Understanding Xamarin - App development Framework for Cross Platform mobiles

19 Nov. 2019

Xamarin App Development

Image Source : instabug.com

While React Native has conquered the market of cross platform mobile app development, Flutter also is following suit. Yet another competitor which has gained momentum in this area is the Microsoft Xamarin app development framework.

Xamarin, initially developed by the company with the same name, was acquired by Microsoft in 2016.

Let us go through Xamarin architecture, its features and its benefits in this blog.

Basic Architecture of Xamarin App Development framework

-Xamarin, app development framework for mobiles, is an open-source platform that provides tools to build modern and interactive apps for various platforms like Android, iOS, Windows.

-Xamarin, uses C# as its primary language for writing the code. This single piece of code is shared and re-used across all platforms, that accesses the native SDK.

-Microsoft provides Xamarin as a free SDK within the Microsoft Visual Studio editor. Android, iOS and Windows apps can be directly created within this editor.

-For building the UI for different platforms, you can either use native UI building methods and then bind the UI with a common code (C#) or you can use the Xamarin.Forms that allows you to create UI for different platforms, all together, in XAML (C# as the underlying shared codebase).

-After creating the UI, it can be connected to the database using Portable Class Libraries, that convert the platform specific C# code to the common C# logic.
(as illustrated below)

Xamarin App Development architecture

Image source : thewindowsclub.com

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Features of Xamarin App Development framework

-Reduced Development Time and Cost
Microsoft Xamarin provides comprehensive cross platform functionalities wherein, a single codebase (C#) is shared and re-used across multiple platforms. It also offers easy integration of native SDKs (Java and Objective-C) within the framework. This helps in easier development and faster compilation, subsequently reducing the entire time frame and the cost overhead of the project.

-Easy access to iOS and Android libraries
Xamarin facilitates the access of native iOS and Android libraries, which can be taken advantage of by reusing already written code in Java, C, C++ libraries. By this way, combined features of Xamarin and native platforms can be included in the application.

-Usage of Microsoft Visual Studio
Microsoft Visual Studio, is an advanced IDE, which allows to directly create multiple apps for different platforms, in the editor itself. Visual Studio provides several integrated features such as source control, collection of class libraries, etc.

-Leveraging the benefits of C# and .NET libraries
Xamarin, by default, can use the C# and .NET libraries, that extend several built in characteristics like networking support, serialization etc. that help build a robust and dynamic app.

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Why to do Xamarin App Development?

Microsoft Xamarin gives the flexibility to program in native platform specific C# code to enable including native UI features, simultaneously also giving a platform to write a combined UI code, for multiple platforms. By using C#, which is a modern language with various language constructs, Xamarin simplifies the entire development process, while also providing a seamless user experience.

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