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Is .NET good for software development?

A closer look at .NET capabilities.
Angelika Agapow
Angelika Agapow
Content Marketing Specialist
June 29
16 min

The introduction

Many wonder what is best to use for their business in terms of software development. Actually, there are numerous software frameworks that you can choose from, but how do you pick the right one? Let’s find out how .NET works and why it’s beneficial and good for software development, and thereby the growth of the company itself.

What is .NET (“dot net”)?

Most of us know that .NET, or the so-called Dot Net, was released in 2002 by Microsoft, however, it didn’t receive much attention outside of the mother company until October 2007. One should only mention that before 2007 some major corporations such as GoDaddy or Dell Computers used .NET to create great web applications. In 2016 it was called .NET Microsoft and was an earlier version of .NET Core and .NET Framework.

The very first version .NET 1.0 was released in the late 2000s as a prototype. In fact, the development of this whole framework started in the late 1990s, when Microsoft chose to develop it as a part of their larger strategy. Sadly, the larger line of .NET products was a failure but the framework itself will be used anyway and live on for a very long time.

It is an open-source and cross-platform used to build a super wide variety of applications such as desktop apps, games, IoT devices, mobile apps, or web apps – we may say that simply it is a framework for software development.

Using .NET for software development we can take advantage of several libraries, editors, and even languages. What is more, programmers are able to write .NET applications using many programming languages: Visual Basic, F#, or C#. Also, applications made using .NET can be pushed from it to Windows, macOS, or Linux.

.NET has a vibrant and highly active community of even thousands of developers, so that is why you can use an extensive library of useful resources, which is available not only for advanced users but also for beginners interested in .NET software development.

.NET Framework

As mentioned before, .NET Framework for .NET software development was a late version of .NET Microsoft and was released in 2019. At first, .NET was a framework designed for Microsoft Windows applications, which were on Microsoft Windows devices and it worked only like this. Frankly speaking, .NET wasn’t an open-source product, but since that time Microsoft started to use a more open-source methodology and opened up many of the company’s platforms.

Initially, the .NET Framework was a standardized programming framework to simplify software development for Microsoft Windows. Nowadays, the .NET is an open-source programming framework for multiple channels. The .NET Framework is dedicated to helping with the software development process and making it faster, easier, and logical. In general, there is a huge, let’s call it ecosystem connected with .NET itself, which includes for example Windows Presentation Foundation. It is a user interface tool that helps you design applications for the Windows operating system and desktop applications. For many developers, .NET was a highly effective technology and it is even more so when it has become an open-source one.

.NET Core

Here, the .NET Core is not like others, but more like something new. Definitely optimized for open-source development and fast delivery using NuGet when .NET Framework was designed for a Windows-only platform. To be honest, .NET Core was a positive and seminal step toward the future. Unlike the older version, the engineers here could start using it on Linux and macOS to create applications that aren’t strictly tied to Windows. What is more, the .NET Core includes ASP.NET Core and UWP, so Universal Windows Platform. It is universal. What does it mean? It means that .NET Core supports Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms, so you can build any application on one of the platforms and run it on another one. Simple? Of course! It also comes with super easy-to-use command-line tools, which are also handy for local development or integration of code in repositories.

When should you choose .NET?

.NET itself provides several crucial elements that absolutely simplify application development – that is obvious – but what’s more? First of all, it has libraries and application frameworks and it supports programming languages such as Visual Basic, C#, or F# as mentioned before, but it also has language compilers and runtime components. Definitely, .NET has great potential because of the fact that it can be used to create many kinds of applications including cloud-native apps, games, IoT devices, mobile apps, or web and desktop applications.

  • Usage of .NET microservices 

Microservices are software apps made up of modular and small business services. In fact, it is a form of service-oriented architecture, where each service can be deployed completely independently as much as be created in unalike programming apps. The advantage is that this version of .NET allows mixing technologies and is also scalable for any microservice.

  • Having scalable and high-performance system needs 

If you are using hundreds of microservices, then running .NET with ASP.NET will be the smartest option. This will give you the best possible performance and scalability, which will not only result in cost reduction but also provide a better UX.

