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The FindMe project

, 27 Apr 2013 CPOL
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FindMe - My entry to the Azure Developer competition

Please note

This article is an entry in our Windows Azure Developer Challenge. Articles in this sub-section are not required to be full articles so care should be taken when voting. Create your free Azure Trial Account to Enter the Challenge.

Introduction

I’ve been building mobile solutions for a while now and always wanted to “connect” one up with a cloud type service like Azure, however there has always been other things to do places to be and basically a lot of things preventing me to just stop and take a serious look at it.

Now that is all to change, time to really get serious and put one of my ideas in to action.

Enter the FindMe solution

The basic premise of the project I’ve been outlining for some time now is to solve the basic problem people face while out exploring places (Local towns, countryside or shopping!) and want to meet up, how do they find each other especially if they don’t know the area.

The solution has to be mobile, support disconnected working but also be secure (you don’t want just anyone finding you, especially that Chuck Norris guy).

Sure you can call someone or specify a place to meet up or use the latest feature in most mobile solutions, the ability to send a map with your location on it but I wanted to go a lot further than that.

People should be able to:

  • Send and receive requests to “link-up”
  • Manage people they are connected with
  • Send a static location (I am here)
  • Stream their location (if they are on the move)
  • Send a reference point (a local shop or point on map)
  • Be able to view the other persons position on a map
  • Be able to view the other persons position through a lens
  • If need be have a real-time chat while on the move

There are a lot more ideas I have and tricky technical issues to face but Azure seems to satisfy most of them and with the wealth of resources available the challenge is not so great.

Background

The thing that got me started about this app was while I was out in town with the wife, she would go off in one direction and I another but eventually we would need to meet up again before heading off home (or for a coffee).

Similarly, most of my children now have phones and would be good to both keep an eye on them and enable them to find me should they become lost.

A last though is the usual scenario if you lose your phone, granted GPS signals are not THAT accurate but it would at least let you know if you had left it at home or not (or on the bus Big Grin | <img src= " /> )

High Level Overview

Taking a bird’s eye view, the initial plan for how the solution would be presented is as follows: 

 

Each component would be distinct and componentized  using whatever services Azure has to offer to provide the best performance and reliability for that component.

After viewing AzureConf I am already earmarking points of interest in:

  • Queue’s to reliably track and maintain a request system
  • A communication on the website using SignalR to allow IM / Chat
  • The Azure SDK’s for each platform
  • Digging deeper into Xamarin’s offerings to speed up client delivery 

Points of Interest

Since AzureConf I have already expanded my view of what is possible. 

My daughter has expressed a keen interest to get involved and help design some of the client applications that will use the service.

It is my hope that the backend will remain open to allow other apps / developers to make use of the framework but that is a secondary concern for now.

Once published the source for the entire solution will be made open source for any developer to use, I’m just that kind of guy Big Grin | <img src= " />

History

Just getting started, keep an eye here for highlights of interesting Azure tech that could prove useful in my goal.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Simon Jackson
Architect ZenithMoon Studios
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Long time game developer / IT maniac.
By day working as a lowly Technical Architect for a healthcare software firm, by night Masquerading as the Master Chief of ZenithMoon Studios.
 
At heart I'm a community developer breaking down lots of fun and curious technologies and bringing them to the masses.
 
I'm also a contributor to several open source projects, most notably the AdRotator advertising rotator project for Windows and Windows Phone.
 
After a hefty break with Windows Phone and Windows 8 I'm heading back to my XNA roots to show how beginners and current XNA devs can take their skills forward with XNA's bleak future.
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionHow'd You Create That Diagram? PinprotectorAspDotNetDev13-May-13 15:06 
AnswerRe: How'd You Create That Diagram? PinmemberSimon Jackson16-May-13 4:05 
GeneralRe: How'd You Create That Diagram? PinprotectorAspDotNetDev16-May-13 4:48 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberStuey B29-Apr-13 0:15 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberroscler27-Apr-13 13:40 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberSimon Jackson29-Apr-13 2:47 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 Pinmemberroscler29-Apr-13 4:08 
QuestionTypo in Overview Diagram Pinmemberroscler26-Apr-13 18:02 
AnswerRe: Typo in Overview Diagram PinmemberSimon Jackson26-Apr-13 23:17 
Thanks for that, submitted updated diagram.
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberL Hills25-Apr-13 4:21 
GeneralRe: My vote of 4 PinmemberSimon Jackson25-Apr-13 5:20 
GeneralRe: My vote of 4 PinmemberL Hills25-Apr-13 5:42 
GeneralRe: My vote of 4 PinmemberSimon Jackson25-Apr-13 7:07 

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