Global Mediator’s engagement in .NET development

September 22, 2022

Some background of .NET in Global Mediator’s expertise

Unleashed by Microsoft 20 years ago and being open source now, .NET still rocks as one of the most loved development frameworks around the globe. Being a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, .NET has also been a substantial part of Global Mediator’s expertise since 2012. Literally, from the very first day of its existence as a software engineering house (in the previous iterations of NAV, it was relatively common to write add-ins in .NET).

As we kept on building our expertise in .NET over the years, we gravitated towards cloud solutions and seamless work for our customers. We delivered dozens of successful solutions to manage business-critical data in NAV/BC projects both in the cloud and on-premise. But somehow – completely undeservedly – these pages of Global Mediator’s history have remained in the shadows. Today we would love to share a brief glimpse on how the .NET practices at Global Mediator expanded and moved to a new spiral of development.

What makes .NET stand out in terms of MS Business Central

Emphasizing the synergy between Business Central as Global Mediator’s primary direction and .NET is a must. The platform is a good choice for its performance and flexibility, as well as its active community that keeps the technology alive and kicking. On the one hand, .NET is a cross-platform framework, so it allows the implementation of all kinds of desktop and web applications, complex integrations, and services. On the other hand, it has tons of libraries that are ready to use, comprehensive tooling, and documentation, which makes development both easy and effective. While AL as a programming language is exclusively sharpened to Business Central, sometimes it cannot deal with tasks that the BC developers face (like addressing an external website or processing notifications sent by an external website - in a specific way, beyond the scope of AL). In such cases exploiting programming languages other than AL is pretty much an option. Since .NET integrates easily with Business Central, it is the most obvious way to extend BC with the required functionality.

.NET practices at Global Mediator expanded and moved to a new spiral of development

.NET expertise that evolved into a product

Even though big parts of Global Mediator’s .NET projects are related to BC, our team also delivers solutions that allow our customers to integrate different parts of their systems, as well as automate repetitive work and business-critical processes. Naturally, one day we reached the point when we were ready to apply our .NET experience best by building our own add-on for MS Business Central. Meta UI, an outstanding .NET-based solution, brings page customization in Business Central to exceed the standard component capabilities of Business Central UI. In Meta UI we combined a wide range of tools to implement a solution that satisfies all security, performance, and reliability requirements. There are 4 programming languages, about a dozen of different types of Azure cloud services, and 3 types of databases used. Besides this, one of the team’s principal objectives was to implement a smooth user experience while using Meta UI. For this reason, the product has several types of admin portals depending on user roles.

“Initially, the product felt more like an investment into the future. An idea that aimed to unfold the team’s .NET experience and train them to build cost-efficient and easily scalable solutions. But the solution evolved into a stand-alone product streamlining the business process.”

- Dmitriy Shapoval, .NET Lead at Global Mediator

The team keeps on refining the product to satisfy customers’ needs. To meet performance requirements for the product we used microservices architecture which allowed us to easily scale certain parts of our system as well as improve security and user experience overall. In fact, solution scalability is one of the key points the company promotes when a customer addresses us. Alongside solving the customer’s issue, in a cost-efficient manner.

Why .NET and some agenda for the future

In case you are still hesitant about .NET development, here are some key points why it had worked for us in developing our product. Maybe, they could dispel your doubts because we sincerely recommend taking a look at the platform:

All Azure services used in our product have .NET libraries to streamline communication with the platform.

To make the application more reliable, Meta UI’s backend services were implemented using C# and F# languages. Both C# and F# are excellent programming languages for developing business applications.

ASP.NET Core used for our backend services is fast and secure. These indisputable advantages need no explanation.

.NET is cross-platform so this will allow us to move our services to Docker effortlessly when we need this.

And finally, our software engineering team has considerable expertise in .NET and will gladly share it to bring value to our customers’ products.

So, got a challenging task for .NET on your plate? Our team is thirsty for even more daring projects, interesting integrations, and high-load solutions using cutting-edge technologies and approaches. We find it crucially important to make our applications highly reliable and maintainable. Thus, we consider extensive logging and monitoring as an inherent part of any solution. Our experience shows that this becomes especially beneficial in high-load and distributed systems, making developers' lives easier and customer bills smaller.

We constantly improve our processes and introduce best development practices. A lot is going on with .NET in the background at Global Mediator, but we would like to keep the intrigue for some time.

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