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Microsoft DevRadio: Developing for Windows 8 in 1/2 the Time – Building Apps with Xamarin

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Abstract:
Michael Palermo welcomes Mike Bluestein to today’s show as they discuss how you can easily create cross-platform apps in C# with the help of Xamarin. Tune in as they discuss the benefits to using Xamarin as well as how you get started today.

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  • GazinhioGazinhio

    Xamarin is cool, no doubt, but it's ridiculously expensive at $999 per platform, per developer, per year. That's waaaaayyy too rich for our small shop. I recently read about and am looking at RemObjects C# which is a new competitor and does the same thing ie VS integration, develop natively for iOS, Android, Windows Phone/WinRT etc and MacOSX. Their pricing is much more realistic at $699 for ALL platforms/per developer. They take a different approach to Xamarin as they use C# to code directly against the native framework on each platform rather than always working through .NET or Mono. Take a look at them if you're interested www.remobjects.com/cs - I have no affiliation to them btw. Miguel De Icaza, Xamarin's CTO, tried to knock RemObjects C# publicly on Twitter within days of them launching and started a spat with RemObjects' CEO Marc Hoffman. I thought it showed a lack of class on Miguel's part and he should be more confident in his own product than to use such tactics but it showed he and Xamarin are rattled about the new player in the game.

  • no. I haven't watched the video.

    but given the cost (as cited previously) I fail to see why i'd use Xamarin to write anything other than ios/android apps. MVVM provides just as much cross-platform compatibility wholly w/in the c# framework w/o the need for 3rd party tools or purchases...

    now to watch the video....

  • Niels HilmarNiels Hilmar

    Xamarin have multiple tools from free to $1899 - like most developer tools providers:
    https://store.xamarin.com/

  • InfinitiInfiniti

    I just took the Xamarin Course which for a newbie was pretty intense...

    Competition is always good. Like anything in life you get out of it what you put into it. The $999/platform/year is for VS development. Xamarin's interface which works on the PC/Mac believe it or not was the program most of the instructors used...

    Now if you are a large shop using TFS, lost unit testing, established repositories,Web services and other enterprise tools, then VS is the only way to go. If you are a smaller shop that necessity doesn't exist as much.

    Bottom line, use what ever tool best fits your needs and gets the job dine...

  • CharlieCharlie

    IFF you are developing native apps for both android and iOS, AND you want integration with VS 2013, THEN Xamarin allows you to become an order of magnitude more productive. 1) Installed flawlessly, 2) worked exactly correctly on an attached Android device the FIRST time I created a project and clicked the run button in VS. I personally used Eclipse and the ADT for 2 years. Trust me - this is AWESOME! Android development is stupidly complex without Xamarin. The iOS build server integration with VS 2013 is pretty nice. Apple XCode is horrible. So could by own personal dev company afford it? - No. Can the company I work for full time afford it? - Yes. And there is a discount if you already have MSDN.

  • DustinDustin

    I'd like to comment on the complaints about the cost of the Xamarin tools. The one thing most people don't take into account is the opportunity cost of not using a tool. Leaving the actual merits of Xamarin aside, at $1K/platform/developer/year you are looking at around $2k for your Xamarin tools. When compared to free tools like XCode and IntelliJ that can seem a bit steep. But the whole idea is that you get to share code between all of your platforms, in other words you should save time both in development and in maintenance. I don't know what everyone else charges as a consulting rate but you shouldn't have to save too many hours of development until you are cash positive on this deal. Some simple math: if you charge $60/hr for development you would only need to find a way to have Xamarin save you around 33 hours of work before you broke even. Unless you are building Hello World on all platforms I think there's a good chance you save at least 10 times that many hours. I think it's wise not to think of it in terms of initial cost, but rather in terms of opportunity. It's like a carpenter shunning a nail gun because it's way more expensive than a hammer. Another point of rhetoric: if you don't plan to make at least $2K with your software project, is it really worth your time? I like free as much as the next guy but, all things considered, I still think it's a great deal.

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