Enterprise applications provide many organisational benefits, not least the opportunity to improve business processes. So, it stands to reason that many companies are looking to add the solutions to their toolkits. However, to make enterprise applications a worthwhile investment, it’s vital to use the right frameworks, tools and technologies. After all, such important business systems need to be scalable to cope with business growth and able to deliver a long-term return on investment.
There are many development platforms to choose from for enterprise applications, but Xamarin is one of the most popular enterprise software development platforms amongst developers worldwide. It boasts qualities like high accessibility and unrivalled support, which make it a force to be reckoned with. So, it should come as no surprise that it’s contributed to the development of thousands of enterprise applications for companies of all shapes and sizes.
What Are Enterprise Applications?
Enterprise applications are software solutions that provide the logic and tools to improve business processes. Some boost productivity by automating manual tasks, others make workflows more efficient; think things like customer relationship management systems, time log systems, supply chain management systems and more. Ultimately, enterprise applications can be used across the breadth of an organisation, benefiting every department.
Enterprise applications are very data-intensive; they compile a huge amount of information from various sources. Data can then be integrated, validated and used to enhance solutions. Ultimately, it is data that helps to enhance customer relationships, improve processes and create all important data-driven insight.
The Challenges of Enterprise Application Development
While enterprise applications boast many business benefits, they can be challenging to develop and maintain. They need to be regularly updated and modified to meet business requirements and new business opportunities. Challenges can arise, which impact the efficacy of enterprise apps, and ongoing feedback during development and beyond can affect the scope and requirements.
One of the biggest challenges is building applications that can be easily modified and extended over time. Designing for such flexibility is difficult as it requires a unique architecture that will allow parts of an application to be developed, tested and deployed without impacting the rest of the application. It requires a huge amount of skill to enable multiple developers to work independently on an app and ensure that all the separate pieces come together into one integrated whole. Traditional monolithic apps avoided this problem by having tightly coupled components, but these were difficult to maintain as any issues in one component would impact others. Fortunately, there are now development platforms that allow developers to use a microservices-based architecture where the application is broken into a series of modules, each linked to a particular business objective.
What is Xamarin?
Xamarin is an open-source, cross-platform development framework that is used for building highly performant, modern and functional applications. As the framework is cross-platform, it works seamlessly on all operating systems such as iOS, Android and Windows. What’s more, Xamarin delivers native UI interfaces, native API access and a high level of native performance.
Xamarin allows developers to create native applications using a single codebase. Applications can be built using C# and a single integrated development environment (IDE) such as Visual Studio, which reduces the need to learn additional development languages and means that developers can focus on optimising the core application. Eighty per cent of business logic can be shared across platforms, with Xamarin taking care of auxiliary tasks like translating or compiling code to platform-specific code.
The Benefits of Xamarin
Xamarin offers developers some distinct advantages and has features that make it unique when it comes to enterprise application development:
- Faster development – enterprise apps can be built using a single language enabling developers to achieve a lot more with fewer resources and deliver solutions faster. By saving time translating, rewriting and compiling code, developers can reduce the development process by weeks or even months.
- Cost-efficiency – up to ninety per cent of code can be reused across various platforms, saving time, money and resources. This helps to reduce development costs without compromising the quality of the development process.
- Rapid prototyping – with Xamarin, the user interface doesn’t need to be modified for individual platforms, which means it’s much easier to quickly build the user interface. The entire process of making use of forms libraries is smooth, rapid and straightforward.
- Native performance – Xamarin enables developers to take full advantage of system software and hardware-specific APIs to deliver near-native applications. The framework offers C# coding while delivering an authentic look and feel for enterprise applications.
- Reduced maintenance – there is less time and effort required to update and maintain apps; changes in the route file can be applied directly to apps on all platforms, rather than working on them individually.
- Integrated – Xamarin supports the development of platform-specific programming languages with simple API amalgamation, resulting in implementing identical UIs. The framework reduces hardware compatibility concerns and provides a wide array of plugins and enhancing UIs.
Could Xamarin Be the Right Choice for Your Business?
Xamarin is an excellent choice for any business looking to develop an upscale, robust enterprise-grade application for multiple platforms. The development framework offers a range of development tools, platforms and features, which makes it extremely popular amongst developers. It has a powerful C# environment, native and cross-platform libraries and APIs. The ability to share code across target platforms helps to lower the total cost of ownership. Apps are able to share their user interface and app logic code, all while retaining a native look and feel on each platform. What’s more, Xamarin is perfectly designed to upscale projects, dealing with changing requirements and business needs. Apps can be built for adaptability by partitioning them into discrete, loosely coupled components that can be easily integrated together. In doing this, it’s far easier to modify and extend over time, scale with business needs and prepare for future growth.