This post was authored by Sanjeev Dwivedi, Technical Evangelist here at Microsoft. -- Adam
If you missed the recent Microsoft Facebook Hackathon, you missed a great event, but don’t worry – we’ve got all the details for you here. The Hackathon took place January 17-18 at the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park. More than 75 attendees, including entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and students learned how to integrate the Facebook Login into their Windows and Windows Phone apps. Facebook Login, released for Windows and Windows Phone apps in 2013, allows developers to integrate Facebook-related social scenarios into their apps. At the Hackathon, developers not only learned about Facebook Login but also received guidance and real-time support to get Facebook Login working in their apps on the spot.
Attendees’ range of experience was perfect for this event: we were able to initiate newcomers into building Windows and Windows Phone apps with Facebook Login while at the same time work with seasoned hobbyists and entrepreneurs on deep integration scenarios leveraging the Facebook Login among other social scenarios to maximize ROI.
In order to participate in the Hackathon, developers formed teams of up to three individuals and chose any topic of mutual interest. Developers new to building for the Windows platforms were pleasantly surprised to see that group size did not necessarily correlate to app quality. Instead, they saw that the quality of developer tools for Windows and Windows Phone apps allow just about any developer to build a top-notch app with relatively little effort.
We advised developers building C#-based Windows apps to use the Open Source SDK by OuterCurve Foundation to integrate with Facebook. That SDK is maintained with Microsoft sponsorship, and you can find it here: http://facebooksdk.net. At the beginning of the Hackathon, we showcased this SDK and encouraged participants to use it to shorten their development time. Nearly every developer who built a C#/XAML-based app ended up using the SDK. Their feedback? The SDK significantly eased their Facebook integration efforts. If you plan to add Facebook integration to your app, use this SDK. Another option to simplify your Facebook Login integration efforts is the recently-released Parse SDK.
At the end of the Hackathon, fifteen teams presented their apps, showcasing the use scenarios as well as discussing additional features and their go-to-market strategies. App quality was uniformly high, but we’ve chosen to share the top five winning teams’ ideas here:
The teams were excited to find that in just 20 hours, they could take an idea and create a fully-functional app. We look forward to seeing these apps in the Windows Phone Store fairly soon and whole-heartedly recommend that you use the Facebook SDK for .NET or the Parse SDK to simplify your Facebook Login integration efforts and get your app to the Store quickly.
We hope to see you at our next Hackathon!