Xamarin Adds SDK for Azure Mobile Compatibility

Xamarin, the company behind MonoTouch and Mono for Android -- frameworks that let .NET developers build apps for Android and iPhone -- has added a new client SDK that leverages Windows Azure Mobile Services for connecting to Microsoft's backend cloud offering.

A preview of the technology was just released on GitHub under a permissive open source software license, according to a Xamarin press release. Azure Mobile Services connects to backend services such as structured data storage, scalability, user authentication and push notifications, making the move to the cloud a streamlined process.

The Xamarin release details how some of the simplification can occur:

"The client framework takes advantage of your favorite C# features to simplify data storage and retrieval. For example, you can access your remote data with LINQ queries instead of crafting your own REST API calls. Instead of dealing with a schema and parsing database output, you use attributes to associate remote data fields with class properties."

The client SDK requires MonoTouch (iPhone) and Mono for Android (Android) to be installed on the target machine before downloading.

Microsoft has also put Azure Mobile Services on GitHub. Microsoft claims that 175,000 developers use Xamarin to build native Android and iPhone apps in C#. The timing is especially good for MonoTouch developers, as the iPhone 5 went on sale today.

Visual Studio Magazine has a monthly column dedicated exclusively to Mono for Android, featuring authors Wallace McClure and Greg Shackles.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.