Visual Studio Mobile Center

My application NotifyMe is growing slowly, I am glad it is growing at all. Anyway, I decided to connect it to Visual Studio Mobile Center portal.

It is a set of cloud services for building and managing mobile application.

Visual Studio Mobile Center has three main adventages. It allows to:
– collect crash reports with user analytics
– add cloud-based authentication and table storage
– build application automatically and distribute it to testers

Today I am going to focus on the first paragraph, and I will show you in steps how you can do it in your application.

First, create an account https://mobile.azure.com/login. The fastest way is to authenticate through GitHub or Microsoft Account.

 

And add new application to manage. For android:

And for iOS:

My app is written in Xamarin.Forms but I had to add my app twice, separately for every platform.

Next you will get a specific instructions how to connect Mobile Center to your application.

First step is to add these nuget packages:

Second and last step is to add MobileCenter.Start(…) method in specific place in application code. It depends on the platform. Done. It is simple isn’t it? 🙂

To collect data about usage I prepared logger component.

public interface IMobileCenterLogger
{
      void TrackEvent(string userName, EventType type);
 
      void TrackCrash(Exception ex);
}

And its implementation.

public class MobileCenterLogger : IMobileCenterLogger
{
      public void TrackEvent(string userName, EventType type)
      {
          var name = Enum.GetName(typeof(EventType), type);
          var properties = new Dictionary<string, string>();
          properties.Add(nameof(userName), userName);
          Analytics.TrackEvent(name, properties);
      }
 
      public void TrackCrash(Exception ex)
      {
          var properties = new Dictionary<string, string>();
          properties.Add("Message", ex.Message);
          Analytics.TrackEvent("Crash" ,properties);
       }
}

Now I have an ability to track every user in application. For example myself. As you can see I did basic operations in my application.

Visual Studio Mobile Center except custom events can provide other helpful information. For example:

  • count of active users
  • average session duration
  • users devices
  • languages
  • countries with pretty nice map

After connection I have also crash reports without any single line of code. Every unhandled crash is stored with a simple but really helpful stacktrace.

(If you going to test it in your app, notice that crashes can be catched by Mobile Center only in Release configuration )

No more to say, this is a powerful tool and it will be more better in few months.

Here is a product roadmap https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/mobile-center/general/roadmap.

Don’t waste your time and check it while it is for free.

 

 

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