Apache Cordova integrated in Visual Studio for Multi-Device Hybrid App development

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I’ve been pushing HTML5 cross platform applications for some time now. I frequently give talks on how to use tools like Telerik’s App Builder, Adobe’s PhoneGap Cloud, and my personal favorite, Intel’s XDK. You can find my open sourced Cordova app here.

Previously, Cordova was a cumbersome command line tool for building cross platform HTML5 mobile apps. it was not fun, and was incredibly painful to use, due to the constantly outdated documentation. Even worse, even if you did get an HTML5 app running on Windows Phone, you didn’t have a debugger!

For those reasons, I’ve been using the various tools listed above. Well as of today, Cordova will be integrated into visual studio for cross platform development, which will allow developers to make use of many of the tools that Visual Studio offers, including a debugger!

What do we get out of it?

Using Multi-Device Hybrid Apps for Visual Studio extension, developers will gain:

  • The ability to streamline multi-platform device development and improve efficiency through the use of existing tools
  • A great code editor
  • Advanced debugging tools
  • Testing capabilities for all platforms
  • Various open source front-end frameworks such as Angular, Bootstrap, Backbone, Underscore and WinJS
  • Integration with Microsoft services such as Azure Mobile services, Azure AD, Application Insights and Office 365

Web developers have nothing to fear, as many, if not most, of your favorite libraries will work fine. I’ve built several apps using this one flavor of Cordova or another, and I’ve loved it. The phone team has included a number of samples which take advantage of these libraries for you: Angular, Backbone and WinJS, as well as a demo app.

Get it now

The preview release of the Multi-Device Hybrid apps for Visual Studio can be downloaded here. You can also learn more about this new feature on MSDN. More info here.

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5 thoughts on “Apache Cordova integrated in Visual Studio for Multi-Device Hybrid App development

  1. 1. In this approach, how do you make deployment builds targeted at specific device OSes? We have to use Build.Phonegap for this?
    2. When to choose app builder VS visual studio cordova tools. Please help/clarify

    • 1) I’m not sure, to tell you the truth.

      2) It’s really about personal preference. Try them both out, and see what works better for your team. If they are more familiar with Visual Studio, then stick with the method above. Otherwise, if they have a purely web development background and are familiar with Google’s Chrome Dev Tools, then App Builder may be a better approach.

    • Smadonany,
      1. No not at all. Once you have an app that you’d like to deploy to a device, just choose the specific OS from the dropdown, choose Device in the target dropdown and choose Build. It will create a ready to use .apk, .ita etc file in your project directory.

      2. Visual Studio Cordova Tooling makes it easy to do your entire app development from creating a project, adding services, debugging, emulating, building and publishing.

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  3. Pingback: Numerous updates to Cordova tools for Visual Studio

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