Have you ever heard of an application, Lovely Time? It is a time-telling app that shows the smile of Taiwan girls. On the other hand, Arock has a cross-desktop, mobile, and web application similar to Lovely Time and available for cloud services. The development of this Arock app took less than one week. This has not been an easy task and, according to David Dong, technology director of Arock, his company is able to make it because the same development tool, Visual Studio 2010, and the same programming languages, Silverlight and C#, were used to have the app developed with more than 90% of its program code identical to that of Lovely Time.
Moreover, it is not difficult for Arock to develop relatively simple apps similar to Lovely Time or sophisticated, cross-platform applications because Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, the development tool used by the company, always enables its development of applications cross "three screens and a cloud" at a relatively low cost.
Visual Studio, a highly effective development tool
Dong outlined seven features of Visual Studio that help develop cross-desktop, mobile, and web applications just in one go:
1. Unlimited project architectures
2. Concurrent development of desktop, mobile phone, and web applications
3. Reference to the common .NET Framework
4. Use of the same databank
5. Common data entity and remote data access technologies
6. Outstanding development process management
7. Convenient development, debugging, diagnostics and testing
According to Dong, convenient development refers to the complete Intellisense mechanism of Visual Studio 2010; support to XAML, JS, CS, and HTML compilation; features of Find All References and View Call Hierarchy for effective program code control; rich Snippet and convenient Refactor functions; and Extension Manager that downloads suitable components and template programs from an online gallery and Visual Studio Component Library to shorten the time required for application development.
Outstanding debugging and diagnostics functions of Visual Studio 2010 provide more than 200 built-in rules in Code Analysis as well as Naming Rule to prevent common programming errors and SQL Injection, while Trace & Debug track the process of cross-desktop, mobile, and web application development.
"If ORM is implemented, WCF and Web Services can be used to access data in remote devices," said Dong.
According Dong, the use of the same development tool facilitates the communication among developers of applications across devices, but the lack of a tool that can effectively manage various program codes will very likely result in program code mix-ups. For effective management, Visual Studio's Team Foundation Server is recommended.
"In addition to Arock, many other software companies have started to use Visual Studio to develop software services that can be immediately implemented on 'three screens and a cloud'," said Dong. "We select the same development tool because it effectively reduces our workload throughout development."
David Dong, technology director of Arock
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