Feeds

Xamarin links mobile apps with Microsoft cloud services

Mono-based SDK for iOS and Android

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Xamarin, the mobile app dev company founded by the creators of the open source Mono project, have partnered with Microsoft to bring support for Windows Azure Mobile Services to apps that are running on Android and iOS devices.

Redmond announced its Mobile Services offering in August as a quick and easy way for mobile app developers to connect their apps with cloudy backend services without doing any server-side coding.

At the time, however, the only way to write a client-side app that used the services was to use Microsoft's Mobile Services SDK, which of course meant you had to develop on Windows using Visual Studio 2012.

Even worse, the version of the SDK that Redmond made available at the Mobile Services launch could only be used to build apps based on the WinRT framework – that is, Metro-style Windows Store apps that run in Windows 8's new Start Screen UI. Not much of a user base for those, as yet.

Microsoft said it would eventually release SDKs that work with additional platforms, including Windows Phone 8, Android, iOS, and "others". What it didn't say is that it would rely on Xamarin and Mono to do it.

Xamarin co-founder Miguel De Icaza originally developed Mono – an open source implementation of Microsoft's .Net platform – while an employee at Novell. When Attachmate shut down the Mono division after acquiring Novell in 2011, however, De Icaza resurrected it as a new company, Xamarin.

Since then, Xamarin has focused mainly on using the Mono technology as a means to enable cross-platform mobile app development. While the Mono work has always been done with Microsoft's tacit approval, however, Xamarin's tools for Windows Azure Mobile Services mark a new milestone in the company's relationship with Redmond.

"While we have long enjoyed a productive relationship with Microsoft, we are excited to collaborating with Microsoft at a new level and to help Windows Azure Mobile Services and Microsoft reach additional platforms," a Xamarin rep wrote in the company's official blog on Thursday.

Xamarin's new client SDK allows developers to access the data storage and authentication features of Windows Azure Mobile Services from Mono-based applications in the same way they would using Microsoft's Windows-based SDK. Because Mono is portable to a variety of platforms and Mono apps are written in C#, the same Mobile Services client code will work seamlessly across Android, iOS, and Windows apps.

There is one catch, however. Xamarin's Mobile Services client SDK can be downloaded for free from GitHub, and it's licensed under the permissive Apache open source license. To use it, however, developers must also have Xamarin's MonoTouch for iOS or Mono for Android installed – both of which are commercial products. Pricing for either one starts at $399. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.