• Achieve new heights in .Net cross-platform development with Xamarin Jun 17, 2016
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    Most modern development projects are dealing with numerous endpoints that they must target. It was just some time back we required a Windows Forms app, a set of Web pages along with some WAP in case you’re determined. Post that there were mobile apps and all of a sudden we needed to produce native endpoint code for iPhones, iPads, Windows Phones, Android phones and a lot more – it was more of an outburst of code and never-ending collection of development tools.

    Speedy and efficient, native apps accessed key device features in a manner that Web apps could never do. However in case you are building an application in C# for Windows devices, in Objective-C for iOS and in Java for Android, you can share a little among various versions of your code, other than graphical assets.

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    No wonder you could have built a hybrid HTML5 app with the use of tools such as Apache Cordova, wrap HTML and JavaScript in a native runtime. However, there is an alternative approach as well: Xamarin’s cross-platform native development tooling, useful in building on the open source Mono implementation of Microsoft’s Net framework.

    You can use Mono and now open .Net, Xamarin delivers a cross-platform development environment using its own IDE or a Visual Studio plug-in. Here we write the code in C# or F# and it’s then quickly shared around all applications supporting Microsoft’s portable class libraries.

    Well, as you build code with use of Xamarin’s tooling, it’s a lot like you build any application in any development environment. Writing code is easier as well as compiling and delivery it for testing devices prior to deployment. An entire set of test hardware is not essential here: Xamarin platform offers cloud-hosted test service, allowing you debug code that runs on devices that Xamarin hosts. At present there are over 2,000 devices in the Test Cloud and you can easily work up your target device and OS combination.

    Now the latest release of Xamarin Forms has simplified development in a significant manner. When you don’t build a complex, custom user experience, you don’t require building an entirely native UI. In its place, Xamarin Forms charts common UI components to their native counterparts.

    The same code that runs on an iPhone, an Android device or a Windows Phone appears different on each platform. This way, users get a familiar look-and-feel sans having to move outside the familiar C# and XAML world. With most applications cashing on cloud back-end services, they use a language supporting asynchronous operations that’s quite important. Xamarin comprise of full support for the async and await keywords in C#, allowing you instantly take existing calls and use them to work asynchronously. You just require writing your methods as normal as treat them as assurance that performs well. In case an asynchronous method is blocked, it hands back power to the calling method. This way it allows work not depending on the asynchronous call to persist as the system is waiting for a response.

    You can easily start with Xamarin’s tooling. A free starter edition brings in the vital concepts, letting you build simple, small applications used to try ideas prior to investing in the fully-featured subscription services. Various features such as integration with Visual Studio need higher tiers even though all are using Xamarin’s own cross-platform Studio IDE.

    This way they get a set of tools and services familiar to .Net developers and that delivers on the promise of cross-platform development.

    Hope this guide helps you in gaining the right approach you need to have while using Xamarin for .Net cross-platform development. In case of Microsoft developers, who are well-versed with Xamarin, it enables them deliver on the promise of cross-platform coding, inclusive of a cloud-hosted test service comprising of 2,000 devices.
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