Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova and the remote mac agent

At the Connect(); event, we showed yet more of what we’re doing to enable developers to use Apache Cordova. Cordova is a framework you can use to build hybrid mobile apps that work across modern mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and others. Using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you can create applications that take advantage of native device capabilities through APIs provided by Cordova.

Building iOS apps is a bit different from building for Android and Windows: you need to have a Mac running OS X. We knew we needed a more seamless way to allow developers to build for iOS right from within Visual Studio on Windows. To address this problem, we designed a remote agent that runs on a Mac (vs-mda-remote) to act as an iOS build service for Visual Studio. The vs-mda-remote agent we’ve released makes it possible to kick off a build from VS onto a Mac. It’s a straightforward piece of software that runs as an iOS build service and also enables remote debugging of your iOS Cordova applications.

ParallelsScreenshot

vs-mda-remote enables workflows such as running Visual Studio in Parallels (or similar VM solution) while being able to do iOS builds on the Mac OS side. Setting up a machine configuration to use vs-mda-remote is covered on MSDN in the Building your Apache Cordova Project for iOS using Parallels and vs-mda-remote topic.

If you don’t have a Mac available for builds, you can also setup vs-mda-remote using a Mac in the cloud. This solution is covered in the MSDN article: Build and Simulate iOS in the Cloud.

For more information about Cordova development in Visual Studio, read more about the Tools for Apache Cordova Preview. If you run into any issues or have questions, you can connect directly with the team via UserVoice, Twitter, StackOverflow, or email.

-Alex

TrikeAlexCroppedAlex Moskwa is a Program Manager in Visual Studio focused on Cordova tooling. Throughout his career at Microsoft he has focused on building great web tooling experiences. Before joining the Visual Studio team, he was a professional web developer.