for each platform). Each is being pursued by a separate group with little or no sharing across platforms. The main common denominator is the API back end for the data feed, and a generalized mandate to try to make the apps basically look similar to end users. The web service is real, but I don't think you will get access to it until you register as a community developer.


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