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Xamarin Experience Event Toronto

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NOTE: THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT

If you are into Xamarin like our team at RedBit is you will definitely want to head out to this event to talk about mobile apps, cloud connected apps, DevOps – RedBit will be there!

Microsoft teams will be presenting a half day session on how and why you should take advantage of mobile in your business and how to use the tooling provided from Microsoft such as the new Visual Studio 2017. Spaces are limited so to register you will have to email Catherine Kerr to get a limited spot.

Here is the agenda on what will be discussed

Xamarin-experience-event-agenda

Here is an overview of the half day session

We live in a world of rich, immersive mobile experiences that are powered by the cloud. Mobile has been the most rapidly adopted technology in history and with the increasing prominence of the cloud, the rate of technological change continues to accelerate.

Following the launch of Visual Studio 2017, we are welcoming the Xamarin team to Toronto to show you how to enhance your mobile strategy through Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio and the Xamarin Mobile Lifecycle Solution.

With thousands of organizations already using Microsoft and Xamarin to achieve remarkable results in their mobile and digital transformation strategies, let us show you how you can build, test, distribute and monitor your mobile apps and easily add backend cloud services to scale your app on demand. The new Visual Studio Mobile Center also brings together multiple services, commonly used by mobile developers, into a single integrated solution.

With over 1 million developers using Xamarin solutions in more than 120 countries, building rich, immersive, high-quality mobile applications has never been easier!

Here are all the details of the event

Date: Thursday 13th April 2017
Time: 10:00AM to 1:00PM (EST)
Event Location: Microsoft Toronto Office, Suite 1201*, 222 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5K 1E7
Registration: Spaces are limited, so please email Catherine Kerr with your name and contact details at your earliest*Ernst & Young TowerPlease take the elevator to the 12th floor.
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Hacking for Missing Kids – Hockey App, Push Notifications & Wrap Up

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This is the last post in a series on how to get the Xamarin based code for a hackathon we did with Missing Children’s Society of Canada up and running on iOS, Windows & Android. This article will focus on how to distribute the app.

For reference here is the series of articles available

  1. Technology for Good
  2. Technology Overview
  3. Cloning the Project
  4. Running Xamarin App on iOS
  5. Running Xamarin App on Android
  6. Running Xamarin App on Windows
  7. Hockey App, Push Notifications & Wrap up

Hockey App

Although we used Hockey App to distribute the Android application, unfortunately due to time, we did could not complete a full Develop – Test – Build – Distribute pipeline built out for the Xamarin application.

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We did end up just manually uploading APKs, but you definitely want to automate your mobile app lifecycle process!image27

Here is an example of a customer app we did at RedBit in Visual Studio Team Services where we have API, Web App, iOS and Android build and release pipelines setup

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Definitely worth the time to set this up when building out full software products!

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Hacking for Missing Kids – Running Windows Version

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In the previous article on Hacking for Missing Kids – Running Android Version we looked at how to get the Xamarin app running on Android. Next, is running the application on Windows using our Xamarin based code

For reference here is the series of articles available

  1. Technology for Good
  2. Technology Overview
  3. Cloning the Project
  4. Running Xamarin App on iOS
  5. Running Xamarin App on Android
  6. Running Xamarin App on Windows
  7. Hockey App, Push Notifications & Wrap up

Do the following to run the application on Windows

  1. Right click on the IRIS.Windows project and click Set As Default
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  2. Change the Solution Platform to Any CPU
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  3. Tap F5 or click the debug button in the tool bar to start debugging on Windows. You can also change the OS version and emulator to run it on from here
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When the application runs, you should get the following if running on the

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Type in the following for credentials

  1. Username: Admin
  2. Password: password
  3. Tap login to see the available cases

You should end up with a list and then be able to navigate to a case details page.

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As you can see, we can literally use almost all the same C# code using Xamarin reducing the time to target all platforms. By no means are these polished apps, but you can get up and running pretty quickly using a Xamarin code base.  Next up, we’ll look at using Hockey App and how it was leveraged to distribute the application as well as push notifications.

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Hacking for Missing Kids – Running Android Version

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In the previous article on Hacking for Missing Kids – Running iOS Version we looked at how to get the Xamarin app running on iOS. Next, is running the application on Android.

