Windows Phone 7 Development : Building a Trial Application (part 2) - Connecting to a Web Service & Adding Page-to-Page Navigation

2/21/2011 11:44:58 AM

2. Connecting to a Web Service

To retrieve current currency exchange rates, you will be using a web service located at While there are several ways to connect to a web service and retrieve data, which draws on the new Microsoft Reactive Extensions, or Rx.NET. Using Rx.NET makes it easier to follow the flow of execution by the program, since it abstracts—behind a solid Observer pattern—the complexities of invoking of a web service asynchronously. Follow these steps to add a reference to the Currency Conversion service and to wrap the results returned by that service within Rx.NET.

  1. With the CurrencyConversion project open, right-click Solution Explorer and select Add Service Reference. Paste the following URL into the Address field, as shown in Figure 4:

    Figure 4. Add Service Reference dialog

    Once you click the Go button, Visual Studio should be able to locate the CurrencyConverter service.

  2. Change the namespace in the Add Service Reference Page to svcCurrencyConverter and click OK.

Next, you will need to add reference to the assemblies that contain the Rx.NET modules.

  1. To accomplish that, right-click the project name in Solution Explorer, select Add Reference, and add references to Microsoft.Phone.Reactive and System.Observable assemblies.

  2. Switch to the code view for MainPage.xaml (right-click MainPage.xaml and select View Code) and add the following using directive to the top of the page:

    using Microsoft.Phone.Reactive;

  3. Create a module-level variable referencing the currency converter web service (this would be a local MainPage class variable that should be initialized just above the constructor). Also, declare and initialize a module-level rate variable :

    svcCurrencyConverter.CurrencyConvertorSoapClient currencyClient = new
    Double dblRate = 0.0;

  4. Within the MainPage()constructor, create an Rx.NET subscription to the CurrencyConverter web service by pasting the following code.

    //create subscription to the web service
    var currency =
    Observable.FromEvent<svcCurrencyConverter.ConversionRateCompletedEventArgs>(currencyClient, "ConversionRateCompleted");

    currency.ObserveOn(Deployment.Current.Dispatcher).Subscribe(evt =>
    dblRate = evt.EventArgs.Result;
    txtStatus.Text = "The current rate is 1 " +
    lstConvertFrom.SelectedItem.ToString() + " to " + evt.EventArgs.Result.ToString() + " " + lstConvertTo.SelectedItem.ToString();

    if (txtAmountToConvert.Text.Length>0)
    Double decTotal = evt.EventArgs.Result *
    txtTotalConverted.Text = txtAmountToConvert.Text + " " +
    lstConvertFrom.SelectedItem.ToString() + " = " + decTotal.ToString() + " " + lstConvertTo.SelectedItem.ToString();
    ex => { txtStatus.Text = "Sorry, we encountered a problem: " + ex.Message; }

This code creates a subscription to all of the results returned by the currency converter service. It processes the results and shows the conversion rates requested on the screen, including multiplying the total amount to be converted by the conversion rate.

You are almost done establishing a connection and retrieving data from the Currency Converter web service. The one piece that remains to be written is the invocation of this web service, which, in our example, is done via the Convert button.

  1. In the design view of MainPage.xaml, double-click the Convert button and change the btnConvert_Click method to look like the following:

    private void btnConvert_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    lstConvertFrom.SelectedItem, (svcCurrencyConverter.Currency)

This code invokes the web service asynchronously and passes it the parameters selected by the user (currency names only, in our case). Note how we have to properly cast the parameters to the type expected by the web service (svcCurrencyConverter.Currency type in our case). The results of this asynchronous invocation are returned to the application and are processed within the subscription code just created within the MainPage() constructor code.

With the web service wired up and the data coming back through the Rx.NET subscription to the application, the backbone of our application is complete. Now, we have to introduce navigation between different pages of the application.

3. Adding Page-to-Page Navigation

In the "Building the User Interface" section, you created three separate pages that make up the application. However, in the application's present state, only a single (MainPage.xaml) page is available during runtime. In this section, you will review navigation between pages in the Windows Phone 7 application.

The envisioned flow of the application is that a separate "More Stuff" page is available to users with full licenses; users with trial licenses should see an "Upgrade" page that prompts them to upgrade. Navigating between pages in Windows Phone 7 is similar to navigating between web pages: you can use the same NavigationService.Navigate method and pass it the name of the XAMLpage within the application to navigate to. This is exactly what you'll do in the Currency Converter application.

  1. With the Currency Converter application open, double-click the More Stuff button and make the btnMoreOptions_Click method look like the one here:

    private void btnMoreOptions_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    //use Microsoft implementation of LicenseInformation class
    var lic = new LicenseInformation();

    if (lic.IsTrial() == true)
    NavigationService.Navigate(new Uri("/Upgrade.xaml",
    NavigationService.Navigate(new Uri("/MoreStuff.xaml?rate=" +
    dblRate.ToString() + "&total=" + txtAmountToConvert.Text,

Notice how this method uses the IsTrial method to check whether an application is executing under a trial or full license, and then it uses the NavigationService.Navigate method to display the Upgrade.xaml page if IsTrial returns true, and it displays the MoreStuff.xaml page if IsTrial returns false. Note that when you navigate to the MoreStuff.xaml page, you also pass two parameters to that page. One way of passing parameters on Windows Phone 7 is identical to parameter passing on the Web—here, you included our parameters for currency rate and amount as part of the URL. Parameters start after the name of the page, MoreStuff.xaml, are prefixed by the "?" symbol, and are separated from each other by the "&" symbol.

Passing parameters is not enough in itself; an application must know how to properly process those parameters.

  1. Open MoreStuff.xaml in the code view and add the following method to receive parameters and assign them to global variables:

    protected override void OnNavigatedTo(System.Windows.Navigation.NavigationEventArgs e)
    string strExchgRate = "";
    string strTotalToConvert = "";

    if (NavigationContext.QueryString.TryGetValue("rate", out strExchgRate))
    dblExchgRate = Convert.ToDouble(strExchgRate);

    if (NavigationContext.QueryString.TryGetValue("total", out strTotalToConvert))
    decTotalToConvert = Convert.ToDecimal(strTotalToConvert);


    To make the foregoing code work, we must add the following two module-level variables to the
    MoreStuff.xaml.csde file:
    Double dblExchgRate;
    Decimal decTotalToConvert;

What's left is to add navigation to the other pages within the application.

  1. Open MoreStuff.xaml in design view, double-click the Back to Main button, and make that button click event handler look like the following:

    private void btnBackToMain_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    NavigationService.Navigate(new Uri("/MainPage.xaml",

  2. Open Upgrade.xaml in Design view, double-click the Back to Main button, and make that button click event handler look like this:

    private void btnGoBack_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)

Note the different navigation implementation in this case: you are simply using the code to go to the previous page within the application instead of navigating to the specific page.

At this point, application navigation is complete. You are ready to make sure that the trial version of the application does not allow access to the "More Stuff" page.

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