SOLVED

What platform/technology/framework to use. I am lost. :-(

New Contributor

Hi everyone,

I want to develop a new application that will run on Windows (desktop app) and android.

I have about 30y of experience in development and the last 15 in C#/VS/.NET.

At work we work with Winforms/WPF and .NET 4.8.

 

For my personal new product I would like to start with all the latest and greatest but it's hard to find what to use. First of all I upgraded to VS 2022.
I've been reading about .NET5/6, Xamarin, Xamarin Forms, .NET MAUI, Win UI, Winforms, WPF, UWP, Blazor, .NET Core, .NET Standard,.... but it's a mess to get an overview of what would fit best.
The project would have 1 or 2 core assembly's with the logic and then a UI for Windows and one for Android.

So before I start I would like to get an idea of what you would use.

Thanks!

6 Replies
Not sure I can help you with your specific problem, but if you are looking for a quick overview of the .NET world, I wrote a couple of articles on this:

- What is .NET? An Overview of the Platform (https://auth0.com/blog/what-is-dotnet-platform-overview/)
- .NET Core vs .NET Framework vs .NET Standard: A Guided Tour (https://auth0.com/blog/navigating-dotnet-maze/)

I hope they can help you at least to get a clear high-level overview

@NickJ911 

Use .Net 6 WebApi for the API
Use Blazor for the UI
Use MAUI/Xamarin to use the Blazor App in Android

best response confirmed by NickJ911 (New Contributor)
Solution

@NickJ911  Uno Platform  may be a good fit for you; it is open source, production ready today (MAUI is not) and proven with real apps. It leverages .NET 6, C# 10 and Xamarin (not Forms but the stuff in .NET), uses one of the best designed .NET UI frameworks: WinUI 3, which you use directly to build for Windows and then UNO has ports of WinUI 3 for Android, iOS and more on top of Xamarin.

UNO also lets you target the browser via webassembly with the same UI framework and source code (so not a mix of 2 frameworks like Blazor and MAUI)

On top of that, if you like C# and would prefer declarative C# to XAML for your UI, you can create your UI (and so your entire app) in C# 10 with C# Markup 2 for WinUI and Uno Platform (disclosure: I am the author of that library - let me know if you need help using C# Markup)

I have about 20 years C# .NET experience, last 8 years in Xamarin, and specialize in the developer experience of .NET UI frameworks.

I believe .NET MAUI is intended to unify and replace technologies like WPF. UWP or Xamarin. It's in preview at the moment, but it only matters if you want to release in the next four months.
Note that Nick is currently using WPF, MAUI is not that different.
Thank you all very much for the replies; it's sure a good read to find my way through all of it.
Will have a look at UNO and see what that brings up.
Best regards

@NickJ911 - .Net 6 for server, REST or gRPC are both good. UI for Windows: WPF. UI for Android: Flutter. Alternative: PWA.

 

Windows desktop (WPF): MAUI is not done, and my bet it's not fleshed out properly until some time in 2024 at the earliest. It takes time for things to not only be "production ready" but to be "production ready, really, really, seriously". Xamarin Forms is dead waiting for resurrection as MAUI. UWP died a long time ago but expect resurrection as MAUI. Windows Forms is not recommended for anything but the smallest of applications. So, WPF it is, and there it'll stay for a good while yet. UNO is also an idea (even for Android) but I'd be weary of doing anything on a third-party thing right now as MAUI is slowly emerging from the belly of MS.

 

Android (Flutter): It's fantastic. Really. Amazing. Seriously. Don't worry about it not being C#, it's close enough, even more so now with .Net 6 and sound null-safety for C# and Dart both. Also, someone might ask you to go for a iPhone app in the future. I also believe Flutter for the Desktop will be usable before MAUI, but that remains to be seen.

 

Alternative (PWA): If your UI is mostly talking to a server, not needing too much from the local machine (and PWAs can still do a lot on your local machine), Then you not only have one single code for your desktop, web and mobile. React/Typrscript (recommended) or Blazor (not quite there yet IMnsHO)

 

Conclusion: Don't be afraid to use multiple technologies for writing an application. Good developers should be comfortable in multiple languages/frameworks. At least those that are all so similar these days. TypeScript, C#, Dart, Java ... they are all "the same".