Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cross Platform Mobile Development with C++ and Visual Studio 2015

Screenshot from Herb's video
Beside the Xamarin partnership and their great solutions for C# cross platform development, Microsoft is also heavily investing in C++ cross platform development with Visual Studio 2015.
With VS 2015 it's possible to build shared cross platform C++ libraries or even full native Android apps only with VS 2015. VS 2015 even ships its own Android emulator. iOS compiler support is supposed to be added as well.

Don't get me wrong, Xamarin and C# are without a doubt great for sharing code in native greenfield apps. However, existing code bases are often already built in C++. In fact I was involved in at least two large apps over the last 1.5 year which used already existing shared C++ layers. Most of the backend connectivity and core data logic was implemented in C++ and shared between WP, iOS, Android and BB10. Many large projects follow this shared C++ layers approach including the MS Office and Dropbox mobile apps.
Of course Xamarin C# and shared cross platform C++ libraries can be combined to get the best of all. For example by leveraging an existing code base for the shared C++ core libraries and Xamarin for the UI layer.

Is it the renaissance of C++? I'm not sure. It was always here driving many projects, even on the smallest devices and never gone, but I’m sure the new shared C++ library project support in VS 2015 is a strong commitment to the future of Visual C++.

Here's a good overview of the new C++ cross platform features in VS 2015:
Cross-Platform Mobile Development with Visual C++

And some very nice short videos from the Connect() event. Highly recommended to watch:
Herb's Ch9 video "C++:Conformance And Cross-Platform Mobile Development"
Ch9 video: "Visual C++ for Cross-Platform Mobile Development using Visual Studio 2015"

There's much more to discover in VS 2015 for C++ developers:
Visual Studio 2015 Preview is Now Available


  1. Would be great publicity for VS2015 if Microsoft awarded you Android MVP status ahead of its launch:

  2. Thanks for sharing the information. That’s a awesome article you posted. I found the post very useful as well as interesting. I will come back to read some more.

    mobile app development company usa

  3. Hi : Thank you for your post, I try is work fine :)