When to choose .NET?
A majority of developments are digital marketing campaigns having a quick turnaround and very clear, short term goals. These kinds of projects are done with WordPress or Drupal CMS systems and are perfect for getting the job done. WordPress is perfect for small to medium sized websites that don’t rely heavily on enterprise systems integration. Drupal or Magento would be a great choice for an eCommerce platform.
So when should the heavyweight platforms like .Net be wheeled in? The answer is, of course, when you need the appropriate technology stack that’s going to get the job done. There are a number of factors that will provide big clues as to when a platform like .Net is required:
.Net is what is known as a “compiled” language, which are able to run much faster than typical “scripting” languages such as PHP.
SCRIPTed languages is analogous to having to read a book (or “script”) that is in a foreign language that you don’t know, and interpret the words into meaning. Compare that to listening to an audiobook CD through headphones in your own language. The CD, analogous to a “compiled” version, is machine-readable and quickly converted to audio that you can understand.
In the real world, an online booking platform will execute hundreds of thousands of daily transactions far quicker if there is no “translation” required from a script. This, in essence, is the power of a compiled language.
Enterprise systems integration
.Net has out-the-box features that make it extremely easy to integrate with existing systems which can exist in an entirely different technology. If there is a 3rd party system that your enterprise relies on, there will undoubtedly be a .Net service that is able to communicate with it. Having such pre-built services available within the .Net Framework is a clear advantage, since very little development and testing is required.
First, by being a compiled language, .Net software is extremely difficult to hack. Imagine, using the same analogy as above, trying to hack a CD and drop in different words to an audiobook. Second, being a Microsoft offering, it embeds perfectly to the Windows Security Framework, and is a natural extension of the already well-established Windows security model. .Net therefore does not require additional programming to make it secure.
Finally, since Microsoft has been a favourite target for spammers and hackers, their model has naturally become extremely robust and runs some of the worlds most important systems. BBC, Exxon and Intel, to name but a few, rely on the technology and clearly would not use it if it didn’t meet their stringent security requirements.
The .Net Framework, by definition, comes pre-packaged with an enormous software library. These “rich libraries” offer a multitude of functions, features, tools and services that are pre-tested and production ready. A good .Net developer knows his environment extremely well and, if approached correctly, should be spending more of their time “wiring up” the various services with limited need for completely new software. The end result is an extremely robust platform that has already had tens of thousands of testing hours off the bat, before the software even begins any formal testing.
.Net, being a Microsoft platform, naturally has an enormous following. This ensures that, if a client throws us a curve ball requirement, our development team will have the resources they need to find the best solution through forums, communities and, of course, Microsoft’s own TechNet network of leading developers.
The tools provided by Microsoft allow our developers to write very complex and robust test frameworks. This ensures that, even before any final end-to-end tests are performed prior to delivery, the software has been thoroughly tested at even the lowest levels. Such tests are called “unit tests” and are fully automated. Our developers, having written test frameworks, can focus on the job at hand and the .Net development environment will continuously ensure that every part of the source code (called “code coverage”) is constantly scrutinised.
.NET at Sentinel
Our .NET programming team has come through the ranks of Microsoft technologies, from early C++ programming, to Visual Basic, Classic ASP and now, of course, to the Microsoft .Net framework.
Although we pride ourselves on being able to deliver the basics for digital campaigns and web developments, we love being capable of lifting the bonnet and taking on even the biggest of projects, with the expertise to use whatever technology is best and not limited simply to the impoverished list of technologies that most digital agencies are limited to.