What Is the Role of XAML in Xamarin.Forms?

Role of XAML in XamarinWhat Is Xamarin.Forms?

Xamarin is a popular mobile development platform that enhances the tools and libraries of the .Net development platform for creating mobile applications. Xamarin.Forms is a function of Xamarin and a UI framework that allows developers to create Windows, iOS and Android apps from a single codebase. It is a platform for developing cross-platform mobile applications using the XAML for the front-end and C# for the backend. 

Cross-platform developers need not write the entire code from scratch, but can instead write one version and reuse it after minor tweaks, thus making it a faster and cheaper option.

Xamarin.Forms connect to native libraries, where designers can personalize the application programming interface (APIs) of the Android, Mac, iOS and Windows platforms. With the help of these APIs, Applications can connect to the installed components like the camera, GPS, and recorder using these APIs. The basic reusable features offered by the native libraries are the most common in mobile applications.

Developers can combine a standard navigation structure, the user interface, search engines, keyword system and page configuration. Xamarin.Forms offers a variety of page layouts, including a navigation page that manages the navigation stack of other carriers.


What is XAML?

XAML is the language used to create user interfaces for Windows and mobile applications that employ Xamarin.Forms, UWP and the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Extensible application markup language (XAML) is a descriptive programming language used to create user interfaces in Xamarin.Forms. The goal of XAML is to create a user interface using a markup language that resembles XML. Although you will most likely use a designer to generate your XAML, you can also edit it manually.

Elements and attributes in XAML are stored in XML format. Every element in the XAML denotes an object that is an instance of a type. Like XML, the beginning and end of an XAML element’s syntax are always indicated by open-angle brackets (<) and square brackets (>), respectively. There are start and end tags for each element tag as well. For instance, a button object is indicated as a <Button> component.


Working With XAML and Xamarin.Forms

There are four components when creating a Xamarin.Forms application.


  • Portable project

In this project, most of the application code will be designed and shared across all three platforms (Android, iOS and Windows).


  • Android mobile applications

In this project, the android application icon and the splash screen are set, and all other codes will be from the portable project.


In this, the iOS application framework and icon are set.


  • Universal Windows

Universal Windows Platform is the framework for creating desktop and mobile applications in Windows.

Some features that are included in Xamarin.Forms are XAML user-interface language, data-binding, styling, effects, etc. XAML files are translated into BAML or Binary Application Markup Language to be included as a resource in the final DLL (Dynamic link library) or .exe (executable file).


Advantages of Using XAML

  • The code of XAML is more easily readable, smaller and easier to write and understand.
  • It is based on the XML syntax (guidelines that specify how to create an XML application).
  • XAML provides a distinct division between the design of the application and the logic and behavior of the application.
  • Xaml supports vector (PICT, EPS, etc.) and bitmap images (GIF, JPEG, etc.).
  • Developers also use it to create graphical effects.
  • The UI layer for windows presentation foundation (WPF) projects has always been XAML, which has benefited from extensive tool support.


XAML for Xamarin.Forms

Although it was convenient to utilize XAML to reach every Windows device, Xamarin.Forms has made it more accessible. With the help of Xamarin.Forms, the .Net developers were able to transfer their knowledge across platforms. While creating simple native cross-platform apps, developers can share not only business logic but also UI definitions through the use of an abstracted UI layer. The perfect choice for this was XAML, as it has a unique dialect designed explicitly for mobile app development.

The Xamarin.Forms-XAML combination spared .Net developers from having to understand and learn the specifics of the native platform UI. Developers describe the UI graphical structure in XAML, and the runtime displays each platform’s matching native UI components. Xamarin.Forms designing offers rich tooling for XAML development, such as forms previewer, profiler, etc. Uno, an open-source UI abstraction library, connects XAML to iOS and Android. Mono and Xamarin (developing frameworks) provide the application framework for Uno.

.NET developers prefer XAML development because of the vast and substantial tooling and convenience of maintaining large codebases. For XAML and C# development, the model-view-viewmodel (MVVM) pattern works extremely well, and a good amount of support is available. MVVM frameworks have been modified so that they work with Xamarin.Forms as well.

For XAML developers, the increase in heads and backends for Xamarin is an exciting development because it broadens the supported platforms and transfers your code around. New Xamarin.Forms heads like MacOS, GTK Linux, WPF, Tizen, etc., are beginning to power several platforms.

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