.Net and Web Based Applications


Darren Patterson

Why use .Net to develop web based applications?  There are many good reasons why XS uses the technology that it does. Today, I will use this blog to explain the history behind how we came to use the technology we do.

In the late 1990’s XS developed a web site called XSAg, which is still in use today, using Microsoft ASP or Classis ASP.  This technology was a real breakthrough during the time it was released because it allowed Visual Basic developers to develop web applications using a language they already knew.  Developing applications on the web really freed up the development process and opened the door to many new technologies that we all enjoy on the internet today.  The whole hassle of keeping an application up to date on all desktop was now not an issue, as everything on the web was the current version because every time you browsed a web page, the web server served up the latest code base.  The size of the support team was also dramatically decreased because there was only one version of the code in one central location.  No need to go to each end users machine and install the application and worry about all the headaches of the version of Operating System to what software patches were installed on the box.  With web based applications, all you have to worry about is the browser and this was easily checked when a page was loaded for the first time.

XS’s in house talent of VB and Classic ASP developers naturally migrated to the use of .Net when it came to the market in 2002.  In the beginning, XS just used the VB.net language offered in the .Net framework to keep things simple from a development and maintenance standpoint.  As the framework evolved with subsequent releases XS adopted the C# language in .Net as well.  Currently we develop .Net applications using either VB.Net or C#, but the real technology is the .Net framework we’ve chosen to use.  We are not hung up on the language preference within the framework because essentially it is all the same to the complier that builds the code to serve up web pages.

Using .Net allows our development staff to have choices in the language they are most comfortable with for writing code.  Also, using a common framework allows our teams to collaborate on standards and reusable code modules that are implemented across all of our applications.  This approach has shown us that by focusing on one development standard that we can use our entire support staff to keep the sites running compared to a development shop that uses many different technologies.

XS is a Microsoft Gold Partner and this relationship has allowed us to get access to the latest offerings from Microsoft to keep our shop ahead of the curve.  XS has many certified .Net developers on site and that number is growing every year.

Our strategy of web based applications, partnering with Microsoft and leveraging their .Net framework has positioned XS to easily scale up to match client demands and the ever changing demands of the market place.  Our development strategy has also allowed XS to make the right decisions to meet the mobile demand for our applications and position us to meet the demands for tomorrow and beyond.