Every adaptable and desktop belvedere has its own technology stack, or stacks, that developers can use to body applications. It acclimated to be adequate to body an appliance for a distinct platform, or conceivably two, which meant acquirements and developing with the accoutrement was almost straightforward.
However, as the cardinal of ambition platforms grows, so does the amount of architecture applications that assignment on anniversary of the platforms. This is area cross-platform frameworks action the adeptness to body an appliance already and accept it ambition assorted platforms. In this commodity I’m activity to attending at Xamarin.Forms, a framework that sits on top of the cross-platform applique offered by Xamarin, and how it can be acclimated in affiliation with MvvmCross to rapidly advance applications for iOS, Android and Universal Windows Belvedere (UWP). Xamarin.Forms additionally supports MacOS, Tizen and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), giving it one of the widest ranges of platforms of any cross-platform framework.
The best way to authenticate how to get started with Xamarin.Forms and MvvmCross is to jump in and body out an application. In this case our appliance is activity to amount a accumulating of contacts into a list, and again acquiesce the user to baddest a acquaintance to appearance their details. We’ll get started by creating a new appliance based on the Adaptable App (Xamarin.Forms) activity template, apparent in Figure 1.
After giving the appliance a name, the aing prompt, Figure 2, will be to ascertain which appliance arrangement to use, which platforms to abutment and which cipher administration action to use. In this case we’ll go with the Blank App, back we’re activity to actualize the pages and aeronautics ourselves; we’ll baddest all three platforms and we’ll use the .NET Standard cipher administration strategy.
Before talking about the best of code-sharing strategy, let’s apprenticed attending at what Xamarin.Forms is. Xamarin, now allotment of Microsoft, articular that a ample admeasurement of applications actuality congenital would account from the blueprint actuality authentic already in a platform-agnostic way, with it actuality rendered on anniversary accurate platform. While it is accessible to ascertain the blueprint of your appliance in code, best Xamarin.Forms applications ascertain the blueprint of anniversary page, and controls, of an appliance appliance XAML. Unlike XAML acclimated for WPF or UWP applications, Xamarin.Forms XAML is belvedere agnostic, authoritative it absolute for allegorical blueprint in a abstracted library. The Cipher Administration Action defines area the XAML files, and their associated code-behind files, will be placed, either in a Shared Activity or in a .NET Standard library.
Just as a ancillary note, the Shared Activity should never be acclimated as it was originally created to acquiesce for aggregate administration of files amid projects such as amid a Windows 8 appliance and a Windows Phone 8 application. This is no best required. Instead, if you appetite to accommodate platform-specific functionality into a chic library, you should be attractive at appliance the new multi-targeting abutment provided by Visual Studio.
The anew created band-aid is fabricated up of four projects: three target, or head, projects that represent the three platforms that were alleged back creating the project, and a .NET Standard library that contains the XAML for the application, App.xaml, and the aboriginal folio of the application, MainPage.xaml. To accomplish abiding aggregate was created appropriately you should body and run anniversary of the ambition platforms to accomplish abiding they run after issue.
Like added XAML platforms, Xamarin.Forms supports databinding and the MVVM arrangement for abject up abstracts into the UI. Rather than autograph argumentation anon into the code-behind files (for example, MainPage.xaml.cs is the code-behind book for MainPage.xaml), MVVM prescribes the use of a ViewModel that is affiliated to the folio (that is, the View) appliance abstracts binding.
Rather than autumn our ViewModels in the aforementioned activity as the Views, we’re activity to actualize addition activity based on the Chic Library (.NET Standard) activity template, apparent in Figure 3. While pages and controls for Xamarin.Forms are authentic in a platform-agnostic way, there is still the annex on the Xamarin.Forms framework. By creating a abstracted activity in which to abode our ViewModels, we can actualize them in a way that doesn’t lock them into Xamarin.Forms. This is beneath about reusing the ViewModels beyond added frameworks, but it helps to accomplish a break of apropos and makes it easier to analysis the ViewModels.
After creating the new library, we charge to add a advertence to the library into anniversary of the four added projects, as illustrated in Figure 4.
Rather than manually creating instances of our ViewModel and abject them up to the agnate View, this is area we are activity to advantage MvvmCross, an appliance framework (rather than a belvedere framework) that helps abstruse the authoritative cipher of alignment an application, while bidding a bright break of apropos amid altered genitalia of your application.
Before we add a advertence to MvvmCross, we’ll accomplish abiding that all of the absolute NuGet amalgamation references accept been adapted to the latest abiding version. After accomplishing this we’ll add a advertence to MvvmCross.Forms, apparent in Figure 5 (don’t use the StarterPack as that was deprecated with v6 of MvvmCross). Add the advertence to MvvmCross.Forms to all projects except the chic library that we created for the ViewModels.
Next, go advanced and add a advertence to the MvvmCross amalgamation to all projects.
Before we can alpha architecture out our appliance there are a few added authoritative changes we charge to accomplish in adjustment to booty advantage of MvvmCross. We’ll alpha in the Core library by renaming Class1 to App and ambience it to accede from the MvxApplication class, as apparent in the afterward code:
At this date the role of the App chic is artlessly to ascertain what the access point is for the application. One of the better differences amid a boilerplate Xamarin.Forms app and one that uses MvvmCross is that with MvvmCross the aeronautics is controlled at a ViewModel level. This includes the starting point, which in this case we’re ambience to be the MainViewModel. By convention, MvvmCross will associated this with a Appearance alleged MainPage.
Currently MainViewModel doesn’t exist, so we’ll actualize a new binder alleged ViewModels and actualize a new class, MainViewModel, with the afterward code:
That’s it for the Core library. Aing we’ll attending at the library that contains the XAML. Currently there are two XAML files, App.xaml and MainPage.xaml. App.xaml is acclimated for captivation assets such as colors, brushes, styles, templates etc that will be acclimated beyond assorted pages of the application. As MvvmCross handles the majority of the appliance advanced startup logic, you can aish aggregate out of the cipher abaft file, App.xaml.cs, abrogation on the constructor, with a alarm to InitializeComponent (required in adjustment to anatomize the XAML absolute assets and so on):
There are a few added changes appropriate for the MainPage.xaml, but we’ll alpha by affective it into a anew created binder alleged Views. Next, we charge to change the abject chic of the MainPage from ContentPage to MvxContentPage. While we’re afterlight the XAML, we’ll additionally change the Label so that it is abstracts apprenticed to the WelcomeText acreage on our MainViewModel. Don’t balloon to amend the abject chic in both the XAML and the code-behind file, MainPage.xaml.cs:
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