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Xamarin – Cost Effective Approach to Enterprise Mobile App Development

The growing trend of mobile apps has forced the enterprises to follow more effective approaches towards mobile app development. A mobile app can be developed using different development approaches. Every business wants the users to access their on-the-go services and this definitely accelerates the growth of the business in enterprises. Employees are expecting advanced tools that will stay available with their laptops, smartphones, etc.

It is a big challenge to build mobile apps for companies that are non-technology based. It is important for the apps to work on cross platforms and to enhance the business of mobile apps; the app needs to run on every platform. Independent app development needs an ideal strategy that will work on all platforms.

Steps to make the enterprise mobile app on to the user’s mobile device

Type of app

Deciding on the type of app is the first step in creating an enterprise mobile app. There are basically 3 types of app

* Native apps

* Web apps

* Hybrid apps

Native apps are those apps that can be run directly on the user’s device. Examples of such apps include GPS, camera, etc.

Web apps are those apps that are based on HTML and JavaScript libraries. These apps need a web browser to run. Web apps are available in millions.

Hybrid apps involve the basic features of both the native and the web apps.

Framework for development

The next step in building an enterprise app is to decide on the development framework. The main focus of building an enterprise app is that it should run on multiple platforms, rather than on a single platform. Xamarin is new and is becoming the top development platforms nowadays. Xamarin apps can be built upon multiple platforms and can be tested on thousands of devices as well. This is the biggest advantage of using Xamarin platform for your mobile apps.

Back-end service

There are certain back-end services that need to be there in mobiles. They are a vital part of a mobile development, but hard to build as well. There are a number of back-end services required like push notifications, cloud storage, etc.

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin has all the code that a C# developer needs to write for a mobile app for any platform. It is basically a framework for cross platform mobile app development in C#. The framework offers full access to all the SDKs and UI creation mechanism for creating a great mobile app.

The main idea behind Xamarin is to create mobile apps using the regular development of JavaScript libraries like JQuery Mobile.

Xamarin is an open source implementation of .Net called Mono. The main components of Xamarin are:

  • C# compiler

  • .Net libraries

  • Development environment

Xamarin uses native UI development mechanisms for each of the platforms. Xamarin components are the third party components of Xamarin. These components are available in the Xamarin IDE and are developed by the Xamarin developers and the 3rd party developers as well.

The mobile app developers are switching to Xamarin as it saves the development and the maintenance costs.

Why Xamarin?

Developing mobile apps using Xamarin have a number of advantages.

Native user interface controls – apps developed with native user interface controls

Low maintenance costs – Existing teams and code can be used

No learning required – C# is the only language used in Xamarin

Automatic testing of apps available – Complete error reporting available

Fast development – Code can be shared across different platforms

Visual Studio IDE – Xamarin apps can be developed using Visual Studio as well

Code maintenance – it is simple and easy as compared to other platforms

Compiled code – compiled code is the output of Xamarin code

Future centric apps – Xamarin. Glass support for Google Glass

Cloud integrations – cloud integrations are possible with Xamarin

.Net class libraries — .Net class libraries are available to the developer with a deep integration with Visual Studio

Secure – secure and scalable back-end support

A modern programming language is used in Xamarin and the mobile apps can be developed for all the major platforms. This has made Xamarin so popular among developers for creating enterprise mobile apps.

Why mobile app development with Xamarin?

Let’s discuss the advantages of Xamarin for enterprise mobile app development in detail.

Better performance

Standard native user interface controls are being used for Xamarin apps. The main advantage of Xamarin is that the form UI is translated into the respective native control.

The developer is able to create great apps and the apps behave as expected with great performance. Xamarin is the platform of today and most of the businesses are focusing towards creating amazing mobile apps with it.

Advanced test cloud

The biggest advantage of using Xamarin for the mobile apps is that the mobile app can be tested on thousands of devices which are not at all possible with other development platforms.

The devices for testing can be selected based on operating system, manufacturer, etc. This depends on the developer of the app that how the app should be tested in different environments.

The apps can be tested using real scenarios like how the user will use the app. This allows the testing teams to better understand the app and they can test the app continuously as well.

Audit capability

The developer can enjoy the audit capabilities as well by using Xamarin. Issues can be reported easily for any kind of bugs, errors and crashes. User monitoring and sessions are another best way to monitor the app more closely.

There is a number of security measures followed in the Xamarin apps and this ensures a solid control over the apps. .Net managed exceptions can also be used in Xamarin apps.

Shared code

Xamarin allows the developers to share around 80% of the code across platforms like Android, iOS, etc. This ensures quick development of the mobile apps as well. Even the Non-UI code can also be shared across platforms. This is one of the biggest advantages of using Xamarin.

Same APIs and same language can be used in all the platforms. The API usage can also be monitored and virtualized as well.

Standards based

Xamarin is open and standard based as well. Third party tools can easily integrate with the Xamarin apps. It has full support for multiple languages like OAuth, .Net, SAML, etc. Complete language support makes Xamarin, one of the most widely used development platform today.

Future of Xamarin

With thousands of cross platform developers and top developer firms depending on Xamarin the future of this development framework is very bright. The company is focused on expanding the training and tooling. There will be a couple of areas in Xamarin where changes will be seen in the coming years. Developers will be able to develop, build and test more quickly than now. The market presence of Xamarin is increasing at a steady pace. The company is looking to improve the Xamarin products more and they are looking for more acquisitions as well.

The native metaphor is an added advantage for Xamarin. Xamarin Forms labs will also see a growth in the coming few years. Recently, the community has added 20 new controls and they support all major platforms.

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