For many years, desktop application development dominated the software industry. However, with the rise of the internet, web applications quickly took over. When smartphones became popular, mobile applications became extremely popular, relegating desktop applications to third place.
While the preceding statement may be true for startups, there is still a tremendous amount of software development in desktop applications. Consider Excel, Adobe Photoshop, and the Chrome browser.
Here are a few examples:
- The application doesn’t need to be online.
- You’ll be able to interact more effectively with the user’s computer. Web applications run in a dedicated software solutions area that prevents nearly all interactions.
- The performance of desktop software is better compared to web apps.
- It is feasible to run sophisticated algorithms on the client end, but a web app is considerably more difficult.
- In desktop app development, using Threads is considerably faster and smoother.
When it comes to building desktop apps, there are several alternative possibilities to go, just like any other software piece. Multiple programming, languages platforms, and structure considerations are all part of this. You will have the opportunity to work with advanced technology that has existed for many years. The programming is as close as it gets. That will vary depending on your product’s specific requirements.
This post will outline 6 of the most significant elements to review before or at the beginning of its development.
1. Select the Appropriate User Interface Technology
Every Windows UI paradigm has its own set of pros and downsides. The essential thing to keep in mind is that most of these UI technologies will require you to use a specific programming language or framework, so keep that in mind while making a choice, or you can get help from a Desktop application development company.
The following are the significant technologies you may choose from:
- The Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a well-known Windows platform that’s ideal for programs with complex user interfaces that rely heavily on visuals.
- The Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is a cutting-edge platform that is exclusive to Windows 10. It is very configurable and uses XAML language to distinguish between program and UI.
- When used with C++, Win32 API makes it much easier to attain increased quality and efficiency levels by providing you more influence over the particular platform.
- WinForms — Simple, newcomer UI that relies mainly on Visual Studio as well as its Designer’s drag-and-drop functionality.
2. Select a Deployment Methodology
Google Chrome, for instance, is a Desktop Application that receives regular updates that even the user is unaware of. That may be fine for a Personalized Touch, but Enterprise App customers might be extremely picky about upgrades. They may wish to be told clearly about the impending upgrade and its key topics. Specific clients, such as defense tool programs, may not have an internet connection at all, necessitating a Flash Drive deployment to complete the upgrade.
The viewpoint is that deployment is primarily a commercial choice, followed by technology considerations. So we’ve established that, let’s look at our multiple choices:
- The Windows Store is the most apparent and secure option.
- ClickOnce is a solution for deploying WPF applications.
- Build your custom update tool and the installer from scratch.
3. Select a Theme for Your Application
People may favor a branded theme if your software is B2B focused. Let’s assume you’re making it for a firm that uses many blue in their good or service and branding. Perhaps the theme must be based upon these colors.
The excellent solution for a more broad consumer app would be to provide various options so that customers may choose the solution that ideally matches them. Night mode backgrounds have been trending recently, so ensure you have access to those.
4. Choose an Installer
Although an Installer is included in the deployment process, I separate it because it is essential. It is the installer’s responsibility to package your application with installation software. You may be looking at a.exe or.msi file. The installation tool will copy your bundled application to the current PC whenever the user or your application runs it when you deploy your application. In addition, you can write to the registry, add Start-Menu shortcuts, and associate files with your program.
You have numerous excellent installers at your disposal:
- Inno Setup is a well-known free installer that is found to be pretty handy. You basically create a text file (.iss) that contains the installer’s settings and scripts.
- InnoSetup provides extensive documentation and a sizable community. However, it only generates EXE files and not MSI. InnoSetup will remove the previous version and install the new one after an update.
- Another popular free installer is Wix. It has a higher learning curve than InstallShield and Inno Setup, but it can create MSI files, which is a notable plus.
5. Setting up Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD)
A good development process necessitates the establishment of a CI/CD pipeline. The goal of such concepts is to create an automated development technique. An automatic flow is started on-demand or after a code check-in. It has the following capabilities:
- Take the most recent code from the repository.
- Check for errors after compiling your code.
- Execute Unit Tests
- Construct an installation package.
- If necessary, deploy your application.
6. Choose an MV* Framework
We suggest that you select a design pattern depending on the UI technology you’ve chosen. MVVM is the most excellent solution for WPF, whereas MVP is the best option for WinForms. Electron allows you to use Vue.js, React, and Angular capabilities in the same way that other web solutions do. Prism, MVVM Light, and Caliburn. Micro are some more notable frameworks.
Desktop app development for Windows, like any other software solution, is complex. We discussed some of the essential developmental decisions in an application, but there are still more factors to consider, such as localization, testing, user settings, database, etc.