API Mapping Tool Bridges Development Gap Between Windows Phone 7 and Android

Microsoft yesterday released an API mapping tool for Android developers. This looks to be an effort from the company to support development of applications for Windows Phone 7. The tool enables developers to look up Android API calls and find "the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7," according to Windows Team Blog post. Developers can also find sample C# code and API documentation relating to specific Android API calls.

"With the API Mapping tools, Microsoft is making it easier for smartphone developers to extend the reach of their applications to the Windows Phone platform," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email.

Microsoft in April previously released API mapping tools for Apple iOS developers. The tools provide the same API lookup and mapping functionality provided by the Android tools released today.

"For the iOS to ol, we started with three popular categories (Network/Internet, User Interface and Data Management) and mapped them to Windows Phone 7 API," wrote Jean-Christophe Cimetiere, a senior technical evangelist for interoperability at Microsoft, in an email interview. "For Android, the initial mapping covers the same set of categories [as] for iOS, and also includes mapping at the Java language level (type system, XML)."

Cimetiere wrote that Microsoft expects to continue to update the API Mapping tool. "Our next step is to include guidance for Mango controls [in] the API Mapping tool," he wrote, adding that the update is "planned for this summer." Support for additional platforms, such as Symbian, is currently not planned.

Additional support for developers looking to port applications to Windows Phone 7 can be found at Microsoft’s Windows Phone Interoperability site, which provides whitepapers, case studies and developer insights. The site also aggregates forum discussions relevant to Windows Phone 7 development, drawn from sources such as Stackoverflow and the MSDN Windows Phone 7 community forums. Called "App Guy," the service pulls porting-related discussions from these forums and surfaces them on the Windows Phone Interoperability site.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.