How Xamarin Developers Helped The Postage Quickly Get Its Idea to Market

The Postage is a company that helps people plan for end-of-life while focusing on living fully in the here and now. The idea of the company was to help people organise their affairs, be it assets, passwords, memories or any number of things, in a secure, reliable environment.

As a startup company, The Postage needed to get its idea to market quickly, deliver a rich user experience and build agility to enable future business growth. Fortunately, by using .NET and Xamarin developers, its team was able to build a full-stack solution covering front-end, back-end, web and mobile, all using C#. 

What Challenges Was The Postage Facing?

When a loved one passes, those close to them should be able to focus on processing their loss and celebrating that person’s life, rather than dealing with paperwork and red tape. However, most people don’t consider the complexities that will be left for others once they’re gone. Having struggled with the problem herself, Emily Cisek founded The Postage as a way to help people deal with their affairs in a more organised way and to give them more control. Cisek proposed an interactive, full-service solution that would help people plan for their passing and manage difficult conversations. They would be able to store all their critical information in one place, including documents, passwords and locations of keys and valuables, and to easily keep that information up to date. 

With the help of Ken Myers, now the company’s CTO, Cisek tried to quickly bring her idea to life. However, there were a lot of technical challenges standing in the way of creating such a platform. First and foremost, it needed to be able to store people’s personal and sensitive documents in a secure environment, to be intuitive, interactive and reliable. Moreover, to be able to secure funding and deliver the solution, the small team needed to be able to move quickly. In addition, as with most companies, they needed a solution that would be scalable and easy to manage to facilitate future growth. 

How Did Xamarin Help Provide a Solution?

The first stage of development was platform selection. With previous experience of Miscorosft’s customer promise, Myers immediately turned to Azure. Not only was Azure the best cloud for .NET but by using .NET, they would also have access to Blazor and Xamarin and be able to use C# across the entire application stack. That decision was fundamental as it helped to save both time and money. Instead of the development team having to write back-end services in C# and then use different languages, such as JavaScript, to power front-ends and web apps, they could use just one language. This removed the requirement for extra developers with additional skill sets and the upkeep of ensuring they were all in sync. 

Once the website was developed and released, the same team of developers soon turned their attention to the requirement for mobile apps. Fortunately, with Xamarin.Forms (now .NET MAUI), they could once again use C# to build their solution. Not just that, but by using Xamarin as the development platform, they could build one mobile app for multiple platforms. In addition, the same back-end services were used for the web application and the Xamarin application, with one common language across the development team. 

The most recent version of Xamarin.Forms at the time allowed the team to deliver a highly customised user interface (UI) without the need for custom renderers and custom code. Moreover, the team was able to reuse around 90 per cent of code across the iOS and Android versions of its apps. By using .NET and Xamarin, all components of the company’s technology stack reside within the same Visual Studio solution, in the same code base, making future changes much more manageable. 

The Benefits of Xamarin for Startups

By choosing .NET and Xamarin, The Postage was able to deliver on its goals, quickly gaining funding from investors and going to BETA shortly afterwards. What’s more, the solution was richer than initially planned; as well as storing important documents and information, it allows users to capture their wishes and send messages to loved ones after they’ve passed on. And all that in just six months. Three months later, The Postage formally launched and quickly had an active user base of subscribers. They quickly received feedback that they were helping people change how they plan for the future, just as Cisek had hoped. 

As the team at The Postage has demonstrated, Xamarin is a formidable choice for startups. New businesses are often highly dependent on creating digital products and building digital identities. Xamarin offers several benefits to help them do just that:

  • Cross-platform – Xamarin works on all devices, reducing the need for multiple development teams and additional areas of expertise. 
  • Code reusability – Xamarin offers up to 95% code reusability, which enables startups with tight budgets and timeframes to save on both cost and time.
  • Speed – for startups, time to market is vital if they are to gain a competitive advantage; Xamarin facilitates fast and effective development.
  • Simplified maintenance – seamless interoperability and interchangeability of code make apps easier to maintain across all platforms.

If used in the right way, mobile applications offer an exceptional framework for business development and growth and Xamarin can help do just that.  

Could Xamarin be the Right Solution for Your Business? 

As the team at The Postage has demonstrated, with Xamarin, you can quickly turn your business idea into a viable solution. The Microsoft ecosystem provides all the products and solutions your business could need to create incredible user experiences across mobile, desktop, web and more. What’s more, you can ensure you have agility and scalability built-in from the outset to support future business growth.

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