Announcing Simple.OData.Client NuGet package for Mono iOS/Android

Release of NuGet 2.5 opens possibilities for targeting Mono iOS/Android platform. The Simple.OData.Client that I maintain is a portable class library, so it was natural step to extend the number of supported frameworks with Xamarin Mono offerings. But as it often happens, I hit a few problems before I could publish the updated package (version 0.15).

One problem I had to deal with was forwarding of the types that are packaged differently in Windows and .NET. Luckily, this problem was addressed earlier by other people, so big thanks to Stuart Lodge (@slodge) and Daniel Plastied (@dsplaisted) for investigating this topic and describing workarounds. Those interested in more details should read this article at StackOverflow. I am now using the same approach that Stuart implemented in MvvmCross, and here is how the file sets for Mono platforms look:

<!—Droid –>
<file src="Simple.OData.Client.Core\bin\Release\Simple.OData.Client.Core.dll" 
      target="lib\MonoAndroid16\Simple.OData.Client.Core.dll" />
<file src="lib\Droid\System.Net.dll" target="lib\MonoAndroid16\System.Net.dll" />

<!-- Touch –>
<file src="Simple.OData.Client.Core\bin\Release\Simple.OData.Client.Core.dll" 
      target="lib\MonoTouch40\Simple.OData.Client.Core.dll" />
<file src="lib\Touch\System.Net.dll" target="lib\MonoTouch40\System.Net.dll" />

Next challenge came from a couple of places in my code where I was using async/await pattern. Since Simple.OData.Client is targeting wide range of platforms including .NET 4.x and Silverlight, I installed Microsoft.Bcl.Async NuGet package that enabled use of async/await keywords when targeting legacy platforms. However, for the time being the files from this package can not be deployed on iOS and Android devices (legal reasons), and Xamarin async/await support is a work in progress. After struggling for a few days with various async issues (only compile-time issues, I haven’t had a single runtime problem with asynchronous operations), I reviewed the code and figured out that it’s so few places where I was using await, that I can rewrite this code replacing await with TPL API almost in no time. So now Simple.OData.Client does not bear any dependency on Microsoft.Bcl.Async.

Finally, I had to write new tests to verify functionality on new platforms. I used an excellent little helper library MonoDroidUnitTest for Android tests, and for iOS there was a Unit Test project template in Xamarin tools. Since I don’t have Mac, I signed in to MacInCloud to test using iOS simulator. It kind of works, but the performance is sluggish so I don’t think this is a good alternative for a serious iOS development (but OK for occasional validation). It was easier with Android – I could simply start a Droid simulator, loaded an app with a few tests, and in a few seconds (well, actually minutes) I could see the following picture:


So in case you are doing OData development and need a library that you can use on multiple platforms, have a look at Simple.OData.Client. Now with Mono support.


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