Many organizations are facing the challenge of modernizing existing .NET 4 Framework (and older) web and desktop applications towards .NET 6+ Blazor/MAUI. This article summarizes how we are able to achieve sustainable modernization for organizations looking to employ the latest Microsoft .NET technology using the trellispark platform.

At Great Ideaz, we believe that organizations need a sustainable modernization platform to make this transformation easier both now and into the future. Specifically, we define sustainable modernization as:

  • Sustainable means minimizing the time, effort, costs, risks, and resources associated with modernization; and
  • Modernization is the never ending process of improving business activities with the use of technology innovation.

trellispark is a sustainable modernization platform created by Great Ideaz and is ideally suited to meet the needs of organizations faced with the challenge of migrating to .NET 6+ Blazor/MAUI.

Sustainable Architecture

trellispark provides a comprehensive enterprise architecture that facilitates transformation of both the platform and your solutions as technology and services evolve. This jumpstarts application development for teams new to .NET 6 as they no longer have to create a new architecture from scratch and can benefit from the hard lessons we have learned..

The trellispark platform is based on the latest thinking in enterprise architecture and comes with a complete set of documentation and training videos that will rapidly level-up your existing team. This also enables you to onboard new junior resources quickly and have them developing production ready components within days.

Eliminate and Simplify Code

trellispark utilizes a Data Agnostic Service (DAS) approach to building solutions. The key idea is to replace the traditional Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) code with a data driven Form Definition. These Form Definitions are configured using the trellispark UX Creator app as a “no code” UX design activity. The trellispark Dynamic Page Builder components combine the Form Definition with the record data to be displayed to generate a user experience in real-time. This enables your team to eliminate over 90% of the source code and testing that would normally be required when building an application.

The trellispark UX Creator enables your business analysts and citizen developers to easily create and maintain the data models and desired user experience for your business applications in real-time. This ability to rapidly evolve your business data and user experience means that your organization can quickly bring new functionality to market. It enables your organization to adopt a low cost/risk “try, fail, and try again” go to market approach.

By embracing citizen developers and other business team members with a powerful UX Creator, we enable non-technical resources to directly express their business requirements in a concrete manner for the formal IT development team. This both generates more accurate business requirements and simplifies the entire development cycle when making application changes.

trellispark reduces the need for business stakeholders to utilize “Shadow IT” in your organization.

The DAS workflow approach used by trellispark promotes a strong separation of concerns and compartmentalization of functionality. This means that creating and maintaining workflow automation becomes a highly granular process. Your developers can rapidly develop, test, and deploy a single function (like “Pay an invoice”) as an isolated (loosely-coupled) configuration item. This promotes a true agile approach and significantly simplifies Development Operations (DevOps).

Responsive User Experience with Less Resources

The trellispark back-end servers are responsible for securely maintaining the organizations’ data and only pass the desired user experience definition to the client. On the client devices, trellispark uses the Blazor WASM, Blazor/MAUI Hybrid and MAUI application architecture to render the user experience. This means that trellispark can fully utilize the client device’s capability to render a very responsive user experience whilst minimizing the requirements on the back end server infrastructure footprint. This means that the platform is extremely efficient and minimizes the amount of required backend infrastructure resources (compute, memory, power) to deliver a very fast, responsive user experience.

Deployment Flexibility

We acknowledge that there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to deploying business applications. We provide a full spectrum of options from Great Ideaz fully managed solutions to on-premise custom deployments that are built and hosted by your own development team. We can also provide consulting services and training to support your digital transformation. To minimize your risk and maximize flexibility, we have made all our user experience source code, REST APIs, and databases available to download for free.

Conclusion

Over the next few years, the innovation gap between Microsoft .NET 4.x and the latest .NET will widen at an accelerated pace. Microsoft has committed to making considerable investments in the latest version of .NET and will no longer make major improvements to .NET 4.x. MS .NET 6 Blazor WASM / MAUI is a considerable leap forward in providing a more responsive and engaging user experience compared to what was achievable using .NET 4 Web Forms or desktop WinForms. It’s important for organizations that have applications on older versions of .NET to have a sustainable modernization strategy. We believe our trellispark platform provides a crucial piece to help make this journey easier.