Why the Hype over .NET Blazor - Is it Worth It?

The hype around .NET Blazor
Blazor is shining as an efficient and productive programming model beyond its intended design and purpose. It’s emerging as a real competitor to JavaScript SPA frameworks.

JavaScript has been the preferred and de facto front-end web development language for many years. However, developers are only partially satisfied with it. And, then came .NET Blazor. You might have heard this name if you’ve kept an eye on what’s happening in the .NET in the past year or two. Blazor is a new client-side UI framework by the ASP.NET team.

Blazor is shining as an efficient and productive programming model beyond its intended design and purpose. It’s emerging as a real competitor to JavaScript SPA frameworks. Microsoft has been exploring Blazor in various experiments. They’re trying it out with desktop apps using Electron and WebWindow as a simple, lightweight alternative to Electron. Microsoft also mixes the Blazor model with native Xamarin forms controls for native mobile app development. 

All these developments showcase the increased attention from developers and businesses to Blazor. However, the question stands—is this hype around Blazor real? Does Blazor deserve a try for your next project? This is the core of our blog, and we’ll try to give answers in the simplest possible way at the end.

Table of Contents

How .NET Blazor has Created Such a Buzz?

Blazor tackles real issues that web developers face and does this efficiently for free. You can create rich web UI experiences using HTML, CSS, and C# instead of JavaScript. Many developers have been thinking about this possibility for a while now. What is the best thing about Blazer? It lets us create and run browser-based apps with C#. More details are provided below.

WebAssembly With JavaScript and TypeScript - Changing The Development Process

Blazor is changing the game in a good way with WebAssembly. The World Wide Web Consortium designed WebAssembly back in 2017. This tech lets developers compile languages like C++ or Rust so they can run in any modern browser, whether on your phone or computer. 

So, what does this mean? Developers can use .NET Blazor to build web apps all the way. This could mean no need for JavaScript—or at least using it way less. For some developers, that’s enough reason to go with Blazor.

Moreover, even if you want to go with JavaScript, Blazor can help. Blazor lets JavaScript and .NET work nicely together. You can call JavaScript functions from .NET and vice versa with JS Interop. 

Additionally, developers benefit from a compiled language when using WebAssembly via Blazor, unlike JavaScript’s just-in-time nature. In its super-efficient binary format, WebAssembly runs almost as fast as native code on your machine. 

The speed generally beats JavaScript by about 20% to 34%.  If you’re looking for better performance and a whole .NET experience while still keeping JavaScript handy when needed, Blazor offers a pretty friendly package.

Use of TypeScript with Blazor

Like JavaScript, you can use TypeScript in a .NET Blazor project. It’s good because TypeScript is just JavaScript with some extra. Microsoft officially supports TypeScript with Blazor. So when you compile your Blazor project, TypeScript code turns into JavaScript, and both files will work together. 

But here’s a thing to note: the JS file gets overwritten each time the TS file is compiled. Keep that in mind. If you want to tweak how MSBuild does this, use MSBuild properties. How can we miss AssemblyScript? It’s a compiler that turns TypeScript into WebAssembly without any issues. 

Even though Blazor doesn’t seem to support this, it can be an option later. So someday, developers might generate WebAssembly instead of JavaScript from their TypeScript code in the Blazor project. However, Microsoft might decide against it and stick with C# instead of TypeScript. We’ll just have to wait to see if this happens.

Back-end to front-end Code Reusability in .NET

Thanks to the .NET years of existence, many libraries are ready for you to use in your server-side Blazor development. So, when developers work with .NET Blazor, they work with the whole .NET ecosystem. 

This feature means developers can reuse code from the back to the front end and vice versa. Also, developers can gain exposure to both areas without learning new tech. Interestingly, you can choose where it runs since you’re working with the same code. Blazor can execute your client-side code directly in the browser or split some code off and put it on the server. 

If you split it using SignalR, client UI events head to the server, and UI changes bounce back from the server to your client. This helps keep your client-side lightweight or leverage your server’s power to cut down processing time on the client.

Support from External Vendors and Developers Community

Blazor is quite new, but as this is from Microsoft, it quickly earned the trust of many third-party vendors. This isn’t unusual. Other JavaScript-based frameworks get similar support. But it does show the commitment and work put into .NET Blazor by the developer community. Developers can use Telerik, DevExpress, Syncfusion, Radzen, Infragistics, GrapeCity, jQWidgets, and many other third-party libraries. 

This might be obvious, but Blazor can be fully used with existing .NET teams. It lets you dive into web development with just a bit more effort, making the learning curve much more accessible. So, if your team excels in .NET but isn’t too hard with JavaScript or general web development knowledge, Blazor could speed up your production process quickly.

Being part of the Microsoft family means Blazor is supported by one of the best tools: Visual Studio Code. It’s not only loaded with features but also accessible. You can use it on Windows, Linux, and MacOS. 

Verdict - Is .NET Blazor Worthy of Your Next Project?

Blazor is new and just started a few years ago. Now, it’s growing fast. But remember, it can’t replace the established frameworks overnight. At the same time, the development world is shifting towards more simple and adaptable methods of getting things done. So, the tools built ten years ago need to give way to newer, more innovative front-end solutions. Here, Blazor from Microsoft brings us a full-fledged development ecosystem with one framework that works everywhere.

If you’re embarking on a new project and have a .NET team, and you’re looking to optimize the performance of your app in the browser, .NET Blazor is worth a try. However, if your project is already running smoothly with a JavaScript framework and you have a JavaScript team, there may not be an immediate need for Blazor. It’s all about choosing the right tool for the job. 

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