Attn Developers: An Interview with Bjorn from Web-Analysis.net

1) Have you developed Apps for any other platforms before? If Yes What are they?

No, not for any mobile platforms but yes for Windows and Silverlight.

2) Why did you choose WP7 as a platform of your choice?

We’ve been developing in C#/XAML/WPF/Silverlight for quite some time so without the C#/XAML support in WP7 we wouldn’t have tried a mobile platform until much later.

3) Which one do you think as the single most feature you liked in WP7?

Based on C#/XAML so that both code and knowhow can be reused.

4) Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?

Very satisfied, the emulator works great and the integration with Visual Studio is awesome.

5) What are the Apps you are developing now in WP7? Details on the Apps?

At Web-Analysis.net we develop advanced tools for web analyses. The first three apps we will release for WP7 are “WARG Remote”’, “WebStats Mobile” and “AppStats Mobile”

Our flagship product for the PC is WARG, a very affordable Web Analysis Report Generator; very simple to use, yet very powerful. With just a few clicks, the essential reports of the usage of a website are generated. Moreover, WARG has features that provides the next generation of analysis. To enhance analysis, the reports have descriptions and explanations of website usage, based on scientific research of a number of renowned websites. With some additional clicks, customized reports suitable for any professional presentation and slideshow are generated in the most popular formats.

WARG Remote allows you to access your WARG software that runs on your PC at work or at home. Generating reports in WARG for larger websites can take quite some time (some larger websites can take up to an hour) so generating these reports on your mobile device is not so feasible. Our WARG Remote app supports both pulling and pushing. In the pull scenario you to request that a new report is generated on your PC and later uploaded to your phone. In the push scenario, you setup your desktop WARG to periodically push a report to your phone.

WebStats Mobile is a lighter version of WARG that runs on the phone, with WebStats you can quickly access your Google Analytics data and generate reports on how your website is performing. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of WARG but gives you the most basic reports.

AppStats Mobile: We have a solution for developers that want to track how their phone app is being used. The solution is made up of two parts, first you have the tracking sdk, a small assembly you add to your phone app so that it can feed into the Google Analytics tracking database. Secondly you have our AppStats software for Windows that allows you to quickly generate usage reports. AppStats Mobile is a lighter version of AppStats that allows you to rapidly access the most basic reports on how your phone app is performing.

6) In what way Microsoft can improve their WP7 or What does WP7 lacks from?

Silverlight for WP7 should be based on SL4 and not SL3.

7) Future Plans of you?

We will continue to enhance WebStats and add reports that users want. One thing we’re contemplating is actually not an app itself, but a generator of phone apps in the form of quizzes and surveys. Our Windows app 1-2-3-Quiz will allow you to author a survey or quiz in Microsoft Word and with the click of a button generate a working WP7 app.

Apart from these questions, Other things you want to share with the community?

We have developed another application called PhoneHelp.

Some mobile apps will be complicated enough to need an embedded help system and there is no support for this in WP7. We have the solution, we have developed both a runtime and an authoring solution for 100% XAML-based well integrated help systems for WP7 phones and we’re making this available to the WP7 developer community.

Highlights of our PhoneHelp solution:

•XAML-based. Your help system uses the same look and feel as the app itself

•Allows you or your tech writers to use standard Microsoft Word to write the content

•Built-in support for Google Analytics to get stats on which help topics are viewed, topics that are never viewed, what users search for etc

•The Google Analytics support for the help also enables it for the phone app itself, enables you to quickly get usage reports using the Google Analytics site or our AppStats tool

•Single assembly solution, link to the help runtime assembly and you’re good to go

•Microsoft Word-plugin to generate the XAML topics and the XML support files

•The authoring tool automatically updates your Visual Studio project files, adding the generated XAML and XML files

•Supports the usual help system features: TOC, Search, Index as well as a Favorites page

•“Return to app” button that takes the user back to the page from where help browsing originated

•Ranked search results

•Context-sensitive help support

•Variables – Support for both compile-time and run-time variables

•Conditional text – both at compile-time and at run-time

Thanks Bjorn for sharing with us.

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