Building a BKV schedule application on Windows Phone platform

OData support
Albert István
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

The Budapest Transport Centre (hereafter referred to as BKK) makes publicly available its schedule database in General Transit Feed Specification format, which enables developers to create a schedule application based on it. When I started working on this paper an application which makes these data offline available on Windows Phone 7 was not yet available, however an application like that would definitely be useful for many people.

The application downloads the database from the servers of BKK onto the phone, processes it locally, and then allows the user to access the schedule data in an easy to use way. In addition to the basic function, i.e. browsing the departure times of routes from different stops, the application also provides extra features, such as managing favorites, locating nearby stops with the help of GPS, and route planning. Apart from downloading the database and functions that use a map the application does not require a data connection so it can be used in cases where the user cannot access the internet.

This paper describes the Windows Phone 7 platform, including the design language that defines the appearance of the operating system and the applications on the platform. Then the development of the application is presented which covers in detail some solution that is relevant when developing for Windows Phone.

After the paper describes the General Transit Feed Specification two solutions are presented to store the schedule data on the phone. The first one uses the SQL Server CE database provided by the platform, while the second solution is a self-made, file-based database developed specifically for the application. The two solutions then are compared with the help of a test application. At the end of the paper route planning based on the schedule data is described.


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