Thursday, December 17, 2009

Codename “Dallas” Developer Portal Walkthrough

Updated 12/17/2009: Added screen capture of and link to downloadable code for the AP Online service proxy to the end of this post.

I received a developer token for Microsoft’s new data subscription service codename “Dallas” today, so I decided to create a walkthrough to demonstrate how Dallas is intended to be used:

1. Log in to the Microsoft Codename “Dallas” Developer Portal’s signup page ( with your Windows Live ID and click the link to request an invitation code by email (click images to open full-size, 1024-px screen captures):

2. Wait a day or two to receive a developer token GUID in mail from, return to the signup page, enter your token GUID, and click the Sign Up button to open the Codename “Dallas” home page:

3. Click the Dallas Developer Portal link to open the Account page (, also called the Dashboard, which will be your entry point henceforth:

You’ll need to download Microsoft PowerPivot from the link provided to take advantage of built-in analytics and reporting.

4. Click the Catalog link to display the subscription Catalog page. Only a few trial-offer data sources were available to “Subscribe” in mid-December 2009 when this post was written. Many more are marked “Coming Soon:”

5. Click a Subscribe link and agree to the data suppliers EULA to add a dataset to your Subscriptions page:

6. Click the Chick here to explore the dataset link to open the Dataset Explorer tool which offers Table, Atom 1.0, and Raw views of datasets that support these views. Select the Table button and click Preview to open a Table view of AP Online headlines for 12/16/2009:

Notice that you can download C# services classes for the dataset (see the updated step below).

7. Select Atom 1.0 and click Preview to display the dataset in ADO.NET Data Services’ Atom 1.0 format:

8. Select Raw and click Preview to display the dataset in its original form, a conventional Atom 1.0 feed in this instance:

Update 12/17/2009: 8. Click the Download C# service classes link to open the ServiceProxyClasses[1].cs file for the NewsByCategoryService in Visual Studio 2008/2010:

Click here to download a copy of the proxy class from Windows Live SkyDrive.

As other interesting data services come on line, I’ll post examples of their use.

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