If you missed Microsoft's Connect():// 2016 Virtual Developers Conference last month you can still catch up on the three days worth of content through the conferences website.
In this post, I want to bring your attention to the six sessions conducted during that conference that give you more than 7 hours of training for the updated Xamarin tools that were released in conjunction with Connect():// 2016.
These six on demand videos will take you from an introduction to Xamarin all the way to distributing your apps and if you are a mobile developer learning Xamarin could be a big boost to your efforts because it is a cross platform development tool for Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile. That will allow you to use much of the same code for all three platforms and result in a significant time savings.
Here are those six sessions with their Channel 9 descriptions:
This session provides a quick introduction to the Xamarin tools for Visual Studio. It will show you what you need to develop, debug, deploy and publish applications for iOS and Android using Visual Studio 2015 or Visual Studio 2017 RC with the Xamarin tools installed.
In this session, we will dive into Xamarin.Forms, a cross-platform UI framework that allows you to create native UIs for iOS, Android and Windows with shared code. By the end of this session, you will have a good understanding of how Xamarin.Forms works, how to design basic pages, and how to share code with Portal Class Libraries or Shared Projects. Finally, we will begin a new project – a Trivia app, which will be completed throughout the remainder of the sessions.
Xamarin.Forms supports the use of the XAML markup language to design your UI. In this session, we will cover the basics of the XAML language, design a few more screens for our trivia application, and explore some best practices when using XAML with your mobile applications and Xamarin.Forms.
Now that the main pieces of the trivia application are in place, we will explore adding a server backend to our mobile application using Azure App services. This session will show you how quick and easy it is to add a cloud-based database which is synchronized to your application, allowing you to change the data that drives your application without publishing a new version of the application each time.
We all know that we need to test our applications thoroughly to ensure quality – and this is particularly important in the mobile world where a few bad reviews can kill your sales on the various app stores! In this session, we will test our trivia application using Xamarin.UITest and Xamarin TestCloud. These tools allow you to define the behavior of your application and then automate the application on simulators and physical devices to validate the expected behavior. To ensure we try our app on every possible variation, we will push our tests up to the cloud where we can run it across hundreds of real devices and get back a comprehensive report of any failures.
In this final session, we will get ready to distribute our trivia application to the world – starting with some beta testers. We will look at two different systems – first, HockeyApp which allows us to monitor and collect runtime analytics from our application as it runs on all our beta testers devices. Then, we will take a quick look at Visual Studio Mobile Center, announced at Connect(); which brings a lot of the mobile platform systems we looked at over the course of the day together.