How to Automate Your .NET Development Process
As with many other business and production processes, software development is now being largely automated thanks to the emerging low-code/no-code paradigm and dozens of automation tools. Although not every stage of the development process can be fully automated, there are plenty of ways to cut costs and reduce time-to-market time.
This article discusses why it’s worth implementing .NET development automation and what tasks can be automated throughout the development process.
Why use automation tools
Apart from the obvious fact that it saves a lot of time and effort, software development automation can bring companies even more benefits.
Better consistency and fewer bugs
First, automation implies standardization. Standardized processes are more predictable, less prone to errors of all kinds, and can be easily upscaled. Therefore, automated procedures help ensure uniformity and reduce the number of bugs.
Another advantage of automating development is a significant increase in your team’s productivity. Because simple and repetitive tasks can be easily automated, software engineers and testers can now focus on solving more complex and demanding issues.
Uniformity across environments
Automation also helps tackle one of the biggest problems concerning discrepancies between how the app works in production versus development or testing environments. Any changes between environments need to be quickly replicated, and by all means, it’s much easier with automation.
Automation at different stages
Prototyping and development
The emergence of low-code/no-code development approach has made it possible to complete working prototypes and MVPs much faster than ever before. Unlike with traditional software development, low-code platforms require a minimal amount of technical expertise, time, and money to start generating value.
Low-code tools like DWKit enable building .NET apps out of predefined blocks with a minimal amount of coding using an intuitive drag & drop editor. This is why they are often used to power up prototyping and building simple business apps, thus freeing up developers for more complicated tasks where traditional coding is necessary.
Today, software products often contain dozens of thousands lines of code distributed across multiple files with numerous dependencies. Therefore, even a tiny change in code affects multiple parts of the system and, without proper testing, this might end up with a bunch of errors and crushes. Automating this process can be of great benefit since it saves a lot of testers’ time.
Developers should be able to run automated tests in any environment every time when the code is being changed. By incorporating auto-testing solutions such as .NET CLI into the development process, a lot of subsequent problems can be avoided.
App deployments no longer have to be done manually — they are now part of the continuous integration and delivery process (CI/CD.) Above all, automation of the deployment process aims at minimizing time to market and improving customer satisfaction.
With CI/CD, the code is merged to the shared repository quite frequently, often multiple times a day. After running autotests, the fresh version of the app is automatically deployed to production and is made available to end-users.
Automating the .NET software development process is no longer a superfluity but rather the new gold standard. Using automation tools throughout the stages of development enables businesses to minimize time to market, cut costs and improve customer satisfaction rates. While low-code platforms can be of great help for building MVPs and business applications, introducing auto testing and CI/CD practices are indispensable for the entire development workflow.