For reference here is the series of articles available

  1. Technology for Good
  2. Technology Overview
  3. Cloning the Project
  4. Running Xamarin App on iOS
  5. Running Xamarin App on Android
  6. Running Xamarin App on Windows
  7. Hockey App, Push Notifications & Wrap up

Do the following to run the application on Android

  1. Right click on the IRIS.Droid project and click Set As Default
    image11
  2. Change the Solution Platform to Any CPU
    image17
  3. Tap F5 or click the debug button in the tool bar to start debugging on Android. You can also change the OS version and emulator to run it on from here
    image18

When the application runs, you should get the following if running on the Visual Studio Android emulator.
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Type in the following for credentials

  1. Username: Admin
  2. Password: password
  3. Tap login to see the available cases

You should end up with a list and then be able to navigate to a case details page.

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Some things to note:

  1. If you are using an emulator, use the Visual Studio Android Emulator as it will make life easy for you
  2. If you get some errors compiling for Android make sure you have appropriate Android SDKs installed. For this project you need minimum API Level 19, but recommend you just install all of them.

For android SDKs, the following links will be helpful

  1. Overview of the Visual Studio Android Emulator – https://developer.xamarin.com/guides/android/deployment,_testing,_and_metrics/debug-on-emulator/visual-studio-android-emulator/
  2. Launching the Android SDK Manager from Visual Studio – https://developer.xamarin.com/recipes/cross-platform/ide/launch_sdk_manager/#Launch_SDK_Manager_from_Visual_Studio

In the Android SDK Manager you should install the following

  1. Under Tools – All SDK Build-Tools
  2. Different Android API Levels for example API 24 install SDK Platform and Google APIs. You can install other options but these options will be enough
  3. Under Extra – Google USB Driver

Next up we’ll look at how to get the code base deployed and working on the Windows Platform.

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Hacking for Missing Kids – Running iOS Version

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In the previous article on Hacking for Missing Kids – Cloning the Project we looked cloning the project from GitHub. Now that we have gone through an overview of the structure of the Xamarin app and cloning the project, we can go ahead and try to run it.

For reference here is the series of articles available

  1. Technology for Good
  2. Technology Overview
  3. Cloning the Project
  4. Running Xamarin App on iOS
  5. Running Xamarin App on Android
  6. Running Xamarin App on Windows
  7. Hockey App, Push Notifications & Wrap up

To run the Xamarin iOS version perform the following steps

  1. Right click on the IRIS.iOS project and click Set As Default
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  2. Change the Solution Platform to iPhone Simulator
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  3. Tap F5 or click the debug button in the tool bar to start debugging on iOS. You can also change the OS version and emulator to run it on from here
    image13

When the application runs, you should get the following

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Type in the following for credentials

  1. Username: Admin
  2. Password: password
  3. Tap login to see the available cases

Once you login, you will be presented with the following list page and then details page

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Some things to note:

  1. You need have a Mac setup with XCode and Xamarin on it to compile the iOS application
  2. You can use the simulator for iOS on Windows by seeing here https://developer.xamarin.com/guides/cross-platform/windows/ios-simulator/

Next up we’ll look at how to get the code base deployed and running Android.

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Hacking for Missing Kids – Cloning the Project

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In the previous article on Hacking for Missing Kids – Technology Overview we looked at the technology available for the system developed. This article will focus on how to clone the project to get ready for running it on the various platforms using Xamarin and Visual Studio. For reference here is the series of articles available

  1. Technology for Good
  2. Technology Overview
  3. Cloning the Project
  4. Running Xamarin App on iOS
  5. Running Xamarin App on Android
  6. Running Xamarin App on Windows
  7. Hockey App, Push Notifications & Wrap up

First thing we need to do is clone the repository which can be located here https://github.com/CDN-Missing-Children-Hack/client. All other repos which are a total of six can also be found https://github.com/CDN-Missing-Children-Hack.

The next sections assume you have

  1. Visual Studio 2015 (Community Edition will be fine)
  2. Xamarin Tools Installed
  3. GitHub Extensions for Visual Studio
  4. A mac for building iOS app

With those pre-requisites in place we can first clone the project

  1. Open Visual Studio
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  2. Click on the Manage Connection button in the Team Explorer dialog
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  3. Under Local Git Repositories click on Clone and enter the following URL https://github.com/CDN-Missing-Children-Hack/client.git
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  4. Click Clone and you should start cloning the repo
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  5. Double click the newly cloned repo and you should be taken to the Home Page for the repo
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  6. Double click the Solution to open it up in Visual Studio
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At this point you can switch over to Solution Explorer (CTRL-W, S) and you should see all the projects and files available to you.

