Tuesday, January 10, 2023

4 Ways 'MAUI App Accelerator' can save you time (and money)

Step 4 (Add Pages) of the extension wizard

MAUI App Accelerator (marketplace link) is a Visual Studio extension that can help you start making apps with .NET MAUI.

It shows several best practices and examples and is intended to help you start building the app you want to make and do it faster and with less effort.

Here's how:

1. It lets you start with something closer to what you actually want!

The default app generated by the official new app template gives you a single page with content that you'll probably want to delete.

Instead, MAUI App Accelerator lets you choose the coding pattern and navigation style that you want to use. You can then add as many pages as you want/need. These pages can be blank or include some basic content--if that's what you'd like. It also adds any view models, navigation entries, dependency references, and anything else you need based on the options you choose.

It also lets you add references to libraries you want and adds in any basic, associated plumbing code. All with a single click.

It means that once you click "Create" you have something you can add your specific code to. You don't need to then start setting up the project structure and adding more references.

2. It forces you to think before starting your project.

I think this is the most important point. How often have you ended up spending more time overall because you rushed into something (not just code) and need up having to go back and change it? 

If you'd spent more time planning things in advance, you'd have saved more time overall.

I've seen many developers start projects by selecting "File > New Project > {selecting options}> Create" and only then stopping to think about what they're going to need in their project. By wiring up more functionality at the start and adding multiple pages (that you know you're going to need), you're forced to think about what you actually need in the app. 

Yes, you can still add to the generated app, but by being encouraged to do a little planning in advance, you'll save more time overall.

3. It makes it easier to try out new things.

Want to quickly try something that requires an app with two pages? Yes, you could create this yourself, but MAUI App Accelerator will let you do it faster and with less effort.

Want to try a specific control that has a sample page in the options presented in the wizard? Generating an app with that page can be much quicker than adding all the code and wiring up the control functionality yourself.

4. It lets you learn from complete examples. 

Want to try something new? With MAUI App Accelerator, you're not forced to rely on documentation or descriptions.

Maybe you've got no experience with MVVM, and you'd like to learn, but the resources online are confusing (& sometimes contradictory) and working with event-handlers and code-behind has always been sufficient for you. Well, you can now easily build the same app twice, once with code-behind and once with MVVM, and compare to see the differences. 

Or do the same with an app that uses XAML and one that generates the UI with C#. See what the differences are and how things work by comparing apps with identical functionality and content.

To enjoy these benefits yourself, simply install the extension. Then, when creating your next project, select `MAUI App Accelerator` in the new project wizard.

The 'MAUI App Accelerator' option in the new project wizard


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