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.NET Portable Class Libraries Made Available for Non-Microsoft Platforms

The libraries are also included in the upcoming release of Visual Studio 2013.

Microsoft has opened up its Portable Class Libraries (PCLs) -- previously only available to .NET Framework developers -- to be used on any platform, including non-Microsoft ones.

PCLs allow code-sharing between frameworks, but until now, the .NET PCL reference assemblies were license-restricted to Windows platforms like Silverlight, Windows Store, Windows Phone and Xbox. That restriction has been lifted, and the PCLs are now available as a standalone release, according to a blog entry by Rich Lander, a .NET Framework Program Manager.

For developers using Visual Studio 2013 (which is currently at the Release Candidate stage, and will be officially available Oct. 18), the PCLs are automatically installed. The standalone version is a ZIP file that "you can use on other platforms (or within other tools), Lander wrote. Presumably, some of those "other" platforms would include Android and iOS, the de facto standards for mobile developers.

The standalone PCL is available here. A discussion of cross-platform development (across the various Microsoft platforms) was published on the Visual Studio Magazine Web site last May.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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