While there are many developer platforms out in the tech space, you should know that they are certainly not all created equal. Some are more complex, simple, more elegant and powerful for your development team to work with in order to develop applications. A platform like .NET has many defining features that will allow a development team to create powerful applications. Even if you’re not a developer, it’s critical to understand the leading technologies that will help make overall business decisions and increase development. Microsoft’s .NET is one of those technologies/frameworks you need to know.
But first, what is .NET? A developer platform like .NET is a software framework developed by Microsoft that is open-source and for Microsoft Windows. What does that mean? Open source means that the source code used to create the program is freely available for the public to view, edit and distribute. The whole open source license concept encourages the concept of a shared community approach to develop and patch software. There are many benefits to open source especially at the enterprise level. With open source, you get full visibility to the source code and the reliability of that code is usually superior to boot. Because of the community focus open source has, it’s also more secure since it’s constantly being vetted and patched when issues come up. Security should definitely be top of mind, especially if the applications you are developing will be housing sensitive data.
As a decision-maker, you definitely don’t want to have to hear your development team say that there’s been a data breach. Overall, there are many benefits to being open source. Because there are no licensing fees to consider to deploy solutions, it’s definitely more cost-effective in this regard. Time-to-market is also increased since open source solutions can be explored for free.
The common language runtime (CLR) is the foundation of .NET framework. CLR has many critical tasks including the following:
- Code security
- Thread support
- Exception handling
- Memory management/garbage collection
- Converts the .NET program code to Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL)
- Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation
Originally, the .NET framework only supported Windows-based devices. Now and as of 2016, the .NET framework supports OS X, and Linux as well.
The Advantages of .NET for Businesses in 2021 and Beyond
There’s a number of reasons why .NET is preferable for a number of applications, especially for business. One being that it is a framework that supports multiple programming languages. This flexibility is paramount for any development team. Because of its multi-language support, programmers can decide on which language is best to use depending on the use case or application that is being developed.
Not only is it flexible, but it’s not complicated either. The .NET programming language has an extensive library of predefined class libraries (otherwise known as pre-written code) that supports simple and complex data structures. What does that mean? That means that while your development team or internal resources might be limited, you now have hundreds of other developers’ work at your fingertips for your own programs without having to fret about completing projects.
One of the biggest issues is the shortage in skilled developers, and .NET gives you a peace of mind knowing that the team isn’t going to have to start from scratch with every sprint.
In addition, since .NET is based on object-oriented programming (OOP) it eases the process of managing data and compartmentalizing code into classes making it easier to test, respond to issues and less time spent programming since code can easily be reused. This will make any development team more efficient.
One of the biggest advantages of .NET is the united community it brings from small to very large enterprise organizations. This is a big deal if your developers come across an issue and need to brainstorm with other developers outside of the organization. Not only that, but the community fosters ideas and embraces teamwork working through issues and exchanging ideas with each other. It’s extremely powerful, especially if your internal resources are limited.
The .NET framework can also exploit managed and unmanaged components, increasing its interoperability. To explain, managed code is code that targets the runtime and unmanaged code simply doesn’t. There are perks when it comes to having this ability to create this type of environment, especially when it comes to app development. .NET Framework also supports the development of third-party runtime hosts in addition to providing its own.
Some Tips to Overcoming .NET Challenges
Although .NET is proven to be one of the most powerful frameworks, there’s some issues that might be a dealbreaker depending on your use case or who you are talking to. As previously mentioned, .NET uses the OOP language model and is a model that is focused on data rather than logic that is supported by the Entity Framework- an object database mapper that links objects and databases together. However, some may say that it may not be as flexible and may not support new database designs. This point is always up for debate since there are alternatives to choose from.
Depending on your budget, building .NET apps may be costly. That’s because if you want to take advantage of add-on quality assurance services, you’ll face licensing fees. Migration will also be another thing to consider if you’re transitioning to Microsoft products. Although .NET does support Mac and Linux, using Windows is still preferable. Another tip if you are looking to work with .NET is to make sure your team of engineers are looking for memory leaks and use additional resources to identify them even though .NET does have a garbage collector to assist with the issue.
There are many advantages to using .NET framework- it’s powerful, secure and scalable for web or desktop app development. Not only that, but according to Stack Overflow’s developer survey last year .NET was one of the most popular frameworks used and “most loved” by developers, and understandably so! It’s important to note that .NET 5 was just released last month with many enhancements to look forward to that have developers quite excited about the new era of .NET development.