Automating Xamarin Protection with Dotfuscator

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Dotfuscator CE

Published on May 10, 2017 by Joseph Sewell

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This week, all eyes of the software community will be fixed on Microsoft’s Build conference. Microsoft and its partners are set to announce new technologies and lay out their vision for the future of software development. Recent years have seen the narrative take a decidedly cross-platform approach. Visual Studio Code gives developers tools to create what they want no matter their OS of choice. .NET Core extends the reach of the popular .NET Framework to Mac and Linux. Finally, Xamarin, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, lets app developers write their app once, then publish it for Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

As a Visual Studio 2017 Premier Launch Partner, PreEmptive Solutions is pleased to announce, as part of Microsoft Build 2017, a new way to integrate Dotfuscator’s protection into Xamarin apps. This new Dotfuscator-Xamarin integration has a number of advantages:

  • Easy setup – Developers just download an MSBuild targets file and import it into their projects with a few simple property changes. No more need to define custom targets or copy files as a post-build step!
  • Deep pipeline integration – The new integration automatically puts Dotfuscator into the Xamarin build pipeline, protecting apps as they’re built in Visual Studio or MSBuild. Developers don’t have to worry about forgetting the protection step, since it’s now included as part of the build.
  • Incremental builds – Don’t waste time reapplying Dotfuscator’s protection when your project hasn’t changed. The integration is smart enough to know when a build is necessary, and when it can be skipped.
  • Automatic configuration – Get up and running quickly: the integration creates a Dotfuscator config file automatically, with sensible defaults for the project. Instructions are provided for further configuration, including a case study of how to discover which additional identifiers (if any) need to be excluded from renaming obfuscation.
  • Detailed instructions – We’ve detailed how to use the integration with a well-known Xamarin.Forms sample. Developers can see the practical application of these instructions through an included git repo, which walks through the process step-by-step.
  • All major project types supported – The integration supports projects targeting Android, iOS, and Universal Windows (UWP).
  • Proven protection strategy – The app is protected by Dotfuscator, the industry standard .NET obfuscation and protection tool.
  • Free to start – The integration works not only with the commercial Dotfuscator Professional Edition, but also with Dotfuscator Community Edition (CE), which is included with Visual Studio. Developers can use the integration to quickly discover the capabilities of Dotfuscator’s protection.

To get started, see Integrating Dotfuscator’s Protection into Your Xamarin Apps in Visual Studio. There you can read the step-by-step instructions, as well as download the necessary MSBuild targets file.

We plan to keep introducing features like this, to make the protection process easier and more accurate, for Xamarin and all other kinds of apps. Stay up-to-date with the latest Dotfuscator features by visiting the Dotfuscator Downloads page. For announcements and other information, keep an eye on our blog and follow our Twitter account, @PreEmptive.