incomplete = testCoverage < complete

Xamarin - Development Environment

2016-04-10

So now I am committed to developing a mobile app for three platforms using Visual Studio and Xamarin I need to setup my development environment. In this post I outline the steps to do so, but I won’t duplicate all the steps as there are some good articles in the Xamarin documentation the provide the detail, which I provide links to.

I want my app to run on iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices and I want to do so using Visual Studio and Xamarin.

Xamarin Studio is an option for iOS and Android, but sadly as a development tool it is pretty weak compared to tools like Visual Studio and JetBrains IntelliJ based IDEs. I tried it and found it very frustrating, my productivity plummeted when compared to Visual Studio with ReSharper or WebStorm which I use for web development, and it isn’t very TDD friendly.

So what do I need to develop my app for all three platforms:

1 A Mac OSX computer
2 A Windows computer or virtual machine
3 Visual Studio, any edition including the free Community Edition
4 Xamarin for Windows, if you are running an older version that doesn’t include it
5 Xamarin for Mac OSX
6 Your favourite productivity tools (optional of course)

You could do everthing on a single Mac OSX computer running a Windows virtual machine using Parallels, VirtualBox or your preferred virtualisation package. I am lucky enough to have a nice powerful Windows PC with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD running Windows 10 as well as an almost new 15” MacBook Pro Retina (my previous 4 year old MacBook Pro died last month). When I am working at home I like to use my desktop but also want the option to work on the same code base on my laptop, or let my partner help with the project using my laptop. Yes my partner is also a software developer and she is a damned good one at that. So I am going to configure both comptures for developing my app.

The steps I took to get my environments up and running were as follows:

  1. Windows Environment
    1. I already had Windows 10 on my PC
    2. I already had Parallels 11 installed on my laptop with a Windows 10 virtual machine configured almost identical to my PC
      1. If you don’t have either or both of these your first step is to get a Windows environment installed and running
  2. Install Visual Studio 2015
    1. I already had Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition with Update 1 and Xamarin installed in both my Windows environments
      1. All I had to do was install Update 2 for Visual Studio 2015
      2. Then download and install the free Xamarin Update for VS 2015
    2. If you don’t have Visual Studio installed download and install Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition
      1. Choose Custom Install and enable install of Cross Platform Tools
  3. Mac OSX Environment
    1. I followed this guide iOS Xamarin Installation
  4. Once you have Xamarin installed on both platforms
    1. You need to make sure Visual Studio can connect to OSX for building iOS apps
      1. First I followed this guide to enable Remote Login in OSX
      2. Next I followed this guide to Connect Visual Studio to my Mac
      3. Having done this to get my desktop to connect to my laptop, I found that connecting Visual Studio in my VM on the laptop just worked straight away
    2. This last step in both cases produced a warning that I needed to configure my Mac with a Code Signing Certificate before I could build and run apps
      1. I followed this guide Requesting A Development Certificate to resolve this issue.

If you have any problems getting your environment/s setup this Using the Build Host application will probably have the solution to your problem.


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