Interactive Web UIs with Blazor

Key Highlights:

  • Blazor is extremely easy to use and it allows an enterprise to have the full-stack .NET development experience.
  • Being part of the open-source .NET platform, it has a strong community of contributors from more than 3,700 companies and has more than 100,000 OSS contributions.
  • Blazor is also fast evolving and capabilities are being added to use the technology for creating Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), hybrid apps, and fully native apps. 

Web applications are typically developed using Java, .NET, Node.js, and other similar languages. Blazor allows you to create web UIs in C# instead, a very popular development language as it helps catch errors at the time of compilation rather than during runtime.

What is Blazor

Blazor is an ASP.NET feature that allows building interactive web UIs using C# for client and server code. As the .NET developer platform contains tools and libraries for building web apps, Blazor provides developers access to any library as needed, provided it is compatible with the .NET Standard. Developers can use their own libraries or any of the public NuGet packages. Blazor also allows the sharing of code and libraries as well as reusable web UI components.

Read about other advanced tools recommended by Merit’s data engineering experts for powering and optimising your BI Stack.

Benefits of Using Blazor

Often apps written in one language need plug-ins or transpilation to run in a browser. Transpilation refers to the process of converting code written in one programming language to another (such as JavaScript) to allow it to run in the browser. This often limits the functionality. The advantage of using Blazor to create web UIs is that the app can be run in any browser, including on mobile phones, without the use of plugins or code transpilation as it uses open web standards.

Some of the other advantages of using Blazor include:

  • Its performance is near-native and tooling and debugging are easier and faster.
  • Blazor code executing on the server uses the same security sandbox as JavaScript frameworks and connects directly to a database.
  • In addition to using existing .NET libraries, it can also access JavaScript APIs and libraries for client-side UI.
  • For server-side code execution, any JavaScript code is executed seamlessly by Blazor on the client.
  • Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code can be used for Blazor development on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
  • It also provides flexibility to use a different editor using the .NET command-line tools.
  • The UI component ecosystem promotes the reusability of components from vendors such as Telerik, DevExpress, Radzen, Infragistics, Syncfusion, GrapeCity, and jQWidgets and increases productivity. Being part of the open-source .NET platform, it has a strong community of contributors from more than 3,700 companies and has more than 100,000 OSS contributions.
  • The active community “Awesome Blazor’ is also a resource for getting answers, referring samples, accessing tutorials, books, and more. It provides a great community-maintained list of Blazor resources.

How it Works

What sets Blazor apart from other UI frameworks such as Angular or ReactJS/React Native is that calculating UI changes (app/component model) and applying those changes (renderer or hosting models) are separated. This is what enables Blazor to create UIs for the web as well as the mobile. Though it requires components to be coded differently for the two platforms, as the programming model is the same, developers can create UIs using any renderer.

BlazorWebAssembly – The Client-Side

BlazorWebAssembly, the client-side, does not even need a server as the app consists of static files and runs on the client in the browser by downloading all the HTML, CSS, some JavaScript, and images. The assemblies that constitute the application and the complete .NET runtime are also downloaded and converted into WebAssembly bytecode. As Blazor apps use a common component model, the Razor components, it is easy to switch the hosting between the Server app or the WebAssembly app.

The static files can be hosted on:

  • a content delivery network
  • CDNwhich is cost-effective and server-agnostic
  • a server in the cloud
  • a data center
  • Any other hosting platform

As a result, it gives a near-native performance, can be used even in offline mode, and does not need a server, just some resource processing on the client device.

The browser you are running the app in must be new and updated as it does not work in browsers that do not have WebAssembly.

What is Blazor Server?

Blazor Server, a server-side Blazor app, serves the Blazor website. It works from within an ASP.NET website running on the .NET runtime. Blazor is loaded through a WebSocket connection using SignalR, which allows real-time UI updates to be streamed from the server. This enables faster loads and less time for downloading. It leverages the ASP.NET framework and does not need WebAssembly. This is a secure solution, that can scale fast.

On the flip side though, there is no offline support available. It requires an environment or server that runs on ASP.NET Core. It also requires higher latency and is a slow application.

Uses of Blazor Server

Blazor Server can be used for a variety of reasons including:

  • Adding rich interactive UI to .NET apps today without using JavaScript
  • Improving the interactivity of a single-page app in the .NET app
  • To write new apps or complement existing MVC and Razor Pages apps without rewriting existing app logic
  • When there is a reliable low-latency network connection
  • To offload work from the client to the server
  • When an app has to run on low-powered devices

Blazor is also fast evolving and capabilities are being added to use the technology for creating Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), hybrid apps, and fully native apps.

Merit offers Blazor Development Capabilities

UK-based Merit Data & Technology has more than a decade of experience in software development with expertise across a wide range of technologies including:

  • net
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Oracle
  • PHP
  • Hadoop
  • com
  • Tableau
  • net
  • Microsoft SQL server

…and many more

Our expert software development engineers work as an extension of your own team, offering full technical support and training as well in addition to development. We have proven expertise in developing software for world-leading brands and our passion drives us to keep pace with the latest technologies, upskilling as the market evolves.

Already experienced in C# and Java, our team can now help our customers and partners with the development of web applications using Blazor.

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