Xamarin Adds SAP Mobile to Cross-Platform Stable

Xamarin Inc. last week added support for the SAP Mobile Platform to its stable of cross-platform mobile development tools.

Xamarin lets developers target iOS, Android, Mac and Windows devices with native apps developed from a single C# code base. Its tools include a standalone Xamarin Studio IDE and add-ins for Microsoft Visual Studio. It was founded in 2011 by Miguel de Icaza, stemming from his work with the open source implementation of the Microsoft .NET Framework called the Mono Project.

The company will partner with SAP America Inc. to help developers more easily and quickly build cross-platform apps that integrate with enterprise software vendor SAP's mobile solutions and other data sources. This will give end users "increased access to the data and processes that power their business," the companies said. Four immediate initiatives were announced at the Mobile World Congress 2014 conference in Barcelona last week.

As part of the collaboration, a jointly developed SDK was announced, providing a native .NET interface to the SAP platform.

"Developers can easily authenticate against SAP Mobile Platform endpoints and use native C# objects to access their SAP business objects directly," the companies said in a statement. "Full data-access capabilities and LINQ support are included." Future planned enhancements to the SDK include integrated offline functionality, SAP Single Sign On authentication and support for Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 apps.

Xamarin also added data verification capabilities to its "test cloud," which debuted last year, so developers can test to make sure apps are integrating properly with SAP systems and data.

"Tests can run on the mobile app''s UI, and then verify the back-end data in SAP automatically," Xamarin said in a blog post. "In this way, a mobile application's front-end and back-end functionality can be simultaneously tested to ensure stability and data integrity."

Xamarin also announced a certified consultant program to establish expert resources and identify consulting firms to aid the joint development efforts.

Finally, the Xamarin University training program added a course and curriculum to help developers follow best practices when they build the integrated apps.

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David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.