Is it possible to create a .xcarchive archive from Visual Studio?

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For Xamarin 4

As of Xamarin 4.x, it is now possible to create a .xcarchive from Windows by setting the ArchiveOnBuild property to true. For example, using MSBuild on the command line:

msbuild /p:Configuration=Release /p:ServerAddress=10.211.55.2 /p:ServerUser=xamUser /p:Platform=iPhone /p:ArchiveOnBuild=true /t:"Build" MyProject.csproj

The .xcarchive will be placed in the $HOME/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives directory on the Mac build host that both Xcode and Xamarin Studio search to display previously built archives.

See this Xamarin Forums post for some brief additional notes about the ArchiveOnBuild property. See the documentation about Xamarin.iOS command line builds on Windows for additional details about the ServerAddress and ServerUser properties.


For Xamarin 3 and earlier

The Xamarin 3.x Visual Studio extension does not provide a mechanism to produce .xcarchive archives. That said, the logic used to create .xcarchive archives in Xamarin Studio on Mac is described here, so you could probably create your own .xcarchive by hand if you wished.

But it's worth noting that you don't need a .xcarchive to submit to the App Store. You can submit an IPA file as long as it's signed with an App Store Distribution Profile (not an Ad Hoc Distribution Profile).

In fact, you can even just zip up the .app bundle (that's signed with an App Store Distribution Profile), and submit that .zip file to the app store.

In either case, you can use the Application Loader app to submit the app (rather than Xcode).

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.