Next up we’ll look at how to get the code base deployed and running on iOS.

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Hacking for Missing Kids – Technology Overview

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Back in October RedBit had an opportunity to participate in a weekend hack to try and leverage technology to find missing children. It was a collaboration with Missing Children Society of Canada, City of Calgary, Calgary Police Service, Microsoft and RedBit.

For an overview of the hack see Hacking for Missing Kids – Technology for Good. This article will focus on how to get the Xamarin project up and running connected the backend NodeJS system built.

Technology Overview

The system consisted of the following

  1. Visual Studio – This was our development environment
  2. GitHub – our source code repository for the system
  3. Xamarin Forms – our cross-platform solution to target iOS, Android & Windows with one code base
  4. Hockey App – Distribution of the application

Although multiple people worked on the application and this article focuses on the development of the Xamarin app, here is a high level architecture of the system which should give an idea of all the parts involved in the system

architecture

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Hacking for Missing Kids – Technology for Good

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Back in October, we spent some time with Microsoft to build some technology to help find Missing Children in Canada and ideally around the world. This was a collaboration with Missing Children Society of Canada, City of Calgary, Calgary Police Services who provided ‘what we were building’ and the problem we were trying to solve. RedBit and Microsoft provided the technical expertise to build a solution within a weekend to attempt to solve this problem.

Finding Missing Children - Hacking for Good

For more information on the technical background and RedBit’s participation, see our technology summary on the Xamarin application coming soon. This article will cover what we built, some processes we went through and finally the results.

The Team

There were many groups involved in building a solution, but RedBit’s main responsibility was building out the Xamarin client for iOS, Android and Windows.

The Xamarin development was lead by myself (Mark Arteaga) a Microsoft MVP, Xamarin University Trainer and using the Xamarin platform since 2010.

Invited to help with the development were members of Silicon Halton Tech Under 20 specifically Denys Linkov and Mohammed Eseifan who are first year university students. Also invited to participate was Microsoft Student Partner Taha Hasan Ubaid.

We also had folks from Microsoft helping on various parts specifically Mickey Macdonald, Jeff King, Sage French, Adasha Datta, Pierre Roman and Anthony Bartolo.

The TeamWith any project, key is to have the subject matter experts and this is Missing Children Society of Canada, City of Calgary, Calgary Police Services who helped us understand the ‘why’ and ‘what’.

The Problem

In Canada 45,000 children go missing every year and 150 of these cases are abductions. Of those 150 only 6 AMBER Alerts are issued because it has to adhere to very strict criteria to be issued.

Missing Children Society of Canada has been around for the past 30yrs helping provide support for families with missing children. They also help coordinate with media, law enforcement and various community groups to find children that have gone missing.

the problem

Now there are systems in place for the 150 and the use of tech is being used such as the Most Valuable Network. But this is only for 150 kids, what about the other 30,000+ children that go missing?

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Xamarin Dev Days Toronto Wrap Up

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Had a great time putting together Xamarin Dev Days and wanted to follow up with some thanks and resources for devs to keep learning about Xamarin development.

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First off thanks to RedBit for feeding all attendees (can’t learn & code on an empty stomach!) and RedBit team for helping support putting together the event. Second thanks to HackerYou, not only do the provide amazing people to hire (we have hired 3 grads) but they also provide a great space for dev events like we did. And third thanks to Xamarin (Microsoft) for helping us co-ordinate everything with attendees.

Would also like to thank the speakers who came as far as London (Ontario 🙂 and Seattle to spend the day. On site we had

  1. Myself – Microsoft MVP, Xamarin University Trainer & CEO RedBit
  2. Tom Walker – Microsoft MVP, Xamarin MVP & Consultant
  3. Lori Lalonde – Microsoft MVP, Xamarin MVP & Consultant
  4. James Montemagno – Principal Program Manager – Microsoft/Xamarin

Always great presenting together with Tom and Lori, and it was my first time presenting with James, if you need to know anything technical about Xamarin, talk to James or just go through his GitHub repos … you will definitely use them in your Xamarin projects!

And finally thanks to all the attendees who took time away on a Saturday to spend the day with us. Reconnected with some old friends like Rob Lim, meet some new friends like Allan Ritchie (who also has an impressive GitHub repo) and Dave Wood who is an ObjectiveC/Swift developer.

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