By Ken Howard on 1/18/2017

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As an application developer, 2016 has treated me well. The year brought us new technology and platforms allowing our team to rapidly create software at a faster pace and with greater ease than ever before.

2017 is going to be a great year and here's why.

The Azure Platform

Azure has matured over the years. The feature set is rich and powerful. So rich that finding the right combination of tools and services is challenging.

The beauty of Azure is that we can leverage cloud technology while offloading system maintenance to Microsoft.

Better Frameworks

We were uncertain at the beginning of the year if we'd be able use new frameworks. .NET Core spent well-over six months as a release candidate before v1.0.0 was shipped in June. Angular 2 (to be known as Angular) also had a long-running release candidate cycle, although you might have thought it was a beta cycle looking at the changelog.

.NET Core

.NET Core was designed so it would be very easy to create and develop applications on Windows, Mac and Linux. As a software development shop that specializes in Microsoft technologies this is a big deal. We've broadened our capabilities to support Node.js when a client requires a backend that works on any system. But with .NET Core being cross-platform we can leverage our expertise in the framework while meeting our clients' goals and needs.

Angular

We've been working with AngularJS as far back as version 1.2. In fact, we have clients happily running on the 1.x framework. Going forward we're excited to develop new and powerful applications on top of the latest version of the framework which leverages TypeScript (our favorite flavor of JavaScript).

Angular is an amazing framework for building web applications but it's also quite capable as a mobile framework when used with NativeScript or Ionic.

NativeScript provides developers a way to interface directly with hardware APIs in both iOS and Android devices. It supports applications written in JavaScript, TypeScript and, of course, Angular.

Ionic is built on Apache Cordova and, like NativeScript, lets developers write applications for both iOS and Android devices. Additionally, Ionic is a terrific framework for creating Progressive Web Apps. Progressive Web Apps provide a way for mobile users to pin applications to home screens on Android.

We hope to build more Angular applications in 2017.

More Excitement

While .NET Core and Angular releases are exciting on their own, there's more to be excited about in 2017.

Major browsers support 92% or greater of EcmaScript 2015 (ES6) specifications. This is a great accomplishment considering ES2015 was the largest update to the language ever.

V8, Google's JavaScript Engine which ships with Chrome, supports 97% of the specification. This is significant since Node.js also ships with V8 which means we can build better applications with fewer lines of code.

Since we're on the topic of Node.js, version 6 of the JavaScript runtime was promoted to LTS in October. This version will be a mainstay throughout 2017, giving us a stable platform for building cross-platform applications and APIs.

TypeScript jumped to version 2. The best feature of the JavaScript transpiler is that we now have a standard way of creating and distributing type definitions whether they be shipped with our libraries or published to DefinitelyTyped.

Are You Excited?

We have a lot to look forward to in 2017. What are you looking forward to? Please leave a comment below.