Xamarin 3D Questions and Answers (belated)

As promised, here are some answers to the questions raised at the “Xamarin 3D” meetup back in May. If you have more questions please feel free to contact me via Meetup or at @dotNetMike.

My apologies for not posting this much sooner… Kunjan is my witness that I emailed this reply to him the day after the presentation back in May (though I’ve updated the TFS question this morning since I have more info). I plan to completely re-do this talk with an emphasis on demonstrating everything I’m covering rather than just saying “Trust me, it’s cool and you can do it.”

Questions and Answers

Q. Can I developing Windows Mobile apps on a Macintosh?
A. No. You’ll either need a Windows VM on your machine (or an Azure VM to which you can remote?) or an actual Windows machine for this.

Q. What is the C++ interop story for Xamarin?
A. I’m linking to two articles, one which addresses building and debugging C++ libraries in Xamarin.Android with Visual Studio, and another which discusses using Visual C++ for cross-platform mobile development. Mac: I’m not sure if, in aggregate, this answers your question. If I understood it correctly, you were curious whether you can write both an Android and iOS app from the same IDE. While these articles don’t specifically say yes to this, I’m going to dig deeper on the Xamarin forums and see if I can make contact with someone engineers at Xamarin who can answer this question completely.

Link: https://blog.xamarin.com/build-and-debug-c-libraries-in-xamarin-android-apps-with-visual-studio-2015/
Link: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn707591.aspx

Q. How much of the CI/CD pipeline can I do with on premises TFS?
A. Per a friend of mine who is a TFS expert: TFS on prem can do what VSTS can do. For local iOS builds you’ll need a Mac for hosting an iOS build process but TFS can connect to it and everything should Just Work.

Other Notes and Links

I mentioned Calabash as an alternative tool for creating tests for use locally or in the Xamarin Test Cloud. More information about Calabash can be found at: http://calaba.sh/

The videos that didn’t play:

The first was a section from the HockeyApp & DevOps talk at Xamarin Evolve, specifically the portion of the video which addressed the annotation and user feedback features of HockeyApp:

The second video is a later section of that same presentation which dealt with setting up automated (or manual, if you prefer) distribution pipelines such that an app could be auto-published to the app stores after passing tests and getting required authorizations from managers and testers:

I highly recommend watching the whole video as it really does a good job covering the DevOps/CI/CD story that is possible with the Xamarin & Microsoft (VSTS) tool chains:

Last is this two and a quarter minute high-level overview of the features of HockeyApp… short enough to be digest-able by most managers: