One of the best ways for me to learn something is to experiment, play, or interact with it. Thanks to Microsoft’s interactive SDKs, I now have more tools for learning how to work with their products.

Just recently, I was introduced to the Virtual Earth Interactive SDK. I’ve got a project at work that is letting me play with Virtual Earth, and after my CTO recommended the Interactive SDK, I’ve had a lot more time to play and explore. It’s neat to see the things that can be done and just how to code them. From showing a particular map to getting multi-point routes to even getting the center of the map’s coordinates, there’s a lot of things that you can do with Virtual Earth. The Interactive SDK is nice because it allows you to perform the action on a “Show Me” tab, yet if you want to see the code on how to do it, that’s available to you on the “Source Code” tab. The “Reference” tabs shows the MSDN information for whatever you are viewing. Finally, the “Learn More” tab has links to other resources that might be used with Virtual Earth. If you ever wanted to play with Virtual Earth and Javascript, definitely check out the Interactive SDK.

So after seeing this, I was curious to see what other interactive SDKs Microsoft has put out there for us. In addition to Virtual Earth, I’ve found interactive SDKs for:

I hope to see more of these interactive SDKs out there as they introduce more web products. Although MSDN pages are great as references, I find it more valuable to be able to go through the action and then see the equivalent code. These interactive SDKs really work well for those of us who prefer the hands-on approach to learning.

And these interactive SDKs aren’t the only neat things I’ve been playing with in the Live realm. Ever since I got called out for using that other search engine that starts with a “G” in the presence of the Microsofties, I’ve switched to Live Search to give it a fair chance. In the process, I’ve also found other Live tools to use, so don’t be surprised if my next few posts get into some of the cool things I’ve found.