Developing a holistic enterprise architecture is the first step to acquiring a wholesome grip over the evolution and management of an organization. Enterprise architecture enhances Business Process Improvement and significantly optimizes costs by standardizing technology – two of the most crucial factors that influence the ROI of an organization. The enormous efficiency and cost-savings, that enterprise architecture brings about, have strengthened the belief in enterprise architecture today.
Building an enterprise architecture requires a unique amalgamation of design practices and specialized technologies like architecture frameworks. And when it comes to employing .NET for enterprise architecture development there are various considerations.
Let us take a look at some of the most important recommendations based on guidelines by Microsoft.
Should you choose .NET Framework or .NET Core?
This is the very first thing to decide – is .NET Framework more apt or .NET Core?
If the application must be developed from scratch, then .NET Core is a better choice. .NET Core is a tried and tested framework since 2014 and .NET Core 3.1 is a Long Term Support variant. Moreover, if high scalability and performance are the main requirements for cross-platform development, then the organization should employ .NET Core. Its modular nature and lightweight build make it a natural choice for microservices and Docker containers architecture.
However, in case there is an existing application that was developed using .NET Framework, Microsoft recommends extension, instead of migration. Another salient reason why extending is more suitable for this .NET Framework-based application is because third-party libraries are not yet available in .NET Core.
Will it be a desktop, web, or mobile application?
Any application must be made to be holistically adaptable to different platforms. That means that the desktop versions are still relevant and are the preferred choice when it comes to offering rich UI displays. For desktop versions, using .NET WPF is more suitable.
Web versions of applications enjoy the most widespread use today. These must be developed for round-the-clock availability and must also be highly secure and agile to cater to the peaks as and when necessary.
Next, building a mobile-friendly application is a must nowadays. The application should be designed to be easily adaptable to mobile platforms and offer instant access to the key functionalities via tablets and smartphones alike. To deliver an enhanced user experience, mobile versions are usually developed as an optimized variant of the native app or the parent web application. Cross-platform solutions allow faster development with a single codebase for both Android and iOS mobile applications.
Is cloud solution better than on-premise?
Again, it is vital to balance the unique features and benefits offered by on-premise and cloud setups, to understand what works best for a particular project. If you want absolute control over each minute aspect while deploying and hosting the application, then an on-premise setup will be most suitable.
But when you opt for the cloud platform, you get additional benefits like fewer hassles in maintenance. One of the greatest advantages of the cloud is the limitless scalability it offers; no matter how high the load rises, you can automatically scale up easily to host more nodes or integrate more resources per node, as needed. The best part of this is that scaling and down is entirely automated by the use of a load balancer that delegates requests between the different nodes. Cloud options like Microsoft Azure Cloud and Amazon Web Services offer excellent support for .NET.
Monolithic or microservices architecture?
There are significant benefits offered by microservices architecture than the typical monolithic approach. The most striking advantage is the capability to allow independent scaling up of specific modules of the application, which are undergoing high load conditions. Microservices allow separate deployment lifecycles of individual components and properly defined regulations of responsibility that translate to reduced needs for regression testing. And in case of an outage, only that particular microservice will be unavailable, not the others.
However, microservices technology is extra complex in nature; scaling up a microservices-based application requires high technical competency and a thorough understanding of business logic. In that light, scaling a monolithic application altogether can be more effective and involve less redundancy.
Which UI framework is more suitable?
When it comes to developing a rich graphical user interface, choosing Single Page Application (SPA) and an appropriate UI framework is the best approach. The two most preferred frameworks are Angular and React.
Angular is a robust framework that is complete with precise guidelines, which makes it the best choice for applications that are built for long-term stability.
On the other hand, React offers solid documentation and specialists galore, along with great performance. However, it needs support from other libraries. Using React Slingshot which prepackages compatible libraries along with React can be a good start.
Choosing the right development process
Selecting the right path of enterprise application development is equally vital like selecting the technologies.
When it comes to long-term projects, the process of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery with automated unit testing can be expensive. But it can help in faster detection and resolution of defects, yield better quality and reduce the time and cost of software development. With Docker containers, one can conduct testing in the same environment as the program would execute in production.
One way of developing a .Net-based enterprise application with a rich interface, handling millions of requests every minute and handling thousands of users is, by using a possible combination of .Net Core, Microservices architecture, Azure Cloud and Angular SPA.
Another approach can be developing a smaller, simpler website with a medium load that can be launched quickly and revamped in the course of time. In this case, using a combination of .Net Core along with monolithic architecture, React SPA, and hosting on a virtual private server with Azure or AWS should work.
However, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. A further combination of these two possible approaches is also a possibility. The final approach must be based on the specific project needs and target business objectives.