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Latest news and updates from the PlayFab developers

by MarcoWilliams 2015-09-15

Virtual Office Hours and SDK Release Notes

When I first started working with PlayFab, it was as a customer — just your average game developer looking to integrate with this cool new toolset. Now that I’m working here as head of Developer Tools, it’s my goal to keep developer focus front of mind, and roll out the kind of SDKs and developer tools that exceed developer expectations. We’ve got lots of cool new stuff coming up, but I wanted to use my first blog post to highlight two in particular: Virtual Office Hours and SDK release notes.

 

SDK Versions and Release Notes

Let’s start with the SDKs, since that’s where most developers start. When you’re releasing new features as quickly as PlayFab is, there can sometimes be a gap between what’s available as an API and what’s in the SDK. And when developers run into bugs, the standard advice to “download the most recent SDK” isn’t always helpful if you’re not sure what that is.

So the first thing we’ve done to stabilize our SDKs is to version them. Now when you go to our SDK page, you’ll start to see version numbers for our SDKs, and thus will be able to tell instantly whether you’ve got the most recent one. And when Brendan or other developer success team members talk about bug fixes or other improvements in the forums, they can refer to specific SDK version numbers.

We’re now making SDK updates about once a week, and as of two weeks ago, we’re now publishing SDK release notes. These are different from the API release notes, as they refer specifically to changes and fixes made to the SDKs, including which of the newer APIs are now in the SDKs.

 

Virtual Office Hours Start Sept. 30

I’ll be hosting our first virtual office hours on Wed., Sept 30, at 10 a.m. PDT (that’s 5 p.m. UTC), and I hope you’ll join me on Google Hangout with your questions and success stories. We love hearing from our developers and want to add another option for communication beyond email and forums. Going forward, we’ll hold these at the same time every other week. Can’t make it? We’ll also post the video from these sessions online.

 

Coming Up: New SDKs and More

In addition to stabilizing and versioning our SDKs, we’re also working on the following new ones:

  • Java: We just posted a new Java SDK created by one of our customers, Nico Grundel, but we ultimately plan to have two flavors of our Java SDK: one straight-up Java and one for Android Studio, which is Google’s primary IDE for Android.

  • Lua: This will support Stingray, the game engine unveiled last month by Autodesk.

  • Python: We expect the primary purpose of this will be for studios that want to build their own admin tools for PlayFab, but it will support client calls as well.

  • Swift: Apple’s primary programming language for its ecosystem of iOS, tvOS, watchOS, etc.

As with all of our new features, the new SDKs will be prioritized based on customer requests, so if you feel strongly about one of these over the other, let us know in the forums.

We’re also working on updating all our developer documentation, and you should expect to see the first results of that in the coming weeks. By the end of the year, we’ll launch a major overhaul along with integrated code samples.

Finally, I want to introduce the rest of my team: Paul Gilmore is my fellow SDK guru and Zac Bragg is building a really great demo that you’ll hear more about very soon.