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Medium Growth Firm
Industry Software industry
Founded May 2011 (2011-05)
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Key people
Miguel de Icaza, Nat Friedman
Website www.xamarin.com
Footnotes / references

Xamarin is a San Francisco, California based software company created in May 2011[2] by the engineers that created Mono,[3] MonoTouch and Mono for Android which are cross-platform implementations of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and Common Language Specifications (often called Microsoft .NET).

With a C# shared codebase, developers can use Xamarin to write native iOS, Android, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms.[4] Xamarin has over 505,000 developers in more than 120 countries around the world as of February 2014.[5]


Ximian Founding and Acquisition[edit]

In June 2000, Microsoft first announced their .NET Framework.[6] Miguel de Icaza of Ximian began investigating whether a Linux version was feasible.[7] The Mono open source project was launched on July 19, 2001. Ximian was bought by Novell on August 4, 2003, which was then acquired by Attachmate in April 2011.[8]

After the acquisition, Attachmate announced hundreds of layoffs for the Novell workforce, including Mono developers,[9] putting the future of Mono in question.[10][11]

Founding of Xamarin[edit]

On May 16, 2011, Miguel De Icaza announced on his blog that Mono would be developed and supported by Xamarin, a newly formed company that planned to release a new suite of mobile products. According to De Icaza, at least part of the original Mono team had moved to the new company.[12]

After this announcement, the future of the project was questioned, since MonoTouch and Mono for Android would now be in direct competition with the existing commercial offerings owned by Attachmate. It was not known at the time how Xamarin would prove they had not illegally used technologies previously developed when they were employed by Novell for the same work.[13][14]

In July 2011, however, Novell - now a subsidiary of Attachmate - and Xamarin announced that Novell had granted a perpetual license for Mono, MonoTouch and Mono for Android to Xamarin, which formally and legally took official stewardship of the project.[15][16]

Product Development[edit]

In December 2012, Xamarin released Xamarin.Mac,[17] a plugin for the existing MonoDevelop Integrated development environment (IDE), which allows developers to build C#-based applications for the Apple OS X operating system and package them for publishing via the Apple App Store.

In February 2013, Xamarin announced the release of Xamarin 2.0.[18] The release included two main components: Xamarin Studio, which bundled Xamarin's previous, separate iOS, Android and Apple OS X development tools into a single application;[19] and integration with Visual Studio, Microsoft's IDE for the .NET Framework, allowing Visual Studio to be used for creating applications for iOS and Android, as well as for Windows.


On July 17, 2013 Xamarin announced that they had closed $16 million in Series B funding lead by Lead Edge Capital.[20] Several investors from their Series A funding also participated, including Charles River Ventures, Ignition Partners, and Floodgate. On August 21, 2014 Xamarin successfully closed an additional $54 million in Series C funding, which is one of the largest rounds of funding ever raised by a mobile app development platform.[21] Total funding for the web development platform to date is $82 million.[22]


Xamarin Platform[edit]

Xamarin 2.0 was released in February 2013, which unified Xamarin's previous, separate iOS, Android and OS X development tools into a single platform.[23] Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android make it possible to do native iOS, Android and Windows development in C#, with either Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio. Developers re-use their existing C# code, and share significant code across device platforms. The product was used to make apps for several well-known companies including 3M, Target, AT&T, and HP.[24] [25] Xamarin integrates with Visual Studio, Microsoft's IDE for the .NET Framework, extending Visual Studio for iOS and Android development.[19] Xamarin also released a component store to integrate UI controls, backend systems, cloud services and 3rd party libraries directly into mobile apps.[26][27]


Introduced in Xamarin 3 on May 28, 2014 and allows one to use portable controls subsets that are mapped to native controls of Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Xamarin Test Cloud[edit]

Xamarin Test Cloud makes it possible to test mobile apps written in any language on real, non-jailbroken devices in the cloud. Xamarin Test Cloud uses object-based UI testing to simulate real user interactions.[28]

Xamarin for Visual Studio[edit]

Xamarin claims to be the only IDE that allows for native iOS, Android and Windows app development within Microsoft Visual Studio.[29] Xamarin supplies add-ins to Microsoft Visual Studio that allows developers to build iOS, Android, and Windows apps within the IDE using code completion and IntelliSense. Xamarin for Visual Studio also has extensions within Microsoft Visual Studio that provide support for the building, deploying, and debugging of apps on a simulator or a device.[30] In late 2013, Xamarin and Microsoft announced a partnership that included further technical integration and customer programs to make it possible for their joint developer bases to build for all mobile platforms.[31] In addition, Xamarin now includes support for Microsoft Portable Class Libraries[32] and most C# 5.0 features such as async/await. CEO and co-founder of Xamarin, Nat Friedman, announced the alliance at the launch of Visual Studio 2013 in New York.

