Windows

Microsoft’s Razor And Blazor Offer Comprehensive Web Development Tools To .Net Developers Who Just Need To Download Latest .NET Core 3.0 SDK

After Microsoft’s Razor became a well-received markup language, the Windows OS maker has been working on Blazor, a powerful alternative to popular Single Page Application frameworks. Web developers who work on .Net applications now have a lean and effective frontend User Interface (UI) framework. The platform works in the browser via WebAssembly and has been specifically designed and tweaked to function reliably on any web browser (unlike Microsoft Silverlight). This grants developers a way to quickly design, develop and deploy fast single-page applications that have the widest compatibility and reliability.

Microsoft developed Razor a few years ago, and it instantly became a hit among developers as they had received a well-designed server-side markup language. Razor allowed them to bring server-side code to web pages. Moreover, Razor’s syntax was fine-tuned to be simple to read and understand and that made learning and adapting the same very easy. Needless to mention, several new developers flocked to the markup language, which significantly pushed the adoption and usage of Razor. Microsoft has routinely indicated that Razor has been steadily gaining acceptance.

Despite the rising usage of Razor, .Net developers still had no powerful alternative that directly countered JavaScript framework like Angular, React and Vue on the frontend. In other words, Razor allowed developers to handle all server-side logic using .NET and bring the data to the client-side, but the developers still lacked a robust frontend. To fill the void and offer a complete backend and frontend solution, Microsoft engineers have developed Blazor. Essentially, the web UI framework is a powerful method to bring the power of .NET to the client-side.

Why Is Razor, WebAssembly and Blazor Important To Microsoft .Net Developers?

When Microsoft engineers were trying to develop ways to bring .Net to the client-side, the most obvious and viable solution with long term prospects was WebAssembly. WebAssembly or as it is popularly referred to as WASM is a new type of code that can be run in all modern web browsers. With its efficient and compact binary format, WebAssembly can promisingly run with near-native performance and efficiency.

WASM is a low-level assembly-like language that provides languages such as C/C++ and Rust with a compilation target. These languages, in turn, can then run smoothly on the web. Interestingly, although WASM is an alternative to JavaScript, it can be considered as complementary and not at all contradictory to the same. In other words, Web Applications designed with WASM can work alongside those developed with JavaScript.

WebAssembly makes it possible to run .Net code anywhere on any modern browser. Needless to mention, the code eliminated many problems that .Net developers faced regularly. Developers often face weird issues while they are trying to ensuring reliable and optimum performance on most major web browsers. Recently Mozilla Firefox, one of the most popular web browsers, deployed about:compat, a repository that contained custom tweaks to ensure optimum performance of select websites in the browser. With the correct deployment of Razor and WebAssembly, browsers like Firefox and developers need not find custom solutions to ensure websites work without glitches or errors on most browsers.

Blazor Evolved From Razor As An Ideal Alternative To Single Page Application Frameworks:

Microsoft first experimented with ‘Silverlight’, but that UI framework met with several technical hurdles. Still, Silverlight can be considered as an important evolutionary step towards the creation of Blazor. The new UI framework dependent on .Net is a competitive alternative to popular Single Page Application frameworks. Developers who have worked on .Net should feel quite at ease when working with Blazor.

Essentially, Blazor pairs familiar Razor markup with things like data-binding, dependency injection. Moreover, the framework even allows calls to and from JavaScript through JavaScript interop, significantly boosting the available tools, reliability, diversity and set of functionalities available to web developers. With Blazor as part of the toolset, developers can quickly and efficiently leverage their acquired and developed knowledge of C# across server-side and client-side. Blazor grants them access to .Net and its libraries.

Interestingly, Blazor apps are component-based. This flexibility and versatility allow Blazor apps to be nested and re-used with minor tweaking. The result of a web application developed with Razor and Blazor is apps that perform with high reliability, speed, and efficiency. Not mention, the framework allows the development of rich user interface that’s rendered as HTML and CSS.

Before Blazor, Microsoft Silverlight was an only workable framework. However, it severely lacked platform support. This significantly restricted Silverlight’s adoption. WebAssembly, on the other hand, is specifically designed to ensure optimum compatibility with all major browsers, including Apple’s Safari browser that works on iOS. What this simply means is that WebAssembly is now a worthy competitor or alternative to JavaScript and competing Single Page Application frameworks. While there will always be many developers who will continue to remain loyal to JavaScript and its frameworks, experienced .Net developers could quickly adopt WebAssembly.

Razor And Blazor Limitations:

Razor is certainly a powerful markup language and Blazor gains from the long history of .Net. There is little doubt that developers who have been working with the .Net platform, could prefer these platforms. However, Blazor is still evolving. In other words, it still falls short in certain areas, which could be considered highly restrictive.

One of the most noticeable limitations within Blazor is regarding Debugging. Developers will need to add extensive logging to their code to track down bugs. The second most important consideration is the high initial load impact. In other words, Blazor applications bring with them a considerably high application size. A basic Blazor application could carry with it anywhere from 2 to 3 MB. While this may not be viewed as a large size by ordinary end users, it is considered a heavy load in the world of web applications. Interestingly, simple caching substantially reduces the data during subsequent reloads.

Despite the small number of limitations, Razor and Blazor, with their rich .Net history, are sure to be one of the highly preferred tools. Web developers, who have long been working with JavaScript and struggling with its frameworks, would surely appreciate a single and comprehensive language for client-side as well as server-side development. Interested developers need to start with installing the latest .NET Core 3.0 SDK. Thereafter they must install Blazor templates. Microsoft has offered a comprehensive set of instructions on its website.


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