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dotInsights | March 2024

dotInsights Monthly Newsletter by JetBrains

Welcome to dotInsights by JetBrains! It’s the place for recent .NET and software development related content.

📜 Featured Content

This month, we bring you featured content from Chris Woodruff! Chris, along with JetBrains developer advocates Maarten and Khalid host the Breakpoint Show. Catch episodes on .NET development, software, and IT industry careers.

Server-Side vs. Client-Side Web Development: Unlocking Efficiency and Performance for Modern Websites

Hey there! In the world of web development, we’ve got two main players: Server-side and client-side development. Both are awesome, but they serve different purposes. While we all love the snazzy interfaces that client-side development brings to the table, I’m here to shine some light on the less-talked-about hero, server-side development. I’ll be walking you through why server-side development is super important, especially when dealing with a lot of visual content. If you’re used to focusing more on the client-side stuff, stick around. I’m about to show you some cool insights into the powerhouse that is server-side development and why it’s something you shouldn’t overlook, especially if you want to get deeper into the tech behind the scenes.

Fundamentals of Server-Side Development

Alright, let’s break down server-side web development into something a bit more bite-sized! Basically, it’s all about the behind-the-scenes action happening on the server instead of your browser. Think of it as the kitchen in a restaurant: you order your dish (or web page), and while you’re sitting comfortably, the kitchen (server) is where all the magic happens – cooking up data, running the necessary checks, and plating up your webpage just right before it’s served up to you, nice and ready. Now, let’s chat about the tools of the trade. We’ve got some big players here:

ASP.NET Core: Microsoft crafted this as the Swiss Army knife of web development. It’s the go-to for building slick, high-performance web apps and supports all kinds of programming languages, which makes it awesome for big projects.

PHP: This one’s like the bread and butter of the web. It’s super easy to pick up and plays well with databases, which is why it’s everywhere when it comes to making web pages that change on the fly.

Node.js: Here’s where things get modern – it uses JavaScript (yep, the usual browser language) for server-side stuff, making it perfect for real-time updates without refreshing the page.

Each of these has its own superpowers for tackling server-side tasks, whether you need the versatility of ASP.NET Core, the accessibility of PHP, or the cutting-edge vibes of Node.js. Getting a handle on these will seriously level up your web development game, especially if you’re all about building solid, efficient, and safe web applications.

Advantages of Server-side Web Development

Alright, let’s break down the perks of server-side development into everyday lingo. Think of it as the unsung hero behind the scenes that makes everything in web apps smoother, safer, and more personalized.

Keeping Things Tight and Tidy: Imagine all your data and sensitive info stored safely in one big vault – that’s what server-side development does. It keeps all your important stuff in one place (the server), far from the prying eyes and common dangers of the internet. This means better security and less mess.

Speed and Strength: Server-side development is like having a powerhouse doing the heavy lifting so your web app runs faster and smoother. This means quicker loading times and a better experience for everyone, especially those with not-so-great devices. Plus, it’s like a good workout routine for your app, making it stronger and able to handle more visitors without breaking a sweat.

Being Seen and Understood: Ever wanted to be the first picked in search results? Server-side helps with that by making sure your web pages are ready and dressed up for search engines. This also means everyone, no matter their device or needs, gets a better chance to interact with your site properly.

Consistency is Key: No matter what browser or device someone’s using, server-side keeps your web app looking and working consistently. It’s like having a recipe that always tastes good, no matter who makes it.

Personal Touch: Server-side development allows your web app to treat each user like a VIP, customizing content on the fly based on what they like or do on your site. Imagine walking into a store where everything has been picked out just for you – that’s the kind of service we’re talking about.

Simpler Behind-the-Scenes Work: By keeping the main operations on the server, updating and fixing your web app becomes a whole lot easier. It’s like managing a team where everyone knows their role – it just runs smoother.

Server-side development is about making web apps secure, fast, user-friendly, and personalized while making life easier for the people building and maintaining them.

Common Misconceptions About Server-side Development

Alright, let’s bust some myths about server-side development being a relic of the past. Sure,  client-side development is flashy and all over the place with its single-page apps and interactive bells and whistles. But guess what? Server-side development is still rocking it, taking care of all the heavy lifting from secure transactions to spitting out content that search engines love.

What should be done on the Client side for Development?

Even if we’re doing most of the heavy lifting on the server, we can’t ignore the client side – it’s key to making sure users have a smooth ride. Here’s the lowdown: 

Interactivity & Speed: Use client-side scripts (think JavaScript) for instant feedback, such as form checks and pop-up alerts. This keeps things lively and takes the load off the server.

Caching: Store stuff like images and CSS in the user’s browser. It means less waiting for pages to load and fewer calls to the server.

AJAX: This is your go-to for updating content on the fly without a full-page refresh. It’s a game-changer for keeping things interactive without bogging down performance.

Validation: Check forms in the user’s browser to catch mistakes early. It saves time, reduces back-and-forth with the server, and keeps users happy.

Personalization: Adapt your web app to fit different devices and user preferences. It makes for a better, more accessible experience for everyone.

Ease the Server’s Burden: Shift what you can to the client side (like some calculations or animations) to keep your server free for the big stuff.Merging client-side tricks with server-side brawn makes for web apps that are not just powerful but also a pleasure to use. It’s all about balancing the two sides to serve up the best user experience.

🔗 Links

Here’s the latest from the developer community.

🔦 From our .NET Guide

Each month we feature tutorials or tips from our .NET Guide.

The Basics Series

In The Basics series, we’ll explore several .NET technologies with a bare-minimum set of knowledge required to be productive. In 1 to 3 minute videos, we’ll go from an idea (💡) to a working example (🎉), showing that we don’t have to be an expert to be effective.

.NET Basics by Khalid Abuhakmeh

Getting Started With ASP.NET

ASP.NET is the heart of web applications in the .NET ecosystem. ASP.NET is the foundation to web frameworks like Razor Pages, ASP.NET MVC, Microservices, and more.

These videos will give us an overview of a solution and go over the tent poles of an ASP.NET project.

Getting Started with ASP.NET

☕ Coffee Break

Take a break to catch some fun social posts.


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