We often refer to ourselves as .NET developers and that often leads people to think that all we do is web applications, even the name .NET makes you think of the net so it is not hard to see why. Actually the .NET is a development framework (in fact it is a term used to cover several frameworks) that can be used with one of a few development languages of which we specialise in C#. These frameworks and underlying languages allow us to work on many different things, not just web applications, and in this blog we go through a few of the other things that we regularly work on.
Everyone knows the two big players in mobiles today. Apple with their iOS based devices and Google (and their partners) with Android based devices. Native Android apps are written in Java and native iOS apps are written in Swift (older versions of iOS used Objective-C which can still be used). So you may be thinking that with two platforms and two languages, you will have to develop two versions of your application for mobile devices. Thankfully that is not the case.
Xamarin started out as a set of paid for extensions for the .NET framework. It was so good that, in 2016, Microsoft agreed to acquire it and then made it open source for all C# developers to use. Xamarin allows developers to develop one set of code that can be released for many different platforms such as iOS, Android, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and more. Xamarin still has access to the native features of a platform (like the native languages) but it cuts down both development time, maintenance and costs by virtue of being able to develop one set of code instead of two or more independent apps.
Windows Desktop Apps
Xamarin covers mobile devices, but what about Windows? As you would expect from a framework started by Microsoft, .NET has this covered too. In fact it offers a couple of options for your Windows based desktop application.
Firstly, with Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a unified store to reach every device running Windows 10. That includes PCs, Microsoft Windows based mobiles, MS Surface tablets, Xbox games console, devices running Windows 10 IoT (Internet of Things) core and even HoloLens (augmented reality glasses).
Alongside this they added the Universal Windows Development Platform to Visual Studio, once again allowing .NET and C# developers to leverage their existing skills to make applications for any of the above devices.
Not all desktop applications need to go on the Windows store and not everyone is running Windows 10. In these cases .NET can be used with WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) to develop modern, data centric business applications.
CMS and E-Commerce
Not all of our work is focused on developing applications from scratch. We also work with a number of pre-built E-Commerce and CMS (Content Management System) that are based on the .NET framework.
Umbraco and Sitecore are both widely used, enterprise class Content Management Systems that also offer E-Commerce. These two applications are used by some of the biggest companies in the world.
Full Metal Software are experienced in setting up and maintaining Sitecore and Umbraco for our clients and also building extensions and customisations to make them work exactly as our clients need them to.
Microsoft 365 Suite
Microsoft launched online versions of their most popular business applications almost 10 years ago and has continued to expand and update what it offers. Along with Office 365 (Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint etc) users can also subscribe to services including Exchange (email server), OneDrive (storage), SharePoint (online collaboration tool to replace companies’ intranet setups), Dynamics (Customer Relationship Management), Dynamics Business Central (Enterprise Resource Planning) and more.
Organisations can combine these business tools in a multitude of different ways to meet their business requirements and they are also readily extendible using the Microsoft Graph API. This allows developers to tweak or even add in completely new functionality making it possible to go from a good fit for their customers business to a perfect fit.
You can see from above that .NET (and C#) can be used for many things other than just web applications. It is and incredibly flexible platform that has matured into a vibrant ecosystem of tools for businesses (and developers) to use for all aspects of their software requirements. Full Metal Software are experts at all of the above (and more!) and we are confident we can use our expertise to improve your business. Please contact us to find out how.