Release Notes, Technology

Integrating the Aila SDK is now easier than ever with Xamarin compatibility

By Ryan Salinger

March 15, 2019

To give developers control over Aila’s hardware and software-based scanning, we offer integration for the Aila SDK with common development frameworks. With a new Xamarin integration, Aila is making it faster, easier, and less expensive to deploy solutions powered by Aila products.

The result: our enterprise customers and partners gain a simple, low-cost way to add Aila’s scanning technologies to their app-based solutions.

What are frameworks and why do enterprise developers use them?

“Develop once and deploy anywhere” is the idea behind frameworks like Xamarin, Cordova, and React Native, all of which can be used to integrate the Aila SDK. Frameworks allow developers to create an application that can be deployed seamlessly across multiple platforms (with minimal code tweaking). They’re also useful tools for incorporating APIs that have been written in different coding languages. This means that enterprises can work with one technology stack and one development team, and develop and deploy solutions faster and more cost-effectively.

For solutions involving scanning and barcoding, enterprises turn to Aila’s powerful and versatile TrueScan technology to enhance and enable brick-and-mortar experiences.

Why Xamarin?

Xamarin, like other development frameworks, eliminates the necessity of having to develop software in the native languages for each major platform. While other popular frameworks might only support iOS and Android, Xamarin apps can be ported to Mac OS and Windows, as well as both major mobile platforms.

Seamless portability between platforms ensures that a company developing a new solution (or hoping to port an existing solution to a new platform) doesn’t have to hire multiple teams to code the same experience in two or more programming languages. Further, Xamarin boasts code reusability of up to 96%. Access to reusable code lets developers spend less time rewriting code and more time focusing on creating the best in-app experience.

With a quickly growing community and a large portfolio of successful business apps, Xamarin is securing a strong foothold in the world of enterprise development.

How it works: Xamarin in action

Frameworks make it easier to deploy solutions in any number of verticals for today’s most valuable use cases. When a healthcare provider decides to deploy a digital check-in solution, for instance, it can either leverage an existing app or develop a new one. Since it isn’t always clear which platform the software will run on, using a framework like Xamarin ensures that the app can easily be ported over to whichever platform the provider chooses for its end-user touchpoints.  This also means that the provider can switch platforms with its new app—say from Android to iOS—and avoid paying a new developer to rewrite the code.

Robust healthcare check-in experiences involve ID verification and scanning insurance cards. Providers can streamline the process by integrating Aila’s SDK into their check-in software. This is achieved by utilizing Aila’s binding library and integrating APIs into the application via a framework like Xamarin.

High value, low investment   

There are several frameworks available to developers who want to design cross-platform apps. Xamarin, however, is arguably the most commonly used tool for bringing existing code to other platforms for enterprise software solutions. It is a stable, mature framework that outputs applications that are on par with natively coded apps in terms of performance.

These benefits, combined with the growing popularity of Xamarin as a go-to tool for developing for enterprise, made it an ideal addition to our growing list of supported frameworks.

Three steps to integrating the Aila SDK into your app

  1. Download the Aila SDK
  2. Integrate APIs into Xamarin-based app
  3. Compile and deploy
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