Xamarin Studio[edit]

Xamarin Studio, a standalone IDE for mobile app development,[19] was released in February 2013 as part of Xamarin 2.0 and is based on the open source project MonoDevelop.[33] In addition to a debugger, Xamarin Studio includes code completion in C#, an Android UI builder for creating user interfaces without XML, and integration with Xcode Interface Builder for iOS app design.[33] [34]


Xamarin.Mac was created as a tool for Apple technology application development using the C# programming language. Xamarin.Mac, as with Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android, gives developers up to 90% of code reuse across iOS, Android and Windows.[35] Xamarin.Mac gives C# developers the ability to build fully native Cocoa apps for Mac OS X and allows for native apps that can be put into the Mac App Store.[36] [37]

.Net Mobility Scanner[edit]

Xamarin’s .Net Mobility Scanner lets developers see how much of their .NET code can run on other operating systems, specifically iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows Store. It is a free web-based service that uses Silverlight.[38]


  • Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms[39]
  • Dr Dobbs Jolt Award: Mobile Development Tools[40]


  1. ^ Nat Friedman (May 25, 2011). "Xamarin". Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Binstock, Andrew (June 11, 2011). "NET Alternative In Transition". InformationWeek. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ Miguel de Icaza (May 16, 2011). "Miguel de Icaza". Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ "What is Xamarin?". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "About Xamarin". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Microsoft sees nothing but .NET ahead", Steven Bonisteel, ZDNet, June 23, 2000
  7. ^ "Mono early history.". [Mono-list]. October 13, 2003. 
  8. ^ "The Attachmate Group Completes Acquisition of Novell". April 27, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ Koep, Paul (May 2, 2011). "Employees say hundreds laid off at Novell's Provo office". KSL-TV. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ J. Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (May 4, 2011). "Is Mono dead? Is Novell dying?". ZDNet. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ Clarke, Gavin (May 3, 2011). ".NET Android and iOS clones stripped by Attachmate". The Register. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  12. ^ De Icaza, Miguel (May 16, 2011). "Announcing Xamarin". Retrieved May 29, 2011. Now, two weeks later, we have a plan in place, which includes both angel funding for keeping the team together, as well as a couple of engineering contracts that will help us stay together as a team while we ship our revenue generating products 
  13. ^ "The Death and Rebirth of Mono". infoq.com. May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011. Even if they aren’t supporting it, they do own a product that is in direct competition with Xamarin’s future offerings. Without some sort of legal arrangement between Attachmate and Xamarin, the latter would face the daunting prospect of proving that their new development doesn’t use any the technology that the old one did. Considering that this is really just a wrapper around the native API, it would be hard to prove you had a clean-room implementation even for a team that wasn’t intimately familiar with Attachmate’s code. 
  14. ^ Matthew Baxter-Reynolds (July 5, 2011). "What now for cross-platform mobile C#?". The Guardian. Retrieved July 15, 2011. But with a total lack of clarity as to whether Novell will allow Xamarin to sell their new products, or whether agreements exist to facilitate such a scenario, we're left in an unpleasant world of not having a compelling or workable solution for compromise free, multi-platform development. 
  15. ^ "SUSE and Xamarin Partner to Accelerate Innovation and Support Mono Customers and Community". Novell. July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011. The agreement grants Xamarin a broad, perpetual license to all intellectual property covering Mono, MonoTouch, Mono for Android and Mono Tools for Visual Studio. Xamarin will also provide technical support to SUSE customers using Mono-based products, and assume stewardship of the Mono open source community project. 
  16. ^ De Icaza, Miguel (July 18, 2011). "Novell/Xamarin Partnership around Mono". Retrieved July 18, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Your C# App on 66 Million Macs: Announcing Xamarin.Mac". Xamarin. December 12, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Announcing Xamarin 2.0". Xamarin. February 20, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c "Xamarin 2.0 Review". Dr Dobb's Journal. March 12, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013. Xamarin 2.0 bundles the company's Android, iOS and Mac development tools in a single affordable package 
  20. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (17 July 2013). "Xamarin Raises $16M Series B Round Led By Lead Edge Capital, Passes 20,000 Paid Developer Seats". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (21 August 2014). "Cross-Platform Development Platform Xamarin Raises $54M Series C". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Kepes, Ben (21 August 2014). "Xamarin Raises $54 Million--Because M&A... And Mobile". Forbes. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  23. ^ Mary Jo Foley (December 13, 2012). "Xamarin delivers tool for building native Mac OS X apps with C#". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Xamarin for Android". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Xamarin for iOS". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  26. ^ Peter Bright (February 20, 2013). "Xamarin 2.0 reviewed: iOS development comes to Visual Studio". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  27. ^ Mikael Ricknäs (June 25, 2013). "Xamarin tool aims to show the ease wth which .NET apps can become mobile". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Xamarin Test Cloud". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Xamarin and Microsoft Announce Global Collaboration". November 13, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Xamarin Visual Studio". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  31. ^ Abel Avram (November 13, 2013). "Developing iOS & Android Apps with C# in Visual Studio". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  32. ^ Mikael Ricknäs (November 13, 2013). "Microsoft, Xamarin simplify cross-platform development". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  33. ^ a b "Xamarin Components". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  34. ^ Tom Thompson (April 26, 2013). "Review: Xamarin 2.0 works mobile development magic". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  35. ^ Tim Anderson (November 13, 2013). "Microsoft, Xamarin give Visual Studio a leg-up for... iOS and Android?". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  36. ^ John Koetsier (February 20, 2013). "Xamarin debuts iOS and Android app development inside Visual Studio for C# programmers". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  37. ^ Darryl K. Taft (December 14, 2012). "Can Xamarin's New Mac Tool Lift C# Above Objective-C?". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  38. ^ How mobile is your .NET?, Retrieved June 24, 2014
  39. ^ CJ Arlotta (August 15, 2013). "Gartner Magic Quadrant: Mobile Application Development (MAD) Platforms". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  40. ^ Gaston Hillar (March 4, 2014). "Jolt Awards: Mobile Development Tools". Retrieved April 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]