Game of Hosts: PHP vs. .NET Part Two

Microsoft’s flagship development platform, the .Net Framework, has grown and evolved from the origins of the original ASP (Active Server Page) technology which represented their first foray into web application development. Not just for the web, it also encompasses applications for desktop, devices and cloud services, and continues to grow and support some of the world’s largest companies – and the smallest, for those who are just beginning to learn how to write and design code using .Net.   

What are some of the benefits to working in the .Net Framework? Here’s five great reasons to explore this technology:

Low Barrier to Entry, High-Quality Support: The .Net Framework has been built to be enterprise-ready from its very foundation. With Microsoft’s recent additions to their developer product lineup (such as Visual Studio Code, a free open-source multi-language IDE, and free Community/Express versions of many of their popular development tools), and free or discounted access to the Microsoft Azure platform, it’s very easy for developers who are new to the .Net Framework to begin developing on a robust, proven technology platform. Also – Microsoft ensures that each version of the platform is backwards-compatible, so taking advantage of new features doesn’t mean having to throw out the old.

Out of Many, One: Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform has been an ongoing strategy to make it easier for software developers to “write once, run anywhere.” Whether your target platform is web application development, cloud services, smart devices such as phones or tablets, or even Xbox; the same core platform is used across all devices, so code written for one platform is easily ported and reused for others. With the inclusion of Xamarin into all versions of Visual Studio, it’s even possible for .Net developers to develop for Android and iOS platforms, using a single code base. Because of the way the .Net Framework rests on a CLR (Common Language Runtime), it supports a number of languages (C#, VB.Net, JavaScript – even COBOL and Python!)

   Come One, Come All: Microsoft’s support of, and participation in the open source space has opened up a brave new world for software developers. With the open-source “Roslyn” .Net Compiler Platform, it’s possible to compile and run C# and VB.Net on Mac and Linux – not just Windows. This opens up the ability to run .Net Framework applications in Docker containers, making it incredibly portable. You get all the power and strength of an enterprise-tested application framework, almost anywhere you need to run it.  With .Net, you get the advantages of open-source, with contributions from developers all over the world, with oversight and guidance from the same development teams who created the world’s most-used desktop operating systems.

Cloud-Ready: Visual Studio’s integration with Azure-based Visual Studio Team Services makes it easy to set up your own code repository, and share your code with remote teams. Whether you use Git, or Team Foundation Services, the ability to build applications within VSTS and push directly to an Azure Website (or AWS, or any other hosting provider of your choice) makes automated application deployment straightforward, and lets developers spend more time developing, and less time wrestling with deployment.

Knowledge is Power: Microsoft has carefully grown and maintained a huge body of support knowledge for its development platforms; step-by-step tutorials, detailed how-to guides, explanations of not only how to code, but how to leverage development patterns and best practices to build even better applications. The Microsoft Virtual Academy provides a repository of webinars, tutorials and online classes on a huge range of development topics. Sites such as StackOverflow (built on the .Net Framework, BTW) provide a third-party resource for subject matter experts to post answers to questions regarding almost anything you’ll run into with .Net development.

Working in .Net doesn’t preclude the use of other languages or platforms; it simply allows developers to pick and choose the components that will provide the best solution for each project, with hard-tested and well-supported technology that will grow with the needs of the business, at a sustainable technology pace.

Still having issues choosing which is best, PHP or .Net? Let us aid you in your quest by emailing us at dlongueville@gsati.com. 

Danielle Longueville