Texas Road Side History – There’s an App for That
Have you ever wondered what that historical marker says that you just passed while driving down the road? Well, there’s an app for that, if you live in Texas.
Please cut to the chase and give me the links
One of our goals was to learn how to make use of Microsoft’s SQL Azure and Azure Web roles. Using SQL Azure, we took advantage of the Geography data type and the STDistance function to query for historical markers by proximity. We next exposed a WCF Web service for executing the proximity query. And lastly, generated an OData endpoint using WCF Data Services for all of our basic data access needs.
After several iterations of submissions and rejections to the WP7 Marketplace, Texas Road Side History was finally approved. Microsoft’s approval process was very impressive. Each time we received a rejection, it came with a very thorough report with the reasoning and the exact steps needed in order to make the application comply. It is clear that Microsoft is focused not on the quantity of apps in the Marketplace, but on the quality.
After our “lock-in”, I caught the mobile bug and wanted to see what iOS was all about. Dabbling a bit with Objective-C, I quickly turned to MonoTouch – which left me with just iOS APIs to ramp up on. For some of the details on consuming the WCF and OData services, read my previous two posts here and here.
Submission to the Apple App Store via iTunes Connect was a bit less impressive, albeit, faster time to market (4 days after submitting). The iTunes Connect site took a bit of getting used to. Fortunately, the app was approved on first submission; which is unfortunate in the sense that I can not report on the quality of an App Store rejection report.
Texas Road Side History has proved to be a well-rounded mobile app for getting our feet wet in the mobility space. Whether you are a history nut or just curious to see what our first mobile app looks like, I hope you’d give it a spin and let me know what you think.