Xamarin: What, why, short & simple November 2, 2020

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Flow Pilots was one of the first companies in Europe to develop with Xamarin. Almost 10 years later we’re still very convinced of this choice and develop all our mobile applications with Xamarin. 

Discover the what, why, short and simple in this blogpost.

Short and simple: What is Xamarin?

Xamarin is a technology which allows you to develop cross-platform. 

For tech-dummies, this means that there is only one programming language required to develop for different platforms such as Android, IOS, Windows etc, as opposed to a variety of specific languages per platform. This cross-platform language is called C#.


What are the advantages for Flow Pilots of working with Xamarin? 

The first and very obvious advantage is that you only need one language (C#) to develop for different platforms. 
Because of this, the process is less time-consuming because you can reuse information. 

Because we work with Xamarin, we can share all our knowledge and expertise throughout our entire company. Of course, there is some platform-specific knowledge but the basic knowledge in Xamarin stays the same. Because of this, you can transfer tasks or information to other team members without needing a lot of platform-specific expertise. 

Because Xamarin is part of Microsoft stack and our back-end developers also use this, we can share certain logic between backend and mobile applications

Although we mostly develop for Android and IOS you can also export to other different platforms like Mac and Windows which come from a shared codebase. 

Another big plus of Xamarin is that it’s settled in the Microsoft environment which provides excellent tooling. For example Visual Studio is a very strong IDE, which can be used to build for all target platforms as opposed to having to use different IDE’s. 

The apps we develop with Xamarin look native and are the same quality as IOS and Android, but are built with C#

 How has Xamarin improved projects at Flow Pilots?

It’s easier to roll out an additional platform, so if a client originally asked for an IOS app but wants to expand with an Android app after a while, there’s less work to do because the core has already been written in Xamarin and can be used cross-platform. 

This can also work comforting for beginning companies who want to test or launch their app on 

one platform first. 

Xamarin guarantees a sense of sustainability. Working form a shared codebase/ cross-platform means that there’s no space for diversion between platform logic, or that there are no separate bugs that need to be fixed. 

C# helps to create stability because it’s a statically-typed language. This means that while writing in C#, the system will prevent certain errors from happening. 
It’s safe to say: Xamarin is a strong case. It exists for almost 8 years already and is still operational as ever. It’s a strong way of working on which you can count. 

Since 2014 Flow Pilots co-organises a Xamarin meet-up. One of the co-founder of Flow Pilots, Jan Van De Poel, initiated this event in 2014, now our CTO, Michiel Sioen is a steady part of the organisation.  Join us next time via: https://www.meetup.com/nl-NL/Belgian-Mobile-NET-Developers-Group/?_locale=nl-NL

We also partner with Madn in the organisation of Xamarin meet-ups. Find more info here: https://madn.be/

Fun fact: The name Xamarin comes from the Tamarin Monkey! Xamarin’s CEO Miguel De Icaza says they always use monkey-related names for their products.