Visual Studio Now Supports Cross-Platform Mobile Development with Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova, the open source, multi-device mobile development platform, is now part of Microsoft's flagship development IDE, Visual Studio.
The news was the latest result of the Redmond software giant's efforts to open up and embrace other development technologies through its Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. subsidiary. "MS Open Tech contributed Windows device support to the Apache Cordova project, and is now also contributing to existing popular plugins as well as bringing new cross platform plugins to the community such as the WebSQL plugin for Cordova," said Olivier Bloch in a blog post yesterday.
Before becoming open source, Cordova was known as PhoneGap, and that product is still maintained by Adobe Systems Inc.
The new Apache Cordova tooling provides developers with Visual Studio code editing features such as IntelliSense and syntax highlighting. A Debug and Launch menu lets coders preview and test apps via the popular Apache Ripple
simulator, a local emulator or an actual physical device hooked up to the dev machine.
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Microsoft positioned the new Multi-Device Hybrid Apps extension as a complement to the recently announced Visual Studio support of Xamarin, another cross-platform dev tool that lets developers target iOS, Android and Windows OSes with C# code.
"Whether you want the flexibility of native apps powered by .NET and Xamarin, or the standards-based development provided by the Apache Cordova platform, Visual Studio will support your choice with an amazing development experience," said Somasegar.
The new tooling preview was welcomed by Jesse MacFadyen of Adobe, a core Apache contributor. "It is very exciting not only to welcome Visual Studio developers, but also to welcome first class tools to Apache Cordova," MacFadyen said. "This development is a great validation of the hard work of the MS Open Tech team and Apache Cordova contributors. We look forward to continuing this cool work with Microsoft's developers."
For more on the new tooling, other Visual Studio enhancements in Update 2 and other TechEd news, see Keith Ward's article on the Visual Studio Magazine site.
David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.