When it comes to software development, there is a huge range of frameworks and languages to choose from. One that has most certainly stood the test of time is Microsoft’s .NET framework. The development platform offers a scalable, flexible and secure environment that makes it an excellent option for developing enterprise software and a viable candidate for any development project.
What is .NET?
.NET is an open-source development framework that contains the libraries and tools developers need to build any kind of application, whether it’s mobile, web or IoT apps. .NET was designed by Microsoft to provide a consistent object-oriented programming environment whether object code is stored and executed locally or remotely.
.NET works by providing the use of building blocks that can be deployed by developers for various projects. The object-oriented approach means that small pieces of code can be easily picked up and included within any application. Each module or code segment has been tested, resulting in a streamlined and reliable development process.
What Can You Build with .NET?
.NET is very adaptable and can be used to create a wide range of applications in both simple and complex projects. The most common types of apps that are developed using the framework include:
- Web applications – programs that run inside the web server in order to fulfil user requests over HTTP. .NET web applications can be for simple HTML pages on websites or advanced apps running on remote and local networks. Dynamic and data-driven browser-based apps and eCommerce websites can also be created using .NET.
- Desktop applications – apps built for desktops that can be used for day-to-day tasks, such as the well-known Microsoft Word. These apps only run under the Windows environment and the service is provided by the Windows operating system.
- Windows services – long-running applications that are executable and run as a background process on the system. These apps don’t have a graphic user interface and don’t interfere with other apps that are running concurrently to them.
- Gaming – with a range of libraries, tools and programming languages at the disposal of developers, .NET is a great solution for creating game engines and scripting across many platforms.
- Mobile applications – running across multiple platforms, these apps are pivotal in providing access to data from smartphones. .NET is a cross-platform development framework, which means that code can be reused across iOS, Android and more, saving time and money.
- Enterprise applications – .NET is extremely adept at handling the interchange of data and communication, whether it’s creating data-centric applications or dynamic web-based solutions. As such, the framework is often used to build enterprise applications such as CRM and ERP systems.
- IoT applications – its open-source approach and strong community base make the .NET framework an amazing environment for building IoT apps.
Reasons to Consider .NET for Your Development Project
It’s no wonder .NET is so popular as it can be used to build such a wide range of applications to meet just about every business need. However, it has a lot more to offer besides that. Some of the key benefits of the .NET platform include:
- Security – .NET provides a highly secure environment, which is fundamental as cybersecurity has become a top business concern. With .NET, developers can easily implement features such as role-based security and threat monitoring to ensure they build a secure software application from the ground up.
- Support – as .NET is so popular with such a large market share, it has a lot of resources supporting it. There are guides, certifications, open-source add-ons, developer support and a huge community of developers at every level that can help with application development.
- Versatility – while .NET is inextricably linked with Microsoft, it is also a cross-platform framework. That means that while applications will be compatible with Microsoft products, they can also run on iOS, Android and more. With the help of Visual Studio, developers can build cross-platform applications which reuse a single codebase.
- Scalability – it’s vital for software to be able to scale alongside a business. .NET is the perfect partner for growth in user base, functionality and data consumption. What’s more, it’s possible to change code in one area of an application without affecting others and it’s easy to add new modules.
- Maintenance – it’s easy to upgrade to the latest .NET release, run updates, and do regression testing, which ensures that software is always running at its best. What’s more, with application insights, developers can identify errors, security threats and performance issues and extend the life cycle of your solution,
- Flexibility – the .NET development platform supports 60 programming languages, which enables developers to work in the language they are most comfortable, whether it’s C#, F#, Cobra or Small Basic. This reduces the need for additional skill sets and team members during a development project.
- Familiarity – most organisations use other tools from Microsoft, such as Azure cloud hosting, Office 365 and Windows. This not only makes .NET seem familiar but it allows developers to take advantage of built-in tools and integrations between the framework and those applications.
- Simple – .NET is known for its ease of use with a standard library, optional app models and a common infrastructure. Segments of code can be used for standard programming tasks to save developers rewriting commonly used code.
- Fast – the .NET platform is very vast, which means that applications can operate quickly and company employees and customers alike can perform functions easily and smoothly.
Will You Use .NET for Your Next Software Development Project?
.NET is an adaptable development framework that enables developers to build applications such as CRM systems, inventory applications, mobile apps and websites; systems that can help streamline processes, minimise costs, maximise efficiency and increase convenience. Thanks to its many attributes, flexibility, scalability and familiarity, to name but a few, .NET makes a great choice for software development projects, especially those requiring cross-platform compatibility or that need to be easily scalable.