Visual Studio Toolbox
Cross-platform software development has appear a continued way. Here’s a assembly of tools, templates and plug-ins for .NET coding that targets Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS — alike Raspberry Pi and Lego.
Cross-platform appliance development with absolute cipher re-use was a longtime dream for abounding developers. Java was one of the first. And arguably HTML-based Web apps action astute cross-platform targeting, either anon through the browser or built-in Web-view appliance containers.
Mono is the third — and conceivably best important — cross-platform, built-in cipher development belvedere for Windows, Android, iOS, Linux and Mac OS X to be developed so far. Mono provides an accessible source, standards-compliant .NET Framework-compatible compiler, runtime and accoutrement for autograph built-in apps in C#.
It’s adamantine to accept the Mono activity is 15 years old now. While architect Miguel de Icaza charcoal with the project, it’s had a few accumulated sponsors over the years including the aboriginal Ximian, Novell, Attachmate, Xamarin and now Microsoft.
While accoutrement and belvedere development continues beneath the Xamarin banner, Microsoft acquired Xamarin beforehand this year and the basal Mono belvedere has been rereleased beneath the MIT license.
Today you can still download Mono anon and use the MonoDevelop IDE if you like. Some of the platform-specific projects like the monomac bindings to actualize Mac OS X applications with Mono are additionally still available, but development efforts accept confused to added “modern” tooling. (There’s some actual accessible altercation of the history and development cachet of the earlier applique in the answers to the StackOverflow question, “Is MonoMac deprecated?”)
Going forward, the Xamarin/Microsoft accoutrement are the way to go. The Xamarin SDK now ships with all versions of Visual Studio 2015. Xamarin Belvedere is the set of accoutrement and libraries for developing cross-platform software. It includes Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS for developing Android and iOS software (including Apple Watch), respectively. Xamarin.Mac replaces monomac for creating built-in Mac OS X software. All three action absolute affinity with the ambition belvedere food (Google Play and Apple App Store).
As a development environment, you can use either Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio. There are chargeless licenses for Xamarin Studio Community and Visual Studio Community. Contact Xamarin for capacity on Visual Studio Professional and Action licensing. In accession to the development tools, additionally analysis out Xamarin Test Cloud for automatic adaptable app testing and HockeyApp, which provides app administration for beta testing, blast reports, metrics, and more.
There are abounding extensions, article collections, and added accoutrement to accomplish your assignment with Xamarin and Mono alike added productive, so let’s booty a attending at what’s out there.
Component Libraries and MoreControl and basal collections for Xamarin development are accessible from several vendors. Xamarin.Forms UI controls by Infragistics (included with Infragistics Ultimate, and a chargeless balloon is available) provides a accessible set of chart, gauge, and barcode controls that are abundant for creating dashboards and abstracts abduction applications.
Syncfusion Essential Studio for Xamarin includes 25 altered controls with adequation beyond Xamarin.Forms, Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android libraries. Ascendancy options accommodate calendars, charts, gauges, maps, ratings, Word and Excel viewers, and more. Syncfusion provides a chargeless balloon and Community Edition license, and you can authorization the absolute Essential Studio for Xamarin artefact on a per-developer or absolute basis.
Telerik UI for Xamarin provides 10 accessible controls for Xamarin.iOS (and hardly abate selections for Xamarin.Forms and Xamarin.Android) that accommodate controls including chart, list, calendar, drawer, gauge, datasource and dataform, and more. There’s a chargeless balloon download, and licenses are accessible for Xamarin.iOS or Xamarin.Android only, a cross-platform amalgamation that includes iOS, Android and Xamarin.Forms, or as allotment of the abounding Telerik DevCraft Ultimate suite.
Nevron offers controls for Mac OS X development through monomac and Xamarin.Mac in NOV for Mac OS X, allotment of the Nevron Accessible Vision for .NET apartment of controls. Mac controls accommodate grid, chart, gauge, diagram, schedule, barcode and affluent argument editor controls. You can download a 60-day balloon or acquirement licensing for Professional and Action editions of the NOV Accessible Vision suite.
Visual Studio Templates and ExtensionsYou’ll additionally acquisition a abundant alternative of activity templates, plug-ins, and added Visual Studio extensions for Xamarin and Mono development in the Visual Studio Gallery. Best of these are created by your adolescent developers and are free. Thank them if you acquisition the accoutrement useful.
For example, James Montemagno created the Xamarin.Android Templates Pack, which includes activity templates for a bare Android appliance (with abutment for Material Design with AppCompat) and a aeronautics drawer project. It additionally includes account templates for assorted card items, an adapter with account reuse, and a recycler appearance adapter. Montemagno additionally created a Plugin for Xamarin Templates addendum that helps you body your own constituent and account templates for Xamarin or Windows development. Cipher for both projects is hosted on GitHub if you appetite to accomplish a addition or abide an issue.
Xamarin Forms Templates, by picolyl, provides adapted versions of the absence Xamarin.Forms Visual Studio activity templates that accept been revised to abate the cardinal of errors at activity conception and to add some added templates with abutment for Android, iOS, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone and Universal Windows Belvedere (UWP) apps. Again, the activity is hosted on GitHub.
Xamarin.Forms Snippets, by Alessandro Del Sole, provides a set of accessible IntelliSense cipher snippets including cipher to appearance a modal message, change the ambition belvedere chantry admeasurement for controls that accept the FontSize property, an accomplishing of the IValueConverter interface to authenticate blazon about-face with abstracts binding, allotment a adeptness angel to Angel controls, and accepting a control’s instance by name. Cipher is on GitHub if you appetite to accord added snippets.
Cristian Chereches submitted a Xamarin Forms with MvvmCross Solution Arrangement for architecture Core, iOS, Android and UWP Xamarin.Forms projects application the MvvmCross framework. MvvmCross, by the way, is a .NET Framework-based framework for architecture cross-platform apps application the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern, if the name didn’t accord it away. This arrangement additionally includes absence UnitTest and UITest projects.
A accompanying addendum is the Ninja Coder For MvvmCross and Xamarin Forms constituent for Visual Studio. Ninja Coder provides a set of activity templates, wizards, preconfigured appearance models and added components, assemblage tests, and added that advice you actualize MvvmCross-based projects bound and efficiently, accepting the best out of the MvvmCross framework and philosophy.
If Ninja Coder is a bit too abundant for what you accept in mind, booty a attending at the MVVM Light Toolkit. Laurent Bugnion has a MVVM Light for VS2015 extension, as able-bodied as extensions for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013. MVVM Light is affectionate of a minimalist access to implementing the MVVM pattern, aimed at both new users of the arrangement and old easily who appetite to body their own projects up from a basal set of parts. The MVVM Light addendum for Visual Studio provides activity and account templates and cipher snippets for architecture Windows, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Phone, Silverlight, Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Forms projects.
EMDK for Xamarin is an absorbing set of accoutrement and templates for architecture action apps for Android-based accessories with Zebra’s Action Mobility Development Kit (EMDK) for Android. One of the key elements of EMDK is the adeptness to ascendancy accessory behavior and agreement through profiles, which is appealing important back you’re acknowledging ample fleets of devices. There are abundant samples and tutorials on the Zebra armpit to get you started.
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