Microsoft’s Blazor: Key Features For Interactive Web Development In .NET

06 Oct

Microsoft provides a tool for developing native Android and iOS applications across programming languages like .NET or C#.

Microsoft Technology Associate aims at facilitating dot net developers to utilize the potential of the latest Blazor toolkit for creating web applications or native iOS/Android applications. Microsoft had announced an experimental ‘Blazor building’ for Blazor which is a feature of the ASP.NET platform that enables developers to create interactive web applications and user interface with the help of C# rather than JavaScript. This binding of the components allows them to create native mobile applications using .NET or C# for Android or iOS with help of familiar web programming.

In the year 2019, Microsoft had shown off a solution using the same technology in which it developed a desktop Flutter app, meant for mobile and written in dart but instead with the help of Blazor and .NET. Microsoft Blazor is an experimental web user interface framework by ASP.NET that targets to bring applications across all the browsers through WebAssembly. It allows developers to create true full-stack applications and share code across clients and servers without any requirement of plugins or transpilation. Microsoft is experimenting with the platform to cater to fulfill developers’ requirements that are familiar with the basics of web programming and patterns for creating native applications. In this article, we shall explore how Microsoft Blazor is revolutionizing website development services in .NET.

Why Is Blazor The New Hype?

Microsoft's Blazor is the latest client-side user interface framework derived from the ASP.NET community. The biggest selling aspect of this platform is its ability to develop rich web UI interface experiences with the help of CSS, HTML, or C# rather than JavaScript. It has everything that most developers have been dreaming of for so long. As a Microsoft website developer or associate if you have been keeping up with the new developments in the ASP.NET field over the past few years, then you have definitely heard of Blazor. The JavaScript framework has been the de facto measure since its inception for front-end web development and developers never seemed to be happy with it. And there were many transpile and supersets that have sprung up over the last couple of years like Dart, CoffeeScript, Elm, Scala, etc. in order to improve the JavaScript platform and to make it more maintainable. However, Blazor has already begun the process as it has the potential of being an efficient and highly productive programming platform other than its original design and proves to be a direct contemporary to JavaScript’s single-page application development frameworks. The primary goals of this framework are-

  • Creating rich and interactive web applications/user interface with the help of C# instead of JavaScript

  • Share or collect server-side or client-side application logic developed in the .NET framework

  • Rendering user-interface CSS and HTML for browser support which is inclusive of mobile browsers

  • Integrating the latest hosting platforms like Docker and many more.

The Blazor framework is a single-page application development solution that allows users to build an interactive web user interface with the help of C# instead of JavaScript. Inspired by JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, Vue, or React, it uses similar concepts for developing interactive solutions. Any Blazor application is developed from the reusable components of Razor i.e. markup syntax for C# and HTML. With Blazor, Microsoft shares various experiments going on and drilling it with the top desktop applications with the help of Web Window. But the latest ones for native mobile app development are where Blazor programming is paired up with Xamarin controls.

Read the blog- Microsoft Is Furthering Its Work To Target Mobile App Development With Blazor

What Makes Blazor A Flexible Platform For The Best Web Development Company?

Blazor is architecture as it has the separation between how the changes are rendered and how it calculates the user interface component models or application changes. This feature sets this platform apart from its contemporaries i.e. other user interface development frameworks like ReactJS, Angular, or React Native that can only develop web technologies based upon user interfaces. By utilizing multiple renders for developing solutions, Blazor is not only able to develop the web-based components but can also develop native mobile user interfaces. Additionally, it doesn't require the components to be developed differently, thus the components developed for web renderers cannot be used along with other native mobile renders. But the programming model remains the same, which means that once developers become familiar with this model that can easily create user interfaces with the help of any renderer. The components of its application model are-

  • WebAssembly Renderer

  • Remote Render

  • Electron Renderer

  • Mobile Blazor Binding Renderer

Hosting Model- Blazor's AP model at its core is held responsible for calculating and maintaining the UI changes across the ASP.NET development services. However, developers can also use other renderers in order to control the display and updates. These app renderer models are mostly referred to as the hosting models, and at the time of developing there are usually four models in Blazor. They are-

  • Blazor Server

  • BlazorWebAssembly

  • Blazor Electron

  • Blazor Bindings

Out of these models, Blazor Server is the only model that is categorized as the production supported during the time of writing, whereas Blazor Bindings and Electron are marked as experimentally supported models.

