We’re starting to do a lot more hands-on events/meetings/meetups where people as me “what stuff should I install before I come out there?”. Well, here’s my list of tools to get you started. I’ll keep this updated as new and interesting toolkits come out as well as trying to keep up with the ever evolving Windows Phone 7 development platform. Some of these aren’t tied specifically to WP7, but are valuable all the same for WP7 development.

Development Tools
  • App Hub: this is the central hub of information for managing your WP7 development. You can download the tools here as well as get updates on information coming from the WP7 team and manage your marketplace account.
  • Microsoft Platform Ready: This is an AMAZING resource for getting free support on your development activities as well as an opportunity to get your $99 Marketplace fee refunded (after you’ve successfully deployed 2 applications into the Marketplace).
Development Tools
  • Windows Phone 7 Dev Tools – Includes Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, tooling integration with Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium and Ultimate, Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone (FREE!) and the Windows Phone 7 emulator (NOT a simulator – the real, live OS running in a virtual machine).
  • Windows Phone 7 Training Kit – Excellent training kit for developers and designers interested in building applications for Windows Phone.
  • Application Policy Guidelines – This is THE reference guide for the Windows Phone marketplace.  It tells you what is allowed, what is not, what they’re looking for, and what you’ll need to do to ensure a smooth process for publishing your application to the marketplace.  If you have not already, download, read and memorize this document – it WILL make your life easier…
  • OData Toolkit for Windows Phone 7: used for connecting to OData data sources using Windows Phone 7.
  • Galasoft MVVM Light Toolkit: This is, so far, my favorite toolkit for building MVVM applications on Windows Phone. The installation instructions are more complex than they should be, but I think you’ll be happy with the framework.
  • Update Controls: This is another great MVVM framework that supports WP7 written by Dallas local Michael Perry. It also is a well designed framework with a lot of great documentation and videos to help you learn how to use it.
Extra Tools
  • Fiddler – this is a great network monitor tool to help you trace data flowing over the wire from your data source to your application.
  • Toolbox – Need some help in learning Expression Blend? Toolbox is your friend…
  • Windows Phone 7 database: Hosted on CodePlex, this project implements a Isolated Storage (IsolatedStorage) based database for Windows Phone 7. The database consists of table objects, each one supporting any number of columns.
  • Perst Embedded Database For Microsoft Windows Phone 7: Perst is an open source / dual license embedded database for .NET and .NET Compact Framework. Andy Wigley, an APPA Mundi principal and Microsoft MVP, wrote a blog post outlining some of the changes he made to the open source database which have now been incorporated back into the mainline build at McObject.
  • db4o Open Source Object Database: db4o is an object-based database (as opposed to a relational database) designed for use in Silverlight and .NET applications. Since there is Silverlight 3 support, it *should* work on WP7. I’ve downloaded it and proved that it will launch a WP7 app with the db40 DLLs referenced, but haven’t tried really exercising the toolset yet. I’ll update the post when I have more data to share.
  • siaqodb Open Source Object Database: siaqodb is an object database engine that currently runs on .NET 3.5+, Mono 2.4+, Silverlight 3 and 4 as well as WP7. It’s database management application allows you to use LINQ to run ad-hoc queries against the database, which is kind of a cool and unique feature.

Other Resources

  • Windows Phone Developer Blog – the official blog of the WP7 team
  • @wp7dev – the official WP7 Twitter account
  • WP7 Forums – these are the WP7 forums. Lots of great conversations going on there!
  • My Links – I maintain a list of links on Delicious that is always growing and changing.


NOTE: Check back often as this page will change as new and interesting resources are made available.