  • A need for wide company infrastructures in software development

Although it’s debatable whether .NET is primarily intended for enterprise or non-enterprise activities, Microsoft has managed to provide the broadest possible set of tools for a wide range of activities for both corporate internal, and public purposes. Having .NET allows you to build without limitations, and with cross-product integration. Moreover, .NET supports an extensive enterprise mobility ecosystem.

  • Usage of Docker containers 

It is no longer a secret that containers and microservices are often used together. .NET works perfectly with them thanks to being modular and lightweight. Additionally, cross-platform server applications can be deployed to Docker containers.

  • A need for a cross-platform framework 

.NET works with most platforms and across them, so if you need an application that will run on more than just one, this is the best choice. You can easily expand your desktop app or mobile app to other operating systems and thereby save time and money. Furthermore, you can use it for more specific engineering cases such as gaming or even AR development – a wide range of possibilities for any company.

  • Developer’s support  

This framework is supported by Microsoft, which invests in .NET heavily as much as promotes it in the tech community. Their great support is the reason why .NET is now a popular development framework.

  • Great security 

An extensive .NET security feature set is a guarantee of full protection, which means protection of users’ data and reduced developers’ burden right from the beginning

Thanks to its wide applicability, it is actually strongly demanded in many industries. What is more, .NET programmers are also in high demand because the .NET itself is only a framework and one of the above-mentioned programming languages is required to create a good final product.

Yet why should you choose .NET? According to what was aforesaid, the demand is increasing and the company needs to meet the expectations of its customers. With this framework, existing applications can be easily redesigned and customized to meet the current business needs of a particular company.

.NET follows OOP, called the object-oriented programming paradigm. Microsoft’s framework uses it, along with Python, C++, and Ruby, to simplify the software development process. With this method, objects are used to compartmentalize the data, and class declarations are responsible for describing the objects’ contents and their actions. It should be mentioned that giant technology companies and .NET software development companies are fond of how OOP protects access to code and prevents errors or inadvertent mistakes, and this increases the quality of the product. OOP makes it easier for programmers to read the code and find the most important parts of it.

Why .NET is the right technological choice?

Talking about .NET, an important aspect and element or rather complementary elements are cloud and Azure, forming one united ecosystem. .NET is the right technological choice due to the fact that it makes one whole with at least aforementioned Azure, which also provides many tools to support software development such as Azure DevOps along with all CI and CD.

You can create fast, scalable, and advanced applications in the cloud with .NET with the Azure platform being the best place for this, as it’s built specifically to support .NET developers. Huge numbers of Azure products work natively in a .NET environment and are also integrated with developer tools of Visual Studio. As mentioned, it is a powerful tool for CI and CD, debugging, and publishing. It significantly increases productivity while monitoring in the cloud, developing and deploying applications. Using this combination will enable you to get started on your work much faster.

Azure is the best cloud hosting if it comes to virtual machines running Linux or Windows. It doesn’t matter if you use Java, PHP, ASP, .NET, or Node.js for application development, still, you will need a great, full and continuous integration and of course implementation of the Azure pipeline to push any changes to your virtual machines automatically. Thanks to Azure you will be able to create and test any language just as Python, PHP, Go, Java, Node.js, C++, .NET, and so on.

Advantages of .NET

So what are the advantages of .NET? There are actually plenty of them, although, now we will concentrate on the crucial aspects.

  • Cross-platform development

It was already mentioned before, but still it is one of the most important advantages. So, let’s say it again: you can use .NET to develop needed software for Windows, macOS, or Linux. It allows companies to reach a variety of platforms while staying in the .NET ecosystem.

  • Open-source development

At first, it wasn’t an open-source solution, however, after some time it changed and is very useful. It has an enormous community and many improvements were implemented throughout the years.

  • Language support

The language support is amazing here, one can say – very universal. .NET includes both front-end and back-end languages. How does it work? Simply, ASP.NET may be used as the back-end, and VB.NET and C# for front-end programming.