Microsoft Technology Associate: Blazor's Features

It has already been announced that the year 2020 would definitely be a pinnacle for Microsoft's Blazor and soon it will become mainstream. The platform is genuinely simple and easy to use as it combines the convenience of Razor (browser + Razor) along with the ASP.NET concepts. Blazor has also streamlined the incredible patterns across the popular JavaScript frameworks such as React or Angular along with leveraging the templates that are offered by Dotnet conventions or Razor. Blazor is an incredible platform that facilitates creating interactive client-side web user interfaces with the help of the ASP.NET framework. With the help of the Blazor platform, developers can reuse libraries and codes from any segment of server-side applications. Since it also uses the ASP.NET framework for developing interactive client-side applications, it builds upon the already powerful set of frameworks and libraries. Some of the helpful features of this platform that make it stand out are-

  • It has plenty of premade user interface components so that developers can easily get started with creating amazing applications. This feature is much appreciated by every custom web development company or organization

  • This pack requires no JavaScript technology or features. Instead, tasks can be done easily using C#. This is to improve the overall productivity of developers or organizations

  • it has built-in support for authenticating the app development components for the .NET framework

  • Developers can call JavaScript features from the ASP.NET methodology with the help of a function called 'JavaScript interoperability'

Every Microsoft website developer finds Blazor to be appealing because it is developed by the ASP.NET community as a framework for creating client-side applications running under the WebAssembly. It offers the benefits of a modern and rich single-page application framework using the ASP.NET technology end-to-end. Also, the idea of this framework can potentially combine the efficiencies of C#, and Razor is a client-side web project that can run completely in the browser. It has all the features that are required for creating a modern web framework, some of which have been listed below-

  • Model for developing a composable user interface

  • Live loading of the browser during the phase of application development

  • Using the latest web development features

  • Dependency injection

  • Capability to run across old browsers

  • Complete ASP.NET debugging

  • Developed segments of the open web development platform without requiring plugins

  • Rich intelligence and UI development tooling

  • Server-side rendering

Read the blog- What Is The Difference Between C#, .NET, ASP.NET, Microsoft.NET, and Visual Studio?

How Microsoft Blazor Compares To ASP.NET Interactive Web Development

Any regular ASP.NET renders the user interface as a block of strings. Blazor, on the other hand, developed or rendered a tree but not a string. This framework is a representation of a Document Object Model which means that it holds the components in memory while Blazor keeps the representation. Any changes or modifications that are made in these components can trigger a user interface update for the same Document Object Model elements. There is a huge difference between both of these processes rendering strings. In particular, the best web development company uses Blazor codes and cannot access the document object model codes directly. This limitation works differently for ASP.NET core and Razor as they depend on the JavaScript framework in order to get complete access to the user interface elements of interactive applications.

The Blazor resort renders the trees to move back to the earlier Document Object Model (DOM) representation and look for the particular pieces of the same model. Later, this framework updates, edits, or deletes them accordingly. The framework streamlines the changes that are made to the document model or manipulates the rendering tree to execute the changes. This mechanism is something that allows the C# language to work on the client-side interactive application rendering. The pros of client-side Blazor are-

  • For the website development services, Blazor allows developers to directly run the ASP.NET code in the browser. This framework also breaks the monopoly of the JavaScript framework on a full-stack platform, as because of its assistance, .NET professionals do not need to become programming polyglots. They can also develop entire solutions without writing codes in JavaScript

  • Blazor UI codes are compiled into ASP.NET as an intermediate language and it means that the framework has the same potential as the JavaScript code. Its compilation model can also create a huge difference for performance-driven browsers web solutions.

