Monday, 17 November 2014

Android Programming With Microsoft's Visual Studio?

I've done a good bit of Visual Basic programming with Microsoft's Visual Studio Express, as well as VBA programming with Excel and Access. I've been searching for development environments for Android, but they're either expensive or complex, as in 'learn Java first', and that doesn't seem to be something that will make me hit the ground running. Any hints would be appreciated!

As you may know the obvious one, Eclipse, is free (like some others you can find out there), but indeed you need to get to know Java; the learning curve looks steep. And while Xamarin (which started out as the freeware 'Mono') is probably an excellent development tool, it's quite expensive for lone rangers (as opposed to enterprises).

You may however not have discovered B4A a.k.a. Basic 4 Android from Anywhere Software - I discovered it long after I started looking for what you need, by haphazardly changing my search phrase. B4A runs on Windows and is affordable and lets you hit the ground sprinting - running is for the beginners, for whom this tool is an equally good choice.

The community in the forum is huge and responsive, and there are loads of examples available as well as tutorials, a beginner's guide, and a trial version. Updates come frequently. People who have never programmed before are using B4A to get going.

Recently, B4I has been released as well, which lets you develop apps for iThings as well using - like B4A - a syntax that's very close to the VB/VBA syntax you already know.

Enjoy the coding!

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