Getting Started with VS App Center

There is no doubt that Microsoft’s VS App Center is an incredible resource for mobile application programmers.  The problem is that it seems hard to get started.  The good news is that once you get started, it turns out to be wicked easy!

For this blog post, I’m going to assume that you are already sold that App Center is the Cat’s Meow; if not check out this article by Microsoft on why App Center is so cool.

The short version is that App Center allows you to Build your application in the cloud, directly from your repository. You can Test (using Xamarin Cloud) and you can Distribute to beta testers.  You can also set up and view analytics and crash reports.  Finally, you can set up push notifications.

In the next few blog posts I’ll go over each of these areas, and be sure to keep an eye out for my forthcoming course on App Center on LinkedIn Learning (part of my Azure Essentials series) .  You’ll find these posts on Wintellect’s blog and on my own.

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Shawn Wildermuth on “Hello World – The Film” and much more

Shawn Wildermuth has been tinkering with computers and software since he got a Vic-20 back in the early ‘80s.

As a Microsoft MVP since 2003, he’s also involved with Microsoft as an ASP.NET Insider and ClientDev Insider. You may have taken one of his more than twenty courses on Pluralsight

He’s authored eight books and innumerable articles on software development. You can also see him at one of the local and international conferences he’s spoken at including TechEd, Oredev, SDC, NDC, VSLive, DevIntersection, MIX, Devteach, DevConnections and Dev Reach.

He is one of the Wilder Minds. You can reach him at his blog. He’s also making his first, feature-length, documentary about software developers today called “Hello World: The Film”. You can see more about it here.

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Creating A Generic Report in Xamarin.Forms

I recently had a client who wanted to create simple reports that consisted of a variable number of columns, followed by a “more” button that takes you to a page with the full details. 

The problem was that they didn’t want to hard-code anything.  They wanted the ability to add reports without sending out a new version of the software, and they wanted to be able to pick which columns were visible.  Yikes!

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Jeff Fritz on ASP.NET Core

Jeffrey T. Fritz is a senior program manager in Microsoft’s Developer Outreach Group that works with the community on open source projects and the new Microsoft .NET Core framework. As a long time web developer with experience in large and small applications across a variety of verticals, he knows how to build for performance and practicality. More recently, he has worked closely with developers to teach them to succeed with new tools and frameworks from Microsoft and Telerik



Posted in ASP.NET Core, Essentials, Podcast | Tagged | 2 Comments

Speaking at DevIntersections Spring 2018

For more info… click here

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Building A Generic SQLite Repository

In a recent project, I found myself needing multiple, seemingly unrelated databases.  It was crazy to copy and paste the code for such basic operations as getting all the data, etc., so the obvious alternative was a generic repository, and a database with tables for each set of data.

The first step is creating the SQLite repo.  We begin by creating the class:

public class GenericSqliteRepository<T> where T : IEntity, new()

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MVVM Light and Xamarin.Forms

Laurent Bugnion is extremely well known and respected in the developer community.  He is probably most famous for the creation of MVVM Light.

Laurent works as Senior Global Azure Advocate for Microsoft after almost 10 years spent working for IdentityMine and Valorem, two leading firms in Microsoft technologies. He is one of the foremost experts for XAML and C# based development. He codes in Windows, WPF, Xamarin (iOS and Android), Unity, ASP.NET. On his free time, Laurent writes for technical publications such as MSDN Magazine, and his blog is on He is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Microsoft MIX, Build, TechEd, VSLive, TechDays and many other international events. Prior to joining Microsoft, Laurent was a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Windows development from 2007 to 2017, a Microsoft Regional Director from 2013 and a Xamarin Most Valuable Professional from 2015. He is also the author of the well-known open source framework MVVM Light for Windows, WPF, Xamarin, and of the popular Pluralsight reference course about MVVM Light.


Posted in MVVM, Xamarin, XAML | Tagged | 1 Comment

Getting a PDF from a remote host to a Xamarin.Forms Application

It is fairly easy to display a PDF file that is local to your phone.  For example, see this article from

A bit trickier is to get a PDF from a server and then to display it.  Here’s how I did it (note, this blog post offers snippets of code, rather than a complete solution… I will reduce my larger program to something manageable asap)

The first thing I did was create a model object named ReportItem. Its primary goal is to help group all the items in my list of pdf’s, but it contains the all-important URL to the pdf itself.

Next, I created a page named ShowPDFPage.  In the XAML part of this page I just have a CustomWebView:

         <local:CustomWebView Uri="foo.pdf" 
                               VerticalOptions="FillAndExpand" />

The CustomWebView was taken from an article I found on the web.

 public class CustomWebView : WebView
       public static readonly BindableProperty UriProperty = BindableProperty.Create (propertyName:"Uri",
       public string Uri
          get { return ( string ) GetValueUriProperty ); }
          set { SetValueUriPropertyvalue ); }

This performs the magic of showing the PDF file, but how do we get it?

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New Azure Courses (Part 1 and 2)

Pleased and proud to say my first two Azure courses are now available on LinkedIn Learning (

Part 1 is a general introduction to Azure for developers.

Part 2 focuses on working with Data in Azure

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Yet Another Podcast #176 – All Things Visual Studio Mac

Mikayla Hutchinson is a Principal Program Manager for Microsoft working on Visual Studio Mac.  We discuss the state of the IDE and what’s coming.


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Yet Another Podcast #175 – John Papa

John Papa is a dedicated a father and husband, a Principal Developer Advocate with Microsoft, and an alum of the Google Developer Expert, Microsoft RD and MVP programs.

His passions are deploying and teaching modern web technologies, and enjoying everything Disney with his family. John is a co-host of the popular Adventures in Angular podcast, author of the Angular Style Guide, and many popular Pluralsight courses


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Free Recorded Webinar on Xamarin.Forms

Click image or click here


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