  • The Visual Studio IDE

Visual Studio IDE is effortless to use a development environment that supports programming languages such as Visual Basic, F#, and C#. Programmers can easily identify any syntax and grammar errors. It is used for building, publishing, and debugging applications across all platforms – even on Android or iOS. It includes integrated code reviews, s a real-time collaboration on the same codebase, and a Git-first workflow. IDE is useful for applications based on code in different languages and also allows for customization of the environment to match users’ preferences. The best part of it is that the Marketplace of Visual Studio offers a wide r,ange of extensions such as team collaborations, integration, cloud development, third-party connections, and so on from Microsoft and more providers. Additionally, the newest version of Visual Studio, so Visual Studio 2022 contains IntelliCode. IntelliCode has special functionalities that use Machine Learning to suggest fixes, complete chunks of code, and recognize repeated edits.

  • Community support

.NET community is enormous and active, so it means that there are many lessons, courses, or code snippets, and other resources.

  • Universal standards with .NET Standard

.NET Standard is a large class library in the .NET ecosystem, which is based on the base class libraries for .NET Core, .NET Framework, and Xamarin. It helps to work with graphics rendering, manipulations with XML documents, and database interaction. This is a thing that greatly simplifies the work of developers because before its introduction it was necessary to develop a library or application for a new platform from scratch, and after that operate with updates on each individual platform.

  • Reliable caching system and simplicity

Thanks to keeping data in temporary storage you can use it faster if needed – it is called caching. The .NET caching system is reliable, extensible and also simple to use. What is more, the Object Cache class enables the creation of a custom cache implementation, so it can be used for the performance and scalability of Windows server and client applications improvement.

  • Object-oriented software development

With this one, developers can tell that .NET software development is faster, easier, and definitely more consistent. It breaks down software into some smaller pieces, so it is easier to combine and manage them. Can help to define the behaviour and interactions of objects without managing their inner attributes. OOP makes the code manageable, respondable, and easy to test. Definitely saves time and cost of development!

Disadvantages of .NET

Of course, there are no solutions without flaws. Nothing is perfect, so let’s learn about the dark side of .NET as well.

  • No support for all major languages

As far as .NET supports Visual Basic, C#, and F#, it doesn’t support other major programming languages. That is why developers using Java or Python won’t be able to use .NET without learning one of 3 languages. Even though this platform is the strongest one from the engineering side and has such extensive infrastructure – so, should we call it a disadvantage?

  • Licensing cost

It is clear that application development isn’t cheap and no matter what technology is used. Visual Studio IDE will consume most of the expenses, as well as other additional services and quality assurance. Currently, Visual Studio in the business version costs $45 per month ( note that the price applies per user). The enterprise version, on the other hand, costs up to $250 per month. Of course, you can try a partnership with Microfost and somehow get a few free subscriptions, but who would want to play with that? There is always a free edition called Visual Studio Community for non-profit and educational purposes, this is mostly used for school or college classes. Expenses will increase if you have never used Microsoft products and need to for example migrate from AWS to Azure.

Other things worth mention

Software development means that there are many decisions to be made – more or less important. On top of that, choosing the right technology will be the most challenging one. However, this type of task becomes even more difficult when you only read articles and rely on the knowledge of people, who belong to the community but are not typical specialists. That is why it is worth seeking help from a specialist and following the path to improved .NET software development.

Clients of many companies are facing a problem that occurs more frequently, namely cybersecurity. Of course, this is not just a customer issue, as everyone struggles with it, however, individuals operating in more sensitive fields like healthcare or finances suffer the most. It is well known that the phases of security work begin with the beginning of the development cycle of the software itself. This is why .NET is the ideal choice, as it provides the tools to help achieve the best results. It is hard to create a custom and secure application at the same time, and here you can easily implement role-based security or threat monitoring itself and much more.

Besides, .NET is a developer-friendly environment as well as enterprise-friendly. Apart from a high level of education in courses, certification, or mass of add-ons, it also creates a great environment for entrepreneurs. If you run your own business, you can easily find support among a wide network of .NET developers – regardless of the level of expertise. That’s full support for your application.

