Microsoft technologies we’re excited about in 2021

Three technologies that will make a big impact in business this year

Posted by: Brent Jenkins Comments: 0

Technology never stands still and at Anterec we’re always excited to hear about new developments in the software industry. Things have certainly changed a lot since our company was founded in 2008. So what up-and-coming technologies are we excited about this year?

Our main focus in on the Microsoft technology stack, building and maintaining enterprise .NET applications that work on the web, in the cloud and on mobile devices. Bearing that in mind, here are our top three Microsoft technologies that we think are going to have a big impact in 2021.

Microsoft .NET 5

Released in November 2020, we’ve already deployed our first applications written in .NET 5. Not long ago, .NET was (with the exception of Mono) limited to running on Windows. Moreover the source code was kept under tight control by Microsoft.

Under Satya Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has taken a different tack, open-sourcing the .NET framework and with .NET Core, making the framework run cross-platform. .NET 5 brings all of the advantages of .NET Core, legacy .NET, Xamarin and Mono into a single, unified framework with some great features that make .NET apps easier to develop and deploy, as well as having better performance and security than ever before.

The future is looking bright for .NET with further features and enhancements planned for the future of the framework. Development on .NET 6 is already underway with improved WinForms tooling and Microsoft’s MAUI (multi-platform app user interface) project providing some much-needed attention back on desktop app development.

Blazor Mobile Bindings

Imagine being able to write complex web apps without using any JavaScript but using C# instead. Microsoft Blazor provides two mechanisms for achieving this: Blazor Server and Blazor WebAssembly (WASM). We’ve already delivered a number of Blazor Server apps to customers, reducing the timescales (and costs) of development.

The next use-case for Blazor is mobile devices. Using the same Blazor technology, Microsoft is enabling web developers to quickly build and deploy iOS and Android mobile apps coded in C#. This enables developers to re-use code written for desktop, cloud or web apps – for example, calls to external APIs, existing business logic, complex UI logic and even machine learning libraries (see ML.NET below).

Building mobile apps on a single framework reduces long-term maintenance overheads (e.g. supporting new mobile OS releases) and allows development teams to focus on the functionality that their apps provide rather than burning time solving OS-specific issues.

Blazor (and specifically Blazor Mobile Bindings) will be a game-changing technology for mobile development this year.

ML.NET (machine learning)

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) have been big topics over the last few years. Advancements in data processing technologies and cheaper and easier access to the cloud have put these tools into the reach of every business.

ML.NET offers .NET developers a set of accessible and familiar tools for performing machine learning operations quickly and easily. In Microsoft’s own words, “ML.NET lets you re-use all the knowledge, skills, code, and libraries you already have as a .NET developer so that you can easily integrate machine learning into your web, mobile, desktop, games, and IoT apps”.

Just a few years ago, the idea of developing machine learning software would have been daunting for most development teams. With ML.NET the hard work has been done and is available to every .NET developer. With .NET 5, Xamarin and the advent of Blazor Mobile Bindings, ML.NET enables machine learning to be easily incorporated in any desktop, web, cloud or mobile app built on the .NET framework.

The future of business software

We’ve been specialising in .NET software development since 2008 and have worked with the framework from the first versions of .NET, through .NET Core and up to .NET 5. We’ve seen the constant improvements made to the framework over the years and delivered business-critical software to numerous companies of all sizes.

In addition to the three technologies mentioned above, there are even more exciting developments not just in .NET, but also in Azure, the Microsoft Power Platform (including Power Automate), Xamarin, Microsoft AI and more.

At Anterec, we help businesses develop bespoke mission-critical software based on Microsoft technologies. Take a look at our services by clicking on the links below or contact us to discuss your project today.

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