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Cross-Platform Development Is on the Rise

Paul Lefebvre
Play: I am a father, husband, baseball player and technology geek. Work: Xojo Software Engineer.
・Updated on ・3 min read

For business app developers, making apps for multiple platforms is a necessity and also a challenge. Depending on your requirements you may need desktop apps, web apps, mobile apps or some combination thereof.

Want to make desktop apps? You're probably thinking you'll need Visual Studio (C#), Xcode (Objective-C or Swift) and some C++ tool for Linux. Need web apps? Normally you'd be looking at combining a variety of tools and languages, including JavaScript (and frameworks), perhaps PHP, ASP.NET, Java, or Rails but that only scratches the surface.

Mobile apps? Android Studio with Java or Xcode with Swift/Objective-C are probably in your future.

Whew! That's a lot of different tools and technologies, which likely means you're going to need a pretty large staff to cover it all.

Or you can try the best cross-platform development tool you've probably never heard of: Xojo.

Xojo has actually been around for a long time. It was first introduced in 1998 as a software development tool for making Mac apps and has been continually updated and refined over the years to add additional platforms and more capabilities. Today it can be used to make a wide variety of native apps, including:

  • Windows desktop apps
  • macOS desktop apps
  • Linux desktop apps
  • Raspberry Pi desktop apps
  • Web apps
  • Console apps
  • iOS apps

(With Android apps expected in 2018.)

As required by most business apps, Xojo also has built-in support many types of databases including:

  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • SQLite

Smaller companies that don't have large a large IT staff can greatly benefit from having a single tool and programming language that can be used to make all the apps that the company needs. Plus, Xojo is easy to use compared to professional programming tools that require a degree in Computer Science to understand. This means your power users (or citizen developers) can also help with creating software. You'll be able to create apps more quickly and with fewer people than you though was possible.

But enterprise companies with a large IT staff can also benefit from adding Xojo to their toolkit. Xojo won't likely replace large-scale enterprise development tools, but because developing with Xojo is so quick, it can be used to rapidly prototype ideas to show off to colleagues/management in order to get approvals. Xojo can also integrate with existing enterprise apps by using web services. You might find that Xojo is a perfect fit for smaller projects that need to be created quickly.

Even though Xojo is easy to learn and use, professional developers find it also has the advanced features they've come to expect, including:

  • Fully object-oriented
  • Introspection
  • Extension methods
  • Delegates
  • Native API access
  • LLVM compiled, native code
  • Source-control compatible projects

The free version of Xojo has no time-limit so you can download it and try it today to see how it might save you and your organization time and money.

To learn more about Xojo, visit the Xojo Docs.

Want to quickly see Xojo in action? Here is a short video that shows how it looks and works on macOS (the Xojo IDE also works on Windows and Linux):

Discussion (4)

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

Why would I buy and learn a proprietary solution in 2017? As a dev will only hurt my time because the change to find a job for it are 99.9% smaller than JS for example.

Speaking of, you can do everything and more with JavaScript, which is free, safer, more mature and open source, just saying.

rampatra profile image
Ram Patra

Can I access/use the macOS APIs with XOJO? Let's say I want to modify the way the mouse pointer looks, can I do that with XOJO or its just a framework to make apps that it not too much reliant on macOS APIs?

lefebvre profile image
Paul Lefebvre Author

You can use the Declare command to directly call macOS APIs. More information is here:

rampatra profile image
Ram Patra

Great, thanks!

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