Within the .NET platform, you can develop applications that are compatible with Microsoft products, and you can use about 60 languages – of which 11 were created by Microsoft itself. The most commonly used are JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, or Angular – depending on what each project requires. What’s more, working with Visual Studio you can use .NET to create cross-platform applications, and this allows you to reuse your code base without having to re-create it from scratch. What does it mean? When we build a software system for Android, Windows, and Web versions, we can optimize resources and time by using code created on all of these platforms because it is universal.

The software needs to be adapted as the company grows. .NET is a framework that is fully scalable and allows for growth in the number of users or data consumption. From here you will be able to create your blueprints, which allows developers to use some objects in other projects again. There is also great ease in changing the code in a particular area of the application without modifying the rest of it, as well as adding new modules or changing others. There’s also a possibility to use projects that are already completed and even tested, which is a huge benefit for the company, and it reduces costs as well.

.NET means a trouble-free upgrade process for the whole and individual components. Additionally, when you use an app called Insights, you can automatically detect and identify errors, any threats, performance issues, or anomalies. It allows for fast performance and supports .NET. That is why .NET is good for software development and for your business. Still not convinced? Ok, so let’s move!

Could .NET be important for your company’s development?

Nowadays, running a business online has increased enormously. But why exactly is this happening? Being online means you exist. People sometimes say that if someone isn’t on Facebook then theoretically he doesn’t exist – probably everyone remembers it. Internet is the best way to get customers or even business partners and it comes with minimal investment and little effort. It is an opportunity for unlimited transactions on a global scale, so why not take advantage of it?

With .NET you will create web applications that are consistent, scalable, efficient, and reliable. The .NET framework has a set of many libraries of a huge size, which is very helpful for designing interfaces, creating websites and networks, any algorithms, or connecting to and accessing databases. Programming with .NET makes it much easier and broadens the range of possibilities when developing applications.

One of the benefits of .NET is improved security, which is a definite go-to for businesses, isn’t it? There is language interoperability in .NET, which is the ability to implement any language to use code created in another. Recently, .NET has gained a lot of interest among new and existing website owners, as they want to use a wide range of features without incurring high costs. It is certain that online business owners are seeking the help of .NET to expand their businesses using engaging applications. There are several interesting .NET services for companies such as: migrating web and desktop apps to .NET; .NET design and architecture evaluation; .NET desktop and web app development; .NET migration of applications etc.

.NET helps to grow your company by generating huge amounts of data that contains information such as aspects of particular products, customers, users, and website operations or transactions. With all this, the development and implementation time is short, and using .NET itself is beneficial for software interoperability. So, .NET is the ideal framework for creating database-centric services and applications, which is why it is so often chosen by professionals.

What else is cool here? Less coding and use of off-the-shelf code, i.e. reuse if you wish. This is a significant simplification for a company that desires to operate on multiple platforms without spending a lot of money. Of course, it’s not a literal copy and paste, however, it already improves the work. In addition, a given code can already be tested on one platform, so we will have an idea of its performance so far.

What’s more? .NET software development is one of the best ways to go. Advanced security makes configuration highly efficient and application protection simple. Features like authentication support, CORS control, application coding, HTTPS implementation, data protection, authorization, and XSRF/CSRF opposition are the elements that enable the finest protection. You can even practice third-party identification by having built-in identification providers and handling application codes without any problems.

Summary

What does it all mean for software development and your company? Microsoft .NET is mainly designed for Microsoft Windows systems (but doesn’t exclude others) and involves a huge library, as well as featuring a fair number of programming languages. It’s a pretty solid option when it comes to developing web applications – easier said than done, a bull’s eye. The popularity of .NET is growing and it supports major companies, which gives many more possibilities for development and attracting new customers. To sum it up, .NET represents many advantages with a huge cost reduction and significant support for the company and the software development itself. As a Hicron Software House, we provide the best solutions to our clients, including .NET framework. Having knowledge and .NET specialists in the team, we can work on specific projects. You can check one of our .NET case studies, or read more about .NET technology on our website.

Angelika Agapow
Angelika Agapow
Content Marketing Specialist
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