Xamarin synergy with Synergy/DE
by Marty Lewis, Product Development Manager, Synergy DBL Integration
Wouldn’t it be great if you could release an Android or iOS application that leverages your existing Synergy business logic? With the new developer build for Synergy DBL Integration for Visual Studio (SDI), not only is this possible, but the application can be programmed entirely in Synergy .NET. We have been working hard to deliver everything you need to create first-class Android and iOS applications with Synergy, and in this article we will provide links to walkthroughs for both.
To make it possible to deliver your Synergy .NET application to Android and iOS, we integrated SDI with the Xamarin toolset, which works within the familiar Visual Studio environment. Xamarin is a leader in cross-platform mobile development, enabling .NET applications to run on Android and iOS. We deploy a natively-built Synergy runtime alongside your Xamarin-optimized .NET application to run the traditional Synergy logic you have come to rely on. And with Synergy/DE 10.3, we introduced a licensing model called device licensing to handle licensing on devices and other system that have intermittent connectivity.
To develop for Android or iOS, you will need a Xamarin license that includes Xamarin for Visual Studio, and for iOS development you’ll also need a Mac (OS X) machine with Xcode. (See “Notes on Android development” and “Notes on iOS development” on the Synergex website for details.) You will also need to contact your Synergex account representative to establish a block of devices licenses for testing.
Portable class libraries
Before you get started, there is something you should consider for cross-platform .NET development, and that is portable class libraries (PCLs). A PCL is a special type of library that can target more than one .NET platform. Often you can target all the platforms you’ll deploy to (which results in a PCL that supports the lowest common denominator for those platforms). This is particularly important for Synergy development when you want a single business logic library that you can include across your various platforms.
Our Visual Studio integration provides a PCL template, which includes a dialog box for framework targeting options (including Xamarin.Android and Xamarin.iOS).
Keep in mind that each platform may support only a subset of the .NET Framework. If your application uses aspects of the framework that are not supported by a target platform, you will get compilation errors.
For more information, see Microsoft’s documentation on portable class libraries: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg597391.
Now that we have discussed prerequisites and PCLs, it is time to create your first Android or iOS application. The walkthroughs listed below use the basic application templates for Android and iOS to create simple Synergy applications. They also include information on the files and folders that make up Android and iOS application projects, as well as information on deploying and using ISAM files.
Beyond the walkthroughs
Designing and developing an effective Android or iOS application will definitely take some work. Beyond developing layouts and functionality that work for your application, you also need to consider differences in screen sizes, memory constraints and battery life (if applicable). A significant amount of headache can be avoided by planning ahead for as many device scenarios as possible.
Once you’ve been through the walkthroughs, however, you will have the tools and basic knowledge to get started with Android and iOS development. For further information and training, see our “Synergy .NET and Mobile App Development” guide, and be sure to come to our Synergy DevPartner Conference, where you will learn how to develop real-world applications on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
With Synergy leading the way, you can utilize existing business logic and focus on delivering the look, functionality, and performance that your customers want.