Troubleshooting

Background

In recent years, it becomes more and more common that enterprises are tranferring their websites to mobile apps. By transferring, I mean that they want both versions of their apps. That will give us a scenario that our users, especially for Microsoft customers, they will want a same database structure even a same set of Web API to use for both Website and mobile apps.

This blog is exactly the same situation here. I got one customer who already has a website and its Web API is based on .NET Core 2.0. However, he’s trying to use the Xamarin.Forms to build an app and also using the Azure Mobile Apps SDK to enable the offline sync feature in his app.

Of course, he wants the Web API to be the same for both Website and Mobile app.

What is Offline Sync?

If you use a mobile app, you will be handling data sync with the database. When the network is good on your mobile, you will never meet issue to query/add/update/delete from database and sync back with your mobile app.

However, you will never be confident that your mobile will always be under a good network situation. That’s where the offline sync fit in.

Offline sync allows users to interact with a mobile application, viewing, adding, or modifying data, even where there isn’t a network connection. Changes are stored in a local database, and once the device is online, the changes can be synced with the Azure Mobile Apps instance. This article explains how to add offline sync functionality to a Xamarin.Forms application.

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Background

One of the most common issues that we will meet when developing with Xamarin is that there are lots of the libraries exist in Android or iOS but not in .NET. It’s the same reason as WinPhone’s failure. There are lots of applications exist in Android and iOS but you cannot find in Microsoft Store.

To resolve this issue, Xamarin has a project type which is called Binding project. Using this, you will be able to binding a jar/aar package under Android or objective-C library under iOS in Xamarin project as a dll library. You can even import a native library written in C/C++ (but we will not cover in this article).

In this article, we will focus on how to bind a jar package in Xamarin. Aar package is the same actually only with some resouces packaged in that library.

Content

There are 2 aspects in this article. First is that I will reference an article written by MS senior developer for Xamarin, these are the concepts on how to do the troubleshooting. The second aspect is what I have done while dealing with Xamarin.Android binding project and how I used the knowledge in the first aspect.

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