xamarinCode Sharing Between Projects

The Bridge Pattern

The Bridge pattern is one of the most basic Inversion of Control design patterns. For Xamarin, this pattern is used to reference platform-dependent code from a platform-independent context. For example: using Android's AlertDialog from a Portable Class Library or Xamarin Forms. Neither of those contexts knows what an AlertDialog object is, so you must wrap it in a box for them to use.

// Define a common interface for the behavior you want in your common project (Forms/Other PCL)
public interface IPlatformReporter
{
    string GetPlatform();
}


// In Android/iOS/Win implement the interface on a class
public class DroidReporter : IPlatformReporter
{
    public string GetPlatform()
    {
        return "Android";
    }
}


public class IosReporter : IPlatformReporter
{
    public string GetPlatform()
    {
        return "iOS";
    }
}


// In your common project (Forms/Other PCL), create a common class to wrap the native implementations
public class PlatformReporter : IPlatformReporter
{
    // A function to get your native implemenation
    public static func<IPlatformReporter> GetReporter;

    // Your native implementation
    private IPlatformReporter _reporter;

    // Constructor accepts native class and stores it
    public PlatformReporter(IPlatformReporter reporter)
    {
        _reporter = GetReporter();
    }

    // Implement interface behavior by deferring to native class
    public string GetPlatform()
    {
        return _reporter.GetPlatform();
    }
}


// In your native code (probably MainActivity/AppDelegate), you just supply a function that returns your native implementation
public class MainActivity : Activity
{
    protected override void OnCreate(Bundle bundle)
    {
        base.OnCreate(bundle);
        SetContentView(Resource.Layout.activity_main);

        PlatformReporter.GetReporter = () => { return new DroidReporter(); };
    }
}


public partial class AppDelegate : UIApplicationDelegate
{
    UIWindow window;

    public override bool FinishedLaunching(UIApplication app, NSDictionary options)
    {
        window = new UIWindow(UIScreen.MainScreen.Bounds);
        window.RootViewController = new UIViewController();
        window.MakeKeyAndVisible();

        PlatformReporter.GetReporter = () => { return new IosReporter(); };

        return true;
    }
}


// When you want to use your native implementation in your common code, just do as follows:
public void SomeFuncWhoCares()
{
    // Some code here...

    var reporter = new PlatformReporter();
    string platform = reporter.GetPlatform();

    // Some more code here...
}

The Service Locator Pattern

The Service Locator design pattern is very nearly dependency injection. Like the Bridge Pattern, this pattern can be used to reference platform-dependent code from a platform-independent context. Most interestingly, this pattern relies on the singleton pattern -- everything you put into the service locator will be a defacto singleton.

// Define a service locator class in your common project
public class ServiceLocator {
    // A dictionary to map common interfaces to native implementations
    private Dictionary<object, object> _services;

    // A static instance of our locator (this guy is a singleton) 
    private static ServiceLocator _instance;
    
    // A private constructor to enforce the singleton
    private ServiceLocator() {
        _services = new Dictionary<object, object>();
    }

    // A Singleton access method
    public static ServiceLocator GetInstance() {
        if(_instance == null) {
            _instance = new ServiceLocator();
        }

        return _instance;
    }

    // A method for native projects to register their native implementations against the common interfaces
    public static void Register(object type, object implementation) {
        _services?.Add(type, implementation);
    }

    // A method to get the implementation for a given interface
    public static T Resolve<T>() {
        try {
            return (T) _services[typeof(T)];
        } catch {
            throw new ApplicationException($"Failed to resolve type: {typeof(T).FullName}");
        }
    }


//For each native implementation, you must create an interface, and the native classes implementing that interface
public interface IA {
    int DoAThing();
}


public interface IB {
    bool IsMagnificent();
}


public class IosA : IA {
    public int DoAThing() {
        return 5;
    }
}


public class DroidA : IA {
    public int DoAThing() {
        return 42;
    }
}


// You get the idea... 


// Then in your native initialization, you have to register your classes to their interfaces like so:
public class MainActivity : Activity
{
    protected override void OnCreate(Bundle bundle)
    {
        base.OnCreate(bundle);
        SetContentView(Resource.Layout.activity_main);

        var locator = ServiceLocator.GetInstance();
        locator.Register(typeof(IA), new DroidA());
        locator.Register(typeof(IB), new DroidB());
    }
}


public partial class AppDelegate : UIApplicationDelegate
{
    UIWindow window;

    public override bool FinishedLaunching(UIApplication app, NSDictionary options)
    {
        window = new UIWindow(UIScreen.MainScreen.Bounds);
        window.RootViewController = new UIViewController();
        window.MakeKeyAndVisible();

        var locator = ServiceLocator.GetInstance();
        locator.Register(typeof(IA), new IosA());
        locator.Register(typeof(IB), new IosB());

        return true;
    }
}


// Finally, to use your native implementations from non-native code, do as follows:
public void SomeMethodUsingNativeCodeFromNonNativeContext() {
     // Some boring code here


     // Grabbing our native implementations for the current platform
     var locator = ServiceLocator.GetInstance();
     IA myIA = locator.Resolve<IA>();
     IB myIB = locator.Resolve<IB>();


    // Method goes on to use our fancy native classes
}