Software applications that operate natively on operating systems like macOS, Windows, and Linux are basically desktop applications. Development frameworks are tools and libraries created to reach a particular technical purpose or develop in a particular language. There are various situations where standalone desktop applications for Windows, Mac, or Unix are still the favored selection.
You can have numerous choices when dealing with desktop application development frameworks. Various desktop applications such as Business Application, Client-Server Application, Collaborative Application, Utilities and Plugins, Multimedia Application, Network Application can be built using a desktop application development framework. The selection of framework depends on the programming language you prefer, the nature of the application, and the requirements of the particular Operating System to support it. There are remarkable frameworks for almost any programming language you choose.
When seeking the framework for desktop app development, the foremost thing is to find compatible frameworks for the operating system you are using to develop the application. A list of classified frameworks depending on the OS platform is presented here.
Windows framework for desktop application development
The windows desktop app frameworks are superior and convenient. They are practiced for building a polished frontend and powerful backend for windows application development.
- WPF: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is one of the most accepted frameworks for developing reliable Windows applications. It uses the .NET framework, mainly known for generating graphical desktop applications. The WPF runtime library is usually installed in the Windows operating system and can be used to develop UI for the desktop software. The principal feature of WPF is its capacity to combine different user interface components such as adaptive documents, vector graphics, earlier rendered media objects, 2D and 3D rendering, and many more.
- UWP: Universal Windows Platform is the relatively latest technology for Windows. It allows developers to create cross-platform universal desktop applications that run on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, and HoloLens without re-writing for each platform. UWP is a highly scalable and solid framework for desktop application development. This framework makes it possible to measure desktop applications for mobile devices by operating efficiently on cellphones, tablets, and Xbox.
- WinForms: WinForms or Windows Forms is a class library of the .NET desktop framework. It serves as a user interface for the platform. All visual elements of the overlying control class in the WinForms library provide functionality for clicking events, size, color, text, and location.
macOS framework for desktop application development
Apple is leading towards combining the architecture and development tools for all its platforms, including iOS, macOS, WatchOS, and even tvOS. It has made designing applications for macOS quite comfortable and straightforward.
- Cocoa: The framework assists as the native object-oriented application programming interface for the macOS. It has the facility to enable developers to work on application development for all Apple platforms. The framework combines functionality for several graphic control elements, gesture recognition, and animation. Cocoa makes UI functionality extra entertaining with added animation features, graphical control elements, and gesture recognition features. The framework can be used with Perl, Python, and Ruby programming languages for writing a development code. It bridges with these languages using PasCocoa, PyObjC, and RubyCocoa.
Linux/Unix framework for desktop application development
Like macOS, Linux boosts developers to formulate refined versions of the desktop software products.
- C++: It is the most successful and famous programming language for native application development for Linux.
Cross-Platform framework for desktop application development
Cross-platform software development has become necessary because of the escalating requirement for cost-effective and compact-timeline software projects. Such a development method preserves lots of effort and supports writing a single codebase to develop apps for various platforms.
- Swing and JavaFX: Both of these Java User Interface cross-platform frameworks are by Oracle. JavaFX is newer and encouraged by Oracle as a replacement for Swing. On the other hand, Swing is a more experienced and extensively used framework. JetBrain’s IntelliJ is an example application written with Swing. Swing was created to accommodate a more significant set of graphical user interface elements, look, and style for platforms. The framework is implemented with multiple UI components such as panels, scroll buttons, checkboxes, etc. It can imitate multiple desktop applications’ design, appearance, and style.
- Qt: It is a C++ based cross-platform UI framework. One can write the UI elements in JSON-like declarative language QML. Maya is an example application written with Qt. It has an ample variety of customization abilities. The framework provides many libraries with inherent APIs for threading, networking, animations, and more. You can find excellent documentation, developer support, and community for this framework.
As the article has described, there are diverse options available of the framework for desktop application development, each having its pros and cons. While selecting the best framework for desktop application development, consider the elements such as cost and features.
Launching your application is as much important as developing one. Select a framework that handles the distribution for you, whether you want it out on the desktops, tablets, web, or any other platform. Choosing the proper framework that provides a suitable Distribution Model is essential.