Forum Cross Platform with Xamarin

Can I write windows apps with Xamarin that does NOT use forms?


We have invested heavily in Xamarin to build iOS and Android apps and we have our code split into shared library projects. We have been asked by a client to make a windows project but all I can seem to find is building Xamarin.Forms apps for windows. Am I mistaken here? You can only make forms apps for windows? Can I use visual studio on a PC and import my shared library projects and make a native windows app? I am confused on the setup a bit any clarification would be huge moving forward!

Best Answer


  • AlessandroCaliaroAlessandroCaliaro ITMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    What is "windows prj"? UWP?

  • TylerFoucheTylerFouche USMember ✭✭
    edited March 2017

    @AlessandroCaliaro Yes UWP.

    @ClintStLaurent That is my question, im wondering if the shared library projects will come over. The core files don't do any native functionality really, but they do rely on components (like modernhttpclient, restsharp, zxing) and they do have platform specific markup using this syntax:

    #if __IOS__
    // code goes here

    But only in very rare and extreme cases. Forgive my ignorance here, I just have very limited knowledge on how to bring shared library projects over to visual studio!

  • TylerFoucheTylerFouche USMember ✭✭

    @ClintStLaurent and yes, I am not sure if I need to deal with Xamarin at all! That might be the answer :)

  • AlessandroCaliaroAlessandroCaliaro ITMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    for UWP prj I think you can use Visual Studio without Xamarin

  • TylerFoucheTylerFouche USMember ✭✭

    @AlessandroCaliaro I guess I should get a PC and just try it. Im looking at most our components and libraries and they are are just nuget packages anyways.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭


    Ohhh.... Are you saying that right now you're not using Visual Studio? Are you saying you're on a Mac and using Xamarin Studio? If that's the case... yeah, you need to move your skillset and IDE to Windows.... Get a PC, install Visual Studio and so on.

    I don't know you from Adam so don't be offended at this.
    If you've never built a Windows program before, don't start with a paying client's application. You don't yet know how much you don't know. Just tell them you're team doesn't have the background for the job. Then maybe setup someone on your team to learn over the next few months, if its your intention to start taking on Windows projects.

  • TylerFoucheTylerFouche USMember ✭✭

    Yes, I am on a mac using Xamarin Studio!

    And no offense taken. I know it will be a big undertaking, we set into android much the same way, not knowing a thing. I am just asking around to see what kind of hurdles we will need to jump through.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well... If you are already experienced in Xamarin... Why not just make a Xamarin.Forms app even if you only concentrate on the UWP platform? I mean, your staff already know Xamarin Forms, right? Its how you're building your other apps already, right?

  • TylerFoucheTylerFouche USMember ✭✭

    @ClintStLaurent no we don't use forms. We write our UI layer out in xibs and axmls, forms seemed too slow when we looked at it a long time ago.

  • RobertDebaultRobertDebault USUniversity ✭✭✭

    Forms can be, in many cases, time consuming to implement. Using shared code, native Xamarin tools, application development can be much faster when the application requires device specific functionality. If your application is primarily for data entry or displaying data then forms is great and very fast. Many people think Xamarin Forms is the Xamarin Platform but that is so wrong. Consulting companies try to push Xamarin Forms because it's all they know and it's easier to sell.

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