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Expert predictions for software developments in 2017
Tue, 17th Jan 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Already we've passed mid-January and no doubt the bulk of peoples' new year resolutions have petered out by now.

However, what do we have in store for the rest of 2017 - in particular, the software community? We received expert comment from Burke Holland, director of Developer Relations at Progress to gain some expert insights into what we have got ahead.

Continued growth of JavaScript and the rise of TypeScript

According to Holland, with JavaScript (JS) now running as server-side code and driving iOS and Android apps, it is hard to find a software system that it hasn't influenced.

“JavaScript is gaining prevalence among large enterprise organisations thanks to Node.js and Microsoft's TypeScript,” Holland says. “In recent years, Node has made strides to make a more stable offering for larger businesses, as well as incorporating enterprise-friendly features like long-term support plans. In 2017, we will see JavaScript – and Node specifically – start to eat into traditional C# and Java use cases for companies.

Visual design tools will make a comeback

Development tools are going to be more accessible to everyone. Holland asserts that in the 80s and 90s, nany non-developers could perform developer functions to a degree as they could drag and drop their way to desktop applications visually via WinForms.

“Since that time, the web and the cloud have made development complex and decentralised, edging out anyone who is not an expert developer,” Holland says. “In the coming year, we will see a convergence on tools like WinForms in which enterprise developers can visually assemble large parts of their application – ultimately making development more accessible for all developers.

Rise of the throwaway apps

This term refers to the practice of enterprises building an app to solve a problem and then never revisiting or using it again.

“This can become prohibitively expensive and inefficient, not to mention a lengthy process,” Holland says. “However new technology available enables developers to build an app more effectively, therefore making the throwaway app a more reasonable practice.

Web components are still a long way off

Holland affirms that unfortunately, 2017 will not bring us any closer to a fully supported web components standard.

“There continue to be difficulties with performance, specifically regarding Shadow DOM,” Holland says.

Holland acknowledges that while Apple implemented Shadow DOM in Safari, the feature has always been there and opening the API was more of a convenient gesture than a nod towards support of the standard.

“While developers and browser vendors alike acknowledge the need for native support for components, libraries such as React and Angular have filled the gap and provide much more to developers in the way of application features than just a component model,” Holland says. “Both Angular and React will continue to gain adoption and will be the developers “web component” solution for the foreseeable future.

So there you have it – while your resolutions may not have lasted the distance, we will have to wait 12 months to see if these predictions hold true.