MCPD 4.0

I passed exam 70-521 last week.

 

image

  I found the exam a bit different than other Microsoft exams that I have taken.  The content of the questions were pretty straightforward (except some of the LINQ questions were a bit contrived).  The biggest difference to prior exams is that you can apply test-taking strategies because on 95% of the questions, the answer was provided.  There were few, if any “none of the above” as answers.  That means it was fairly easy to use process of elimination  to narrow down the potential answers.

 

In other news, I created a slide deck to play before the TriNug meeting tomorrow night.  It is like the advertisements that play at some movies before the previews.  I took most of the questions from the MSFT training kit – though I threw in 1 question that I remember vividly from the exam.  I couldn’t remember it exactly, but the intent is like this:

 

What code sample makes this window in WPF (line numbers are for reference only)?

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A:

  1. <DockPanel>            
  2. <Button Content="Top" DockPanel.Dock="Top"/>            
  3. <Button Content="Bottom" DockPanel.Dock="Bottom"/>            
  4. <Button Content="Left" DockPanel.Dock="Left"/>            
  5. <Button Content="Right" DockPanel.Dock="Right"/>           
  6. <Button Content="Center"/>        
  7. </DockPanel>

B:

  1. <DockPanel>            
  2. <Button Content="Top" DockPanel.Dock="Top"/>            
  3. <Button Content="Bottom" DockPanel.Dock="Bottom"/>            
  4. <Button Content="Left" DockPanel.Dock="Left"/>            
  5. <Button Content="Center"/>      
  6. <Button Content="Right" DockPanel.Dock="Right"/>             
  7. </DockPanel>

C:

  1. <DockPanel>            
  2. <Button Content="Left" DockPanel.Dock="Left"/>
  3. <Button Content="Top" DockPanel.Dock="Top"/>   
  4. <Button Content="Center"/>         
  5. <Button Content="Bottom" DockPanel.Dock="Bottom"/>            
  6. <Button Content="Right" DockPanel.Dock="Right"/>           
  7. </DockPanel>

D:

  1. <DockPanel>            
  2. <Button Content="Top" DockPanel.Dock="Top"/>            
  3. <Button Content="Bottom" DockPanel.Dock="Bottom"/>            
  4. <Button Content="Left" DockPanel.Dock="Left"/>            
  5. <Button Content="Right" DockPanel.Dock="Right"/>           
  6. <Button Content="Center“DockPanel.Dock
  7. </DockPanel>

It’s easy enough to figure out the answer – just copy past each possibility into a WPF form in VS2010.

In any event, I am going on vacation next week so I won’t post back here for 2 weeks.

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Geocoding APIs

I am building my first Windows Phone 7 Application. As part of the applications requirements, I need to find the geo coordinates of cross streets. Unlike many phone apps, I do not need to gather that information real-time. Rather, I have a database of 700 cross streets (key locations) that I will load into the phone at app start-up and then use the built in GeocordinateWatcher class of the .NET phone framework to compare to this list when the PositionChanged  event is raised. The problem is that the initial list of 700 addresses do not have geocoordinates. I built an application that hits the major map APIs (Yahoo, Bing, Google) to see how well they can create geocoordinates from cross street information that can be used by my phone application.

Bing

I started with Microsoft because this is a .NET application. The really cool thing about the Microsoft API is that I can consume the WCF service so there is no HTTP requests to code or XML/JSON responses to parse.

