silverlight_logo-625x203We’ve been getting this question a lot lately:

“Why did cBizSoft decide to use the Microsoft Silverlight platform to create Exelare?”

Its a good question.  There are so many different options out there these days on how and why to build your software product that you could go mad trying to decide.  Not only do software companies have to look at current technology platforms and trends, we also have to think about the future and where technology might be heading.  If you pick the wrong platform, you could one day go the way of the dodo.  Nobody wants that.

When I asked our CTO, Kris Reddy, about his views on the future of Silverlight, this is what he said:

[quote]Silverlight is hands down the best platform for Rich Internet Applications available today. No other platform on the market gives us the ability to provide such a rich and powerful experience to our end users. Silverlight is completely based on .NET and WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) – both of which are used to develop all modern Windows applications. This means the technology plays very nicely with existing Microsoft products like Outlook, Word, and Excel – something our clients have said is very important to them. We performed a very thorough evaluation of other platforms such as Adobe Air, and HTML5 (among others). Both are viable up and coming platforms. However in the end, Silverlight proved to be the best on the market and frankly we aren’t interested in settling for anything less.[/quote]

Of course technology always changes.  What is popular today could easily change in the next 3-5 years.  Because of this, the majority of our development work (80% or more) has been focused on the “back end” code that Exelare runs on.  Only 20% or less of our development efforts have been put in to the “front end” that runs on Microsoft Silverlight.  We did this not because we don’t believe in Silverlight – we do.  We did this because we – like everyone else on the planet – cannot predict what will happen in the future.  If technology changes drastically and we need to make Exelare available on another platform, we can quickly change the front end with very little impact to our clients.

Why We Chose Silverlight

  1. The Silverlight plug-in allows us to offer a single, consistent run-time for multiple browsers, rather than dealing with the complexity of multiple browsers in different versions.  Your experience will be the same whether you are using Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome.
  1. Silverlight allows us to create more than just a browser based application.  We can create fully functioning Rich Internet Applications (RIA)  that behave much like a desktop app.  Think about that for a second because it is huge.  Right now you are probably using a Web based app or a desktop based app.  Both have their pros and cons.  With an RIA, we are giving you the best of both worlds!  This is a key differentiation between us and other vendors in the field.
  1. Silverlight is fast.  cBizOne is already known for its speed. If nothing else, cBizOne helps you get your work done quickly and efficiently.  Our next generation product needs to meet or exceed that benchmark we set.  Without getting too technical, the Silverlight Plugin allows extremely efficient caching of local program information that enables much quicker processing of data, and uses less bandwidth than traditional web-based apps.  Because of this, we can give you a fully functioning “live search” right inside your web browser.
  1. Interact with Desktop Based Applications – Yes everything is moving to the cloud, but your desktop apps are still a long way from being extinct.   Silverlight has unique features that allow us to interact directly with desktop based applications like MS Outlook, Word, etc..   Browser based apps simply can’t offer this type of direct integration (ex: integration with MS Outlook).

So as you can see there are many great reasons for going with Silverlight.  The best part is that with Exelare, our development team has designed the architecture in such a way that we can switch to any other “RIA” based delivery model (ie: Flash, Flex, HTML5 or the next generation of platforms) if we need to in the future.

Have you tried Exelare out for yourself yet?  If you aren’t part of the current Alpha release, don’t forget to sign up and let us know you are interested!  We are adding new recruiting teams weekly!

What do you think of Silverlight?  Do you have any questions we can answer for you?