  • Developers can easily validate the code between the server or client-side applications. For instance, consider that an ASP.NET development services platform has the validation logic that can be applied to the backend as well as the browser. Blazor allowed them to create a class library in the ASP.NET standard and share it across the server-side or client-side applications. Also, any changes in the validation logic will automatically get applied to each of these platforms.

Blazor Server

This model is one of the officially supported models at present, and with its assistance, applications can easily run on the server but not in the browser. Blazor Server uses the SignalR connection in order to transmit the user interface updates from the server to the browser. This server hosting model is currently in the production state-supported option for Microsoft’s basic development. Under this model, platform-oriented applications run on the server and on the top of the ASP.NET runtime. When developers or users load this application, first a small JavaScript file gets downloaded that establishes a two-way real-time connection with the server (SignalR connection). Any interaction between a user and the application gets instantly transmitted back to the corresponding server with the connection for the server processing. Once the server is done processing, the user interface updates and changes are transmitted back to the same client and applied to the Document Object Model. Microsoft has developed a high-performing algorithm in order to calculate diffs and to transfer them in a compact binary format. Unlike most other interactive web applications that usually undertake a stateless approach, the Blazor server application models hold the same state across the server.

For the developer community, it requires a rethinking approach in a few cases but in general, they can use similar concepts as they use in ASP.NET core applications. The biggest advantage of this model is that you do not have to develop another application programming interface for communicating between the server and the client. This is because every aspect runs on the server so that a custom web development company or developer can directly call these functions as per their logic. Due to the computational processes on the server, Blazor Server interactive web solutions represent a perfect fit for the lower-end devices or thin clients.

BlazorWebAssembly

It is a big deal for the hosting models getting more but for good reasons. This model provides direct competition to JavaScript interactive application development such as React, VueJS, or Angular. Using WebAssembly, developers can easily write user interface logic and codes with the help of C# instead of JavaScript. When Microsoft announced Blazor initially, it was entirely about the WebAssembly models. This model allowed an application to first load in the run time format and after that, it loaded the entire application assembly along with its dependencies. The dependencies of BlazorWebAssembly are inclusive of the framework, System.dll, etc. but the runtime is in the binary format and other assemblies are in the same format so that developers can use it in the usual ASP.NET application development.

Blazor WebAssembly utilizes the interpreter code in order to run or load an application and in this mode, the interpreter can execute an interactive application user interface. The only part of this process that is combined in the WebAssembly mode is its mono runtime. Its major advantage is the performance and trade-off with the large or voluminous files. Some of the advantages of WebAssembly in Blazor are-

  • it compiles the static files, which means that there is no requirement for developers to consider the ASP.NET runtime on the server

  • Most of the tasks in Blazor are offloaded from the server to its clients

  • The applications can also be run in offline mode or state

  • It facilitates code sharing where the C# components can be shared effectively between the server and the clients

Generally, in ASP.NET applications, a just-in-time compiler is utilized but it is not recently supported by WebAssembly. However, it might be added in its future version of the standard but for now, another one is used for executing the ASP.NET code. The Microsoft associate platform is working on plans and an Ahead Of Time compilation (AOT) in order to compile applications or framework assemblies directly to WebAssembly. This compilation results in an effective interactive application development time and will prove to be performance-oriented in terms of runtime.

The Bottom Line

In this time where there is already a lot of attention and discussion around the entry of Blazor in .NET development, developers are left with many choices. In this article, we have gone through the introduction and the core concepts of Microsoft's Blazor, Sever, WebAssembly, etc. We have also discussed how this framework is deployed in the current time for interactive web application development in the ASP.NET platform. Blazor is an exciting platform and has a wider room for improvement, especially in terms of developing and tooling.

Also, WebAssembly is its prime technology that most app development companies or front-end developers cannot simply ignore. This is an excellent platform for ASP.NET professionals that allows them to take advantage of it to become full-stack developers without having to learn additional programming languages. This platform provides clarity when it comes to developing a user interface for a single programming model and it can be learned easily along with applying the framework components anywhere.