string queryString = String.Format("{0} AT {1} {2}, NC", intersection.RoadA, intersection.RoadB, crash.City); string results = string.Empty; GeocodeRequest geocodeRequest = new GeocodeRequest(); geocodeRequest.Credentials = new GeocodeService.Credentials(); geocodeRequest.Credentials.ApplicationId = "XXXXXXXXXX"; geocodeRequest.Query = queryString; ConfidenceFilter[] filters = new ConfidenceFilter[1]; filters[0] = new ConfidenceFilter(); filters[0].MinimumConfidence = GeocodeService.Confidence.High; GeocodeOptions geocodeOptions = new GeocodeOptions(); geocodeOptions.Filters = filters; geocodeRequest.Options = geocodeOptions; GeocodeServiceClient geocodeServiceClient = new GeocodeServiceClient("BasicHttpBinding_IGeocodeService"); GeocodeResponse geocodeResponse = geocodeServiceClient.Geocode(geocodeRequest); if (geocodeResponse.Results.Length > 0) { if (geocodeResponse.Results[0].Locations[0].Latitude >= 33 && geocodeResponse.Results[0].Locations[0].Latitude <= 36 && geocodeResponse.Results[0].Locations[0].Longitude >= -84 && geocodeResponse.Results[0].Locations[0].Longitude <= -76) { intersection.Latitude = geocodeResponse.Results[0].Locations[0].Latitude; intersection.Longitude = geocodeResponse.Results[0].Locations[0].Longitude; intersection.GeoCodeSource = "Bing"; } }

Getting a developer key was a snap because I already had a liveID.

· Search Result Rating = Medium

· Developer Experience = High

Yahoo

I then went to Yahoo to supplement the data that was not found by Bing. Coding the Yahoo API was a straight Web Request/Response:

StringBuilder queryString = new StringBuilder(); queryString.Append("http://where.yahooapis.com/geocode?"); queryString.Append("?street="); queryString.Append(intersection.RoadA); queryString.Append("&xstreet="); queryString.Append(intersection.RoadB); queryString.Append("&city="); queryString.Append(intersection.City); queryString.Append("&state=NC"); queryString.Append("&appid="); queryString.Append("XXXXXX--"); HttpWebRequest webRequest = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(queryString.ToString()); WebResponse webResponse = webRequest.GetResponse(); Stream stream = webResponse.GetResponseStream(); XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument(); xmlDocument.Load(stream); if(xmlDocument != null) { XmlNode rootNode = xmlDocument.DocumentElement; string returnCode = rootNode.SelectSingleNode("Error").InnerText; if (returnCode == "0") { double latitude = Double.Parse(rootNode.SelectSingleNode("Result/latitude").InnerText); double longitude = Double.Parse(rootNode.SelectSingleNode("Result/longitude").InnerText); if (latitude >= 33 && latitude <= 36 && longitude >= -84 && longitude <= -76) { intesection.Latitude = latitude; intesection.Longitude = longitude; intesection.GeoCodeSource = "Yahoo"; } } }

Getting the applicationId was a snap because I already had a YahooId. The one amusing thing to me is that when I went to Yahoo Search and tped in “Maps”, Google’s Map page came up before Yahoo.

clip_image002[4]

· Search Result Rating = Medium

· Developer Experience = Medium

Google

I then tried Google’s API. Coding Google was the same as Yahoo (using HTTP Request and Response) with a slightly less verbose query string:

StringBuilder queryString = new StringBuilder(); queryString.Append("http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/xml?"); queryString.Append("?address="); queryString.Append(intersection.RoadA); queryString.Append(" + and + "); queryString.Append(intersection.RoadB); queryString.Append("&city="); queryString.Append(intersection.City); queryString.Append("&state=NC"); queryString.Append("&sensor="); queryString.Append("false");

The problem was that the data coming back is all wrong. For example, I tried to geocode a major street intersection near my house (you can put this into your browser to see the results):

http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/xml?address=I 440+&+Wake Forest Road+Raleigh,+NC&sensor=false

Check out what I got back:

clip_image001

I then tried this:

http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/xml?address=I 440+and+Wake Forest Road+Raleigh,+NC&sensor=false

clip_image003

At least I am in the country now, but not anywhere near the intersection.  It appears that Bing and Yahaoo have a much better way of geocoding cross streets. After too many false-positives (and no correct hits), I gave up on the Google API. The nice thing about the Google API is that I didn’t have to register for an app id. The not-so-nice thing is that I am limited to 2,500 a day unless I joined something called Premium Developer.

· Search Result Rating = Low

· Developer Experience = Medium

For my project then I am using Bing and supplementing with Yahoo. I am not using Google.