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Welcome to the Sands of MAUI—newsletter-style issues dedicated to bringing together latest .NET MAUI content relevant to developers.

A particle of sand—tiny and innocuous. But put a lot of sand particles together and we have something big—a force to reckon with. It is the smallest grains of sand that often add up to form massive beaches, dunes and deserts.

Most .NET developers are excited with .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI)—the evolution of modern .NET cross-platform developer experience. Going forward, developers should have much more confidence in the technology stack and tools as .NET MAUI empowers native cross-platform solutions on both mobile and desktop.

While it may take a long flight to reach the sands of MAUI island, developer excitement around .NET MAUI is quite palpable in all the shared content. Like the grains of sand, every piece of news/article/documentation/video/tutorial/livestream contributes towards developer knowledge in .NET MAUI and we grow a community/ecosystem willing to learn & help.

Sands of MAUI is a humble attempt to collect all the .NET MAUI awesomeness in one place. Here's what is noteworthy for the week of October 17, 2022:

.NET MAUI Update

A new version is out for .NET MAUI—the sixth Service Release since General Availability (GA) has runtime and tooling updates. David Ortinau wrote up the announcement—the big news is .NET MAUI support for iOS 16 and XCode 14. There is much to rejoice for .NET MAUI developers wanting to target iOS 16—the latest mobile Operating System (OS) from Apple.

The latest .NET MAUI update is aimed for the .NET 6 runtime, and goes with latest tooling update—Visual Studio 2022 17.4 Preview 3, for both Windows and MacOS. Armed with XCode 14.0.x and latest VS 2022, .NET MAUI developers would be ready to to take advantage of latest SDK features in iOS ecosystem. Developing for iOS on either Windows or MacOS, now has seamless developer workflows and fast inner loops—thanks to Hot Reload and Hot Restart tooling. .NET MAUI support for .NET 7 Release Candidate 2 (RC2) and iOS 16/XCode 14 is in the works too—scheduled to come out soon for those on the bleeding edge.

.NET 7 Update

.NET 7 is the next evolution of .NET—scheduled to go live in November 2022. An incremental update and the final step before .NET 7 ships is ready— .NET 7 Release Candidate (RC) 2 is now out for Windows, MacOS and Linux. .NET 7 RC 2 has Production support and is meant to go with latest tooling in Visual Studio 17.4 Preview 3.

.NET 7 builds on the promise of .NET 6—a unified developer platform allowing wide platform reach and being fine-tuned for performance. Key focus areas of .NET 7 include enabling developer success with .NET MAUI, Cloud Native, Containers, ARM64 and various app modernization strategies.

With .NET 7 RC2, there are updates to .NET SDK and supporting Libraries—while new APIs light up app functionality, performance improvements to existing APIs mean developers benefit from simply upgrading. The .NET teams and a passionate community are at the cusp of a new era of developer productivity with .NET 7.

Renderers to Handlers

Xamarin.Forms has always had the concept of Renderers—code that renders native UI from abstracted C#/XAML. However, .NET MAUI introduces the new UI paradigm of Handlers—an interface-based implementation that provides cross-platform mapping to native platform controls. Handlers have inherently better architecture and are more performant. Leomaris Reyes wrote up a wonderful article—guidance on making the migration from Xamarin.Forms Renderers to .NET MAUI Handlers.

Leomaris started out explaining the fundamental changes behind the Handler architecture and the key Mapping concepts—property and command, to underlying platform UI/API. While .NET MAUI Handlers are clearly the future, Leomaris did point out that existing investments in Custom Renderers for Xamarin.Forms can be reused in .NET MAUI with compatibility mode. Time permitting, the right thing to do would be to migrate existing Xamarin.Forms Renderers to .NET MAUI Handlers—Leomaris explains the process for a sample control in incremental steps.

Authentication in .NET MAUI

.NET MAUI apps that provide value/services to customers would need to ways to securely identify users—authentication is fundamental to most modern apps. Given intellectual property and user security/trust is at stake, developers are best served leveraging established authentication services/providers—the Microsoft Authentication Library (MSAL) can help.

MSAL.NET now has support for .NET MAUI and Sameer Khandekar wrote up how to handle modern authentication in .NET MAUI apps.

The MSAL library for .NET is essentially the Microsoft identity platform, enabling developers to acquire security tokens to call protected APIs using industry standards like OAuth2/OpenID Connect. The latest Microsoft.Identity.Client 4.47.0 NuGet package now has support for .NET MAUI apps, making it easy for developers to add user authentication. Sameer talked about common authentication patterns—Basic, With Broker and B2C, along with what each type of authentication entails and corresponding use cases.

Modern authentication flows can get complicated—thankfully MSAL for .NET is meant to do the heavy lifting. For those wanting to dive in more, Sameer's session about user authentication for .NET MAUI apps during .NET Conf Focus on MAUI is a wonderful learning resource.

.NET Conf

What do .NET developers look forward to every year? The annual .NET Conf in November has become the de-facto .NET extravaganza—it coincides with release of the next major .NET runtime, along with a look at what's possible now and what's coming in future. Mark the date for .NET Conf 2022: November 8-10—it's less than a month away.

What can developers expect from this .NET Conf? Well, .NET 7 is expected to hit General Availability (GA)—focus areas include .NET MAUI, Cloud Native, Containers, ARM 64, performance optimization and modernization. Sessions were recently announced for the three-day virtual .NET Conf—developers can expect an all-out celebration of all things .NET. Will there be plenty of .NET MAUI love? You bet.

That's it for now.

We'll see you next week with more awesome content relevant to .NET MAUI.

Cheers, developers!

About the Author

Sam Basu

Sam Basu is a technologist, author, speaker, Microsoft MVP, gadget-lover and Progress Developer Advocate for Telerik products. With a long developer background, he now spends much of his time advocating modern web/mobile/cloud development platforms on Microsoft/Telerik technology stacks. His spare times call for travel, fast cars, cricket and culinary adventures with the family. You can find him on the internet.

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