Best Frameworks for App Development

App development can be highly technical and time-consuming. Luckily for us, we have the option of using a framework to speed up the process.

What is a Framework?

In app development, software development, and web development, frameworks are code libraries with common functions defined. This way, the user only needs a short line of code to accomplish what would otherwise have needed long pieces of code. This helps speed up the development process for programmers.

One way to visualise a framework is to imagine pre-fabricated homes. The different modules are pre-built. They are simply put together on the site. You aren’t ‘building’ a door from scratch. You’re just taking a pre-built door and fitting it in. This saves time.

A good example of a framework would be .NET Core, an open-source framework by Microsoft. This framework is great for building apps for the common operating systems – Windows, Mac OS, and Linux – as long as you’re comfortable working with C#.

What are the Different Types of Apps?

Apps, or software applications, are categorised by different criteria, some of which are:

By Platform:
– Desktop software applications,
– Mobile applications, or
– Web applications

By Operating System:
– Windows or Android,
– Mac OS or iOS, or
– Cross-platform

By Use:
– Frontend, or
– Backend

What are the Best Frameworks for Mobile App Development?

If you are developing a mobile app, you want to consider whether it’s going to be for an Android platform or iOS. Most native mobile apps are done using frameworks created or owned by the company that owns the mobile platform.

However, developing two separate app versions for iOS and Android can be quite expensive. Since most apps are meant for both the platforms, it is more efficient to use a cross-platform development framework.

  • Ionic
    Ionic is a free client-side framework using HTML, CSS3, and JavaScript.
  • React Native
    React Native is an open-source framework developed by Facebook using JavaScript ideal for creating apps for both iOS and Android platforms.
  • Xamarin
    A Microsoft product, Xamarin uses C# and can be used to develop apps for Windows, Android, and iOS.
  • Flutter
    Another open-source framework, Flutter is a Google product. It is used for cross-platform and hybrid apps using the Dart language.
  • Adobe PhoneGap
    Adobe PhoneGap is a cross-platform app development framework that uses HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Corona SDK
    One of the quickest mobile development frameworks, Corona SDK uses Lua to create cross-platform apps.
  • jQuery Mobile
    The jQuery Mobile app development framework can be used for both website building and mobile apps. It can also be used for all kinds of platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, Blackberry, Firefox, and Kindle.
  • NativeScript
    Developed by a Bulgarian company, the NativeScript framework is useful for creating hybrid apps.
  • Mobile Angular UI
    Mobile Angular UI uses elements of Angular JS and Twitter Bootstrap to create Mobile app UI.
  • Appcelerator
    Appcelerator is a one-stop-shop for creating native mobile apps using JavaScript. It can be used to build apps, connect them to any database, and includes analytics.

What are the Best Frameworks for Web Development?

Web apps tend to have two aspects:
– Client-side (or front-end), and
– Server-side (or back-end)

Best Backend Frameworks

  • .NET Core
    .NET Core is the upgraded replacement of .NET Framework. This open-source system was developed by Microsoft, but allows cross-platform app development. This versatile framework, used for device, cloud, and IoT applications, has one of the largest user-bases of all frameworks. This includes us at DCSL, where .NET Core is used extensively for backend application development!
  • Express
    Express uses Node.js and offers a quick way of creating a web app back-end.
  • Django
    Django is a framework that is used by some of the giants in the industry, including the two of the biggest search engines and a popular social media platform. It uses Python to build highly secure websites.
  • Rails
    A framework loved by developers, Rails offers beginners several resources that make Ruby-powered back-end development very easy.
  • Laravel
    Laravel is another popular framework ‘for beautiful code’ that is quite new. It uses PHP, and like Rails, is easy for beginners to use.
  • Spring
    Spring uses Java, and offers support for SQL and NoSQL, making it a popular choice for many web developers. It is, however, not as beginner-friendly as the previous two frameworks.

Best Frontend Frameworks

  • Angular
    Angular is a front-end framework that originally used JavaScript but now uses Typescript to create frontend web applications.
  • React
    While React is considered a framework, it is really a JavaScript library. That does not prevent it from making both client-side and server-side web applications.
  • Vue
    Vue.js is another JavaScript framework that is fast becoming popular, including here at DCSL! The ecosystem is geared for building complete client-side web applications.
  • Ember
    Ember is a JavaScript-based framework that is optimised for productivity and efficiency.
  • Backbone
    If you want to build a rich single-page web app, Backbone is the perfect framework. It is very light and offers a rich ecosystem.

At DCSL Software, we have developed a bespoke framework to build web-based systems and applications – Waterloo. This system uses the .NET Core tech stack with Vue.js and C# typescript.

For mobile app development, we are now looking at React and React Native.