Track Travels and Tune-Ups on your Windows Phone | Guest blog by David Garcia

The purpose of the Vehicle Log application is to keep track of fuel usage and service records. I wanted to build an application that would make the information easy to capture, as well as bring the data to life by allowing the user to see the information in various ways. However, creating that type of functionality from scratch usually takes too much time and effort, so I never bothered to get started.

One day I was browsing the DVLUP website and saw a Syncfusion challenge, which led me to research Essential Studio for Windows Phone. I found that the suite contained charting and data grid controls, as well as an Excel export functionality that would be perfect for my app.

After reading the documentation, I decided Essential Studio for Windows Phone would be easy enough to implement, so I got started. The information Vehicle Log captures is pretty ordinary. Basically, each record consists of a date, odometer reading, cost, and what took place, such as a fuel fill-up or oil change. Here's how I used Essential Studio for Windows Phone to make the data useful and easy to find.

Data Grid

The data grid control is extremely simple to use. All I had to do was bind my data using the ItemsSource property and voilà, there was my grid. I used AllowSorting=“True” to set up ascending and descending columns. Setting other features such as dragging, resizing, and freezing columns is just as easy. These features made it easy for me to allow users to find their last oil change or when they last rotated their tires.

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Vehicle Data in Data Grid

Chart Control

I followed the samples in the documentation to chart the monthly service and fuel costs for up to four vehicles. Each axis, color, and legend was customizable.

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Vehicle Data in Chart

Export to Excel

I used this functionality to export user data to Excel. The data is exported and opens a spreadsheet on the user's phone. The user can decide whether to save the spreadsheet, and the destination for the saved file (the device, OneDrive, etc.).

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Vehicle Data in Excel

It took me approximately three weeks to complete my Vehicle Log application, but without Essential Studio for Windows Phone, it would not have been possible in such a short time frame. The added functionality provides a great user experience, and I will definitely integrate the controls into my other projects.

David Garcia is an independent software developer and builds mobile apps during his free time. He focuses on building apps that make some small piece of everyday life easier. Check out his Windows Phone Store profile to see more of his work.

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