Tag: ArcGIS Runtime
We are excited to announce the first commercial release of the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET! Download version 10.2.4 and use it today to build production-ready apps for Windows Desktop, Store, and Phone: https://developers.arcgis.com/net/
This release is culmination of work over the last two years, since the official release of the Windows 8 platform and Windows Runtime in late 2012. During that time, we focused on refining the native app developer experience for .NET. We discussed our vision for the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET, built as a new, shared API across native app platforms promoted by Microsoft. We provided guidance for WPF developers seeking to transition from our popular ArcGIS Runtime SDK for WPF to our new SDK. In the end we created a modern, high-performance ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET with support for offline workflows, sync-enabled feature services, shapefiles, client-side labeling and much more. We look forward to seeing the great apps you’ll create with the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET!
For those who participated in the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET beta program, thank you for your valuable feedback. The beta program was a great success, made possible by the contribution of nearly 3000 participants. Although the beta program has completed, the beta community will remain open for a short time to host documentation pertaining to changes between 10.2.3 beta and 10.2.4, view the status of bug reports, and wrap up forum discussions.
Thank you and enjoy!
ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET Team
ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.4 will start rolling out at the end of this month and will include some great new SDKs (.NET!), APIs, and developer workflows. But this release is a little different than previous ones. Playing fair—For the past few years, … Continue reading
Over the last year there have been a number of requests from developers for information regarding Xamarin technology in relation to the ArcGIS Runtime.
Xamarin is attractive to many of our developers because it allows them to leverage their existing Microsoft .NET development skills when building Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and Windows Phone apps.
What is Xamarin?
Xamarin is an evolution of the Mono project, which is a cross platform open source .NET development framework.
When Microsoft created the .NET technology they did two things; they defined a specification and then implemented that specification for the Windows Operating System. The specification they defined and subsequently published was in fact composed of several specifications. Microsoft implemented these and released them to the world as the Microsoft .NET Framework. Microsoft, Intel and Hewlett Packard then worked to standardize the specifications. This was achieved in 2003.
The situation with User Interface components is more complex. Xamarin Forms, released in May 2014, is a technology similar to Microsoft’s XAML to allow developers to capture a form layout within a visual designer. Xamarin will bind these UI components of the layout to native UI widgets appropriate for the platform the UI is executing on. Since the various platforms that Xamarin supports have very different UI capabilities, only a subset of UI controls are supported by Xamarin Forms. Xamarin Forms can coexist with native UI controls which are also accessible through Xamarin, although when using the native controls the UI code is not portable between platforms.
3rd party components that extend the capabilities of the operating system, for example the ArcGIS Runtime, can expose their capabilities to Xamarin by creating Xamarin bindings. These bindings allow the Xamarin runtime to be extended so that developers can work with the capabilities of the 3rd party library using C# as if they were coding against the 3rd party library using the native language.
Using Xamarin binding technology it is possible (through the effort of generating the bindings) to access 3rd party libraries and OS APIs not exposed by default through Xamarin. While possible it does mean that any code written will not be portable to other platforms.
ArcGIS Runtime and Xamarin in Practice
In order to expose the capabilities of the ArcGIS Runtime to the Xamarin developer Xamarin bindings would need to be created. These Xamarin bindings must be created for each platform by binding onto the appropriate ArcGIS Runtime API for the respective platform. The diagram below illustrates this architecture.
While this architecture allows Xamarin developers to access the ArcGIS Runtime, it does not present the developer with a way to easily write cross platform code since the differences in the ArcGIS Runtime APIs are exposed directly to the developer. The developer must learn the specific ArcGIS Runtime API and then with that knowledge they can code against that API using C#.
We have prototyped a set of Xamarin bindings to confirm that the theory actually works. The results of these tests are that this architecture does work. However, we also learned that the creation of these bindings is a non-trivial task. In addition, since the bindings map very closely to the underlying API, as the API evolves the bindings must be maintained, which is a process that can result in a brittle API.
Current ArcGIS Runtime and Xamarin Status
At this point, we have no plans to release Xamarin bindings for our native APIs. There are a number of factors that have gone into this decision.
- Sub-standard developer experience when coding against more than one ArcGIS Runtime API due their differences
- Does not easily support cross platform code development, due to the binding requirements
- Xamarin technology evolving rapidly
ArcGIS Runtime Cross Platform Development
We do support cross platform development with the ArcGIS Runtime. Currently the JavaSE and Qt APIs support cross platform development, but only for Windows and Linux desktop systems. The Qt API is currently being extended to support QML.
The Qt QML API will support cross platform development for all the runtime platforms. Code written against the Qt QML API must still be compiled targeting the native platform, but code written for one platform just works when compiled for a second platform. There are no differences in the Qt QML API between platforms, making cross platform App development with a single code-base possible.
To achieve this there are some compromises, for example, the UI controls available must exist on all platforms, meaning specific UI components that only exist on one platform cannot be used when building cross platform code. However, for a large percentage of use cases the Qt QML API will be a good choice.
So while we do offer cross platform development options with the ArcGIS Runtime today, we would like to hear from you regarding you development needs with respect to Xamarin. If Xamarin was provided as an option, would you use it? How are you managing your cross platform development needs currently? Do you use Xamarin today, and if so, how?
Update: Due to a overwhelming feedback in favor of supporting Xamarin, our position has changed. The ArcGIS Runtime will support Xamarin in the near future. Please read Part 2 of this blog post for more information.
CTO, ArcGIS Runtime & APIs
Our favorite week of the year is just about here. The ArcGIS Runtime team is anxious to see what you’ve been up to and show you want we’ve been up to!
The ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET 10.2.3 beta is now available on the Esri Beta Community. This is a quality release that resolves some issues encountered in the previous beta. A number of enhancements have also been included with the product:
Today we’re happy to announce the release of the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for iOS, OS X, and Android v10.2.3. We’ve mentioned the new features for this release in a previous post, including Geodatabase Feature Service Table, which lets you simplify … Continue reading
The next release of ArcGIS Runtime SDKs is coming soon! It brings performance improvements you’ve come to expect but also the ability to write applications that can work both online and offline using a single API. We’re introducing the new … Continue reading
We are pleased to announce the 10.2.2 release of ArcGIS Runtime SDK for WPF. You can download the SDK today from ArcGIS for Developers. This release follows the 10.2 release in Q4 2013 and includes several new features plus performance and quality improvements. Here are some of the highlights (much more information can be found in the release notes):
We are excited to announce the 10.2.2 beta release of the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET! This SDK enables developers to build rich, high performance GIS applications for Windows PCs, tablets, and phones. It includes three APIs that support building .NET apps for Windows Desktop, Windows Store, and Windows Phone. The APIs share a common design and structure, which encourages sharing implementation logic across Windows platforms. Continue reading