Benefits of using the .NET framework for your development needs

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.NET (pronounced as “dot net”) is a free, cross-platform, and open-source software development framework developed by Microsoft. It can be used for a variety of projects, such as games, mobile and desktop apps, cloud apps, IoT solutions, and more.

Microsoft started the development of .NET Framework in the late 1990s. Version 1.0 was released on February 13, 2002. In the years to follow, the development process continued. .NET Framework had become a successful solution, but it had a major flaw, since it was only available on Windows. To address this in 2014, Microsoft began the development of .NET Core, a cross-platform version of .NET Framework. .NET Core 1.0 was released in 2016. From 2016 to 2020 both .NET Framework and .NET Core were developed simultaneously, but .NET 5.0 release merged both versions into one product.

What types of apps can you build with .NET?

.NET offers great flexibility in the types of apps you can develop with it.

Games

Console and PC games were always among the hardest types of projects to develop. Fortunately, .NET provides ample resources to develop games on a number of platforms and operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo. When it comes to picking a game engine, developers can choose from Unity, CRYENGINE, Godot, MonoGame, and more.

Web applications

For developing web apps and services, developers can use a feature-filled ASP.NET framework. For example, Blazor allows you to build UIs using C# instead of JavaScript. Razor markup syntax allows you to embed .NET code into web pages. Entity Framework library allows using strongly typed objects when interacting with both relational and non-relational databases.

Mobile apps

For mobile app development, .NET can be expanded by Xamarin, a framework with specific tools and libraries for building apps for Android, macOS, iOS, and Windows. Xamarin features strong cross-platform capabilities, meaning you can reuse your code across platforms.

Internet of Things

.NET can be used for building IoT systems. It can support a huge variety of sensors, displays, and input devices, and create apps that can be run on Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, HummingBoard, Pine A64, and more.

Cloud applications

Developers working with cloud apps can use .NET to build fast and scalable solutions and Azure for cloud services.

Machine Learning

To develop advanced apps that rely on machine learning and AI you can use the ML.NET framework. Apache Spark is an engine for distributed data analytics. Microsoft also provides a number of pre-made AI models for tasks such as emotion and sentiment detection, vision and speech recognition, language understanding.

Desktop apps

There are four frameworks to help with the development of desktop apps within .NET: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms (WinForms), Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and Xamarin.

Benefits of .NET

.NET features several advantages, making it a great framework for software development.

Fast deployment and easy maintenance

.NET has a modular design that allows to include all dependencies you may need for the project. It also makes debugging easier. Several additional features, such as controlled code sharing and side-by-side versioning, make the deployment process fast and reliable.

Cross-platform design

Early versions of .NET were severely limited by being locked to Windows. Fortunately, it’s not the case anymore, and you can use .NET not only on Windows but on Linux and macOS too.

Free and open-source

There are no licensing costs and all programming languages, compilers, libraries, and runtimes within the framework are free to use. Being an open-source product it has great support from the community.

Requires less code

.NET uses an object-oriented programming (OOP) model that makes the development process easier and requires less code to work. This, in turn, leads to faster development and decreased costs.

Disadvantages of .NET

Despite the many benefits, .NET also features some shortcomings.

Object-Relational support is limited

Using an object-oriented programming approach, .NET requires support for data-oriented software development. This support is provided by the Entity Framework, that links .NET with SQL databases. However, there are certain concerns about the level of support for emerging databases.

Customer lock-in

While .NET is an open-source framework, Microsoft still plays a huge role in shaping its direction. It’s a minor disadvantage, but some people may be uncomfortable relying on a Big Tech company too much.

Memory management

Memory leaks can be a problem for any technology out there, but .NET fares slightly worse than competitors. You’ll have to be careful and invest extra resources to establish a rigorous memory management system.

As you may see, .NET is a powerful framework that offers great scalability, cross-platform capabilities, and allows to develop a wide range of products.

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