Q&A: Developer Life

Windows success as a platform can be attributed in part to its thriving community of third-party developers
Windows success as a platform can be attributed in part to its thriving community of third-party developers. Jason Beres, Infragistics' VP of product management, is a notable member of that community. He has worked as a .NET architect and evangelist, and helped found Florida and New Jersey .NET user groups. He's also co-author of Professional Silverlight 4, C# Bible, and Visual Basic .NET Bible. Dr. Dobb's managing editor Deirdre Blake recently talked with Beres about the mechanics of third-party development.

Dr. Dobb's: How do you coordinate your development with Microsoft releases and updates?

Beres: As part of the Microsoft developer ecosystem and partner program, we have direct access to early previews of Microsoft technologies. This lets us develop community technology previews and release new user interface components and UI development suites 30 to 60 days after Microsoft introduces a new technology or platform. We also participate in Microsoft developer labs and on-site meetings.

Dr. Dobb's: What are some of the trade-offs you face in development, and how does your team balance them?

Beres: The balancing act comes as we continue to invest in our UI control toolsets for the mature platforms--still heavily in use--and develop new UI controls for emerging technology and platforms.

Dr. Dobb's: What are the greatest challenges and opportunities for third-party developers this year?

Beres: The greatest challenges are the emerging technologies and how to make the right investments in them while still satisfying our customer base--some of whom may not be moving to these technologies.

We see numerous opportunities: The continued adoption of Silverlight as a rich line-of-business platform with a great deployment model, as well as Web development in general with the continuing explosive growth of jQuery, and the higher adoption rates of Microsoft's MVC stack as well as the emerging HTML 5 standard. If that isn't enough, there's a greater focus on mobile and tablets in the enterprise.

Dr. Dobb's: Has mobile's transformation and the emergence of cloud platforms affected your efforts?

Beres: No. Development effort and goals for mobile and the cloud are no different than UI control development for any emerging technology. With parity in our features and UI controls across multiple platforms, we can build UI control toolsets for new platforms and devices that enable our customers to create applications with the best user